Building a reputation for PR

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If you like variety and a challenge - and know the importance of an organisation’s reputation - a job in PR could be perfect for you.

To be in PR, you will need to have excellent communication skills. You’ll need to be good at managing your time. You’ll also need to be able to work with all kinds of clients.

Public relations is a very competitive industry. Many employers will expect you to be qualified to degree level.

You could work in a company’s in-house public relations department, or you might be an account executive at a consultancy that looks after PR for a number of clients. Whoever you work for, your job could include:

l planning PR campaigns and strategies

l monitoring the public and media’s perception of your client or employer

l writing and editing leaflets, brochures, press releases, speeches, newsletters and websites

l arranging events like press launches, news conferences, exhibitions, open days and sponsorship

l developing good working relationships with the media

l arranging for advertising or promotional films to be produced

l public speaking at presentations, conferences or radio and TV interviews

l representing the company or client at events

Starting salaries can be around £16,000 to £20,000 a year. With experience this can rise to between £20,000 and £40,000 a year.

Account directors and heads of corporate affairs can earn £80,000 to £100,000 a year.

Public relations is a very competitive industry and many employers will expect you to be qualified to degree level, although this is not always essential.

It may help you if you have a degree or a postgraduate qualification in public relations, or in another relevant subject such as journalism, advertising, marketing and communications, business or management, psychology, English or politics.

Another option is to join a PR firm as an administrator, publicity assistant or information officer, then with experience, work your way up to PR officer. You could also go into a PR as a second career if you have previous relevant experience in areas such as journalism, advertising, marketing or fundraising.

See the CIPR and Public Relations Consultants Association websites for further advice and information.