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What do I need to study to become a Public Relations Officer?


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What is a Public Relations Officer?

Public Relations Officers foster and maintain a positive public image for their organisation or client. They manage a company’s communications and interactions with the public, be they consumers, media outlets or investors.
In government, people holding this position are titled Press Secretary and are tasked with informing the public of the opinions, activities and policies of government agencies and officials.

Understanding the concerns, behaviours and priorities of groups that the Public Relations Officer is communicating with is a vital part of the role. This enables them to identify, examine and anticipate social, political or economic trends, and develop strategies to improve the public’s perception of their company based on these trends.

The Public Relations Officer drafts press releases and liaises with broadcasters and media professionals. They also provide sponsorship of people and events in order to enhance the public image, promote the identity and clarify the goals and views of their company or client.

What do Public Relations Officers do?

  • Generating favourable public opinion and goodwill towards a company or organisation.
  • Identifying client groups and audiences.
  • Undertaking public opinion research and evaluating results.
  • Monitoring and anticipating consumer trends and opinions.
  • Drafting and presenting press releases and information to media outlets.
  • Devising and implementing publicity campaigns, sponsorships and promotional events.
  • Communicating with executives and department heads regarding the impact of policies and programs on public image.
  • Commissioning and appraising publicity materials from publicity writers, photographers and other creative producers.
  • Writing statements and speeches and arranging interviews for company executives.

Career snapshot for Public Relations Officer

  • The average age of working Public Relations Officers is 36.
  • 27.20% of Public Relations Officers are male.
  • 72.00% of Public Relations Officers work full-time and on average they work around 37.4 hours per week.
  • With A Bachelor Degree or higher, Public Relations Officers get paid $1,282 per week Before Tax.
  • Unemployment levels are below average.
  • In 2015 records showed 22,000 employed Public Relations Officers.
  • The projected growth of the profession is estimated to be strong with employment numbers around 25,400 by 2020.