Public Relations Specialist in the USA

There are no standards for entry intoa public relations career.A university education combined withpublic relations experience, usually after an internship,is an excellent preparation for public relations work. Internships are becoming necessary to receive a position. The ability to communicate effectively is essential.Many entry-levelpublic relations specialists have a college degree in public relations, journalism, advertising, or communication. Some firms seekcollege graduates who have worked in broadcastor print journalism.Other employers seek employees with good communication skillsor experience in a field related to the firm's business, for example, health, sales, or finance.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor'sand master'sdegrees in public relations, usually in a journalism or communications department.

A commonpublic relations education includes courses in public relations principles and techniques, public relations management and administration. PR education includes courses on writing, with a special attention to news releases, proposals, annual reports,scripts, speeches, visual communications, including desktop publishingand computer graphics. In the research module future PR specialists study social science researchand survey design.Courses in advertising, journalism, finance, political science, psychology, sociology, and creative writingare also helpful.Specializations are offered in public relations for business, government, and non-profit organizations.

Many colleges help students have part-time internshipsin public relations that provide experience and training. Membership in local chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America in student chapters of the International Association of Business Communicators provides an opportunityfor students to exchange views with public relations specialists and to make professional contacts that may help them find a job in the field. A portfolioof published articles, television or radio programs, and other work is important in finding a job. Writing for a school publicationor television or radio station provides valuable experience and material for one's portfolio.

Creativity, initiativeand the ability to communicate thoughts clearly and simplyare essential in this profession. Decision-making, problem-solving,and research skillsalso are important. People who choose public relations as a career need an outgoing personality, self-confidence,an understanding of human psychology, and an enthusiasmfor motivating people. They should be competitive,yet able to function as part of a team and open to new ideas.

Adapted from Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, USA

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Working Conditions of PR specialist | Text Tasks and Objectives of House Journal

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