Public Relations Officer

If the mantra “image is everything” strikes your fancy, a career in public relations may be perfect for you. A public relations officer is responsible for maintaining and managing public image of their client or organisation. By using different forms of media and communication, public relations officers communicate key messages to target audiences, in order to promote and maintain the reputation of their clients.

What is a public relations officer?

As a public relations officer, your key responsibilities would involve maintaining and enhancing the public image of an organisation or client by promoting the people, products, services or solutions on offer. A career in public relations also involves creating goodwill and credibility of an organisation.

Public relation jobs are usually in-house and are available across a range of industries – both private and public – from large corporations, small businesses to not-for-profit organisations. You might also find work as consultants in public relations firm.

A public relations job varies depending on the organisation, but generally, on a day-to-day basis, you would be responsible for:

  • Planning, developing and implementing PR strategies
  • Liaising with media, colleagues, key spokespeople and other stakeholders
  • Researching, writing and distributing press releases to media
  • Analysing media coverage
  • Writing and editing newsletters, case studies, speeches, articles and annual reports
  • Overseeing the production of publicity material including brochures, handouts and leaflets
  • Organising events including press conferences and exhibitions
  • Commissioning market research
  • Crisis management

Personal skills

If you want to work in PR, you should have the personality to match. Aside from being a social butterfly, you’d be expected to have:

  • Exceptional communication skills – verbal and written
  • Exceptional presentation skills
  • Initiative and creativity
  • Ability to prioritise and multitask
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • Networking and interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills

How to get a career in public relations

The good news is you can usually get into a public relations career by networking and working your way up through a company. Some employers, though, would prefer you to have  certificate, diploma or degree level qualifications in marketing, business, management or media studies. Martin offers the Bachelor of Business (Marketing), which will give you the skills necessary to get a public relations job.

A public relations postgraduate qualification can also be helpful and most public relations officers gain work through relevant work experience or internships. You can usually find a public relations job with work experience gained in a PR firm, marketing, fundraising, events promotion or journalism.

Public relations career pathways

Public relations officers are employed across a variety of industries including:

  • Advertising or marketing agencies
  • Consultancies
  • Retailers
  • Manufacturers
  • Charities
  • Government organisations

Many graduates enter the profession at a junior level or move into PR following a marketing, journalism or advertising career. A public relation officer job can also open pathways to roles as a public relations manager, marketing manager and brand manager – if that’s what you’re keen on.