Public relations is a fun and fast-paced career that often places you at the forefront of an organization or company. Public relations is a great choice for any career-minded woman and often offers the chance to take on a greater leadership role within a company or organization.
But what exactly is public relations? What skills does one need to succeed in this ever-changing industry? Let’s take a closer look at the field of public relations, what makes it tick, and what you should consider when deciding if a career in public relations is for you.
What Is Public Relations?
Public relations professionals wear many hats. First and foremost, their job is to orchestrate a positive public image for the company, organization, or person they represent. A typical day might include writing a media release, launching a diverse social media campaign, or holding a press conference, for example. It’s likely that no two days will be the same in this field, and PR professionals must always be on their toes and ready for change.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public relations specialists make close to $60,000 a year on average and are typically required to have a degree in journalism, communications, public relations, English, or business. The industry is growing significantly and is expected to continue doing so, which means public relations specialists are and will be in high demand.
How to Excel in Public Relations
Public relations is a varied and exciting career choice. According to Norwich University, communication, cross-cultural management, flexibility, teamwork, analysis, negotiation, and autonomy are essential skills for a career in public relations. Anyone wishing to pursue a career in PR should be prepared to either bring these skills to the table or seek to develop them to gain more experience.
Social media is another area that’s important for public relations professionals. Since almost everyone is on social media in some form these days, having a positive social media presence is extremely important. Social media is always changing and updating, so a successful PR professional must do the same by staying up to date on the latest developments on social media and web presence.
An informational science background could also give you an edge when it comes to being in PR in the fields of policy or politics. There are so many industries being shaped by information science today that having that background could really put you ahead when competing for job openings.
Another thing that can help you succeed in public relations is knowing when to be honest and apologize when the organization or individual you’re representing is at fault. Knowing when to concede instead of deny is an important skill that the best PR professionals possess.
Things to Consider
When considering a career in public relations, there are a few important things to consider. Public relations experts are very much leadership-oriented, and a career in public relations could very well lead to a career path as a CEO, CFO, or similar role at the top of the chain of command.
Women in leadership roles have their own set of obstacles to overcome due to the prevalence of sexism and discrimination in the workplace. Some people expect to find only men in leadership positions, and women sometimes have to work twice as hard and be overqualified to land the job they’re interested in.
However, as more and more women take on leadership roles, the culture changes and the path for the next wave of women becomes easier and more accessible. The practice of being strong and confident in your abilities will go a long way in landing a job in public relations.
A career in public relations is a great choice for anyone who excels at communications, leadership, multitasking, and management. Public relations professional must always be willing to change, learn, and adapt as the industry grows with new trends and technology.
At its core, though, public relations is about relationships. That means people come first. If you’re a people person with great communication skills, a good grasp of social media, and strong attention to detail, you might thrive in the field of public relations.