Public Relations Degree - Online and Campus Programs

What Does a Public Relations Representative Do?

Entry-level PR workers perform file maintenance, article clipping, and assembly of information for speeches, press kits, or pamphlets. They may answer calls from the press or public, prepare details for press conferences, write press releases or articles, and carry out public relations programs. Some people gain experience at a large firm and then start their own consulting firms working as a media publicist or in advertising, marketing, promotions, or public relations.

College Education, Internships Important for Advertising Public Relations Careers

To prepare for a career in advertising and public relations, a bachelor's degree is essential. Many entry-level PR reps have a public relations degree. Some employers look for college graduates with journalism experience, though others seek out graduates with experience in fields related to a firm's business, such as IT, health care, sales, finance, or media public relations. It may also be helpful to take public relations classes, or seek out specific public relations programs. Public relations internships help provide students with experience and training, and they are often the best means of finding employment after graduation.

Certification is Key Component in Building Media Public Relations Career

In addition to public relations classes, public relations programs, and a public relations degree, certification offers another level of proof of competence in advertising and public relations, media PR, or other public relations specialty. Certification typically includes both a readiness review and an examination, usually taken after you've gained a certain amount of experience in the public relations field.

Salary Ranges and Outlook for Public Relations Careers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities for public relations specialists will grow 24 percent through 2018, which is much faster than average. However, it is also predicted that there will be more demand than supply of jobs, so making sure you combine experience, education, and certification will position you well in the market. The median annual salary of a public relations specialist was $51,280 in May 2008.