Public Relations Specialists
Promote or create an intended public image for individuals, groups, or organizations. May write or select material for release to various communications media. May specialize in using social media.
Sample of reported job titles: Communications Specialist, Corporate Communications Specialist, Media Relations Specialist, Public Affairs Specialist, Public Information Officer, Public Information Specialist, Public Relations Coordinator (PR Coordinator), Public Relations Specialist (PR Specialist)
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Respond to requests for information from the media or designate an appropriate spokesperson or information source.
- Write press releases or other media communications to promote clients.
- Establish or maintain cooperative relationships with representatives of community, consumer, employee, or public interest groups.
- Plan or direct development or communication of programs to maintain favorable public or stockholder perceptions of an organization’s accomplishments, agenda, or environmental responsibility.
- Study the objectives, promotional policies, or needs of organizations to develop public relations strategies that will influence public opinion or promote ideas, products, or services.
- Coach client representatives in effective communication with the public or with employees.
- Update and maintain content posted on the Web.
- Confer with other managers to identify trends or key group interests or concerns or to provide advice on business decisions.
- Prepare or edit organizational publications, such as employee newsletters or stockholders’ reports, for internal or external audiences.
- Coordinate public responses to environmental management incidents or conflicts.
- Arrange public appearances, lectures, contests, or exhibits for clients to increase product or service awareness or to promote goodwill.
- Develop plans or materials to communicate organizational activities that are beneficial to the environment, public safety, or other important social issues.
- Prepare or deliver speeches to further public relations objectives.
- Confer with production or support personnel to produce or coordinate production of advertisements or promotions.
- Consult with advertising agencies or staff to arrange promotional campaigns in all types of media for products, organizations, or individuals.
- Plan or conduct market or public opinion research to test products or determine potential for product success, communicating results to client or management.
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- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Google Drive ; Microsoft SharePoint
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Blackbaud The Raiser’s Edge; Microsoft Dynamics ; Oracle Eloqua; Salesforce software
- Data base reporting software — Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer
- Data base user interface and query software — Airtable; Cision CisionPoint; Data entry software; LinkedIn (see all 6 examples)
- Data mining software — Google Analytics
- Desktop communications software — ParentSquare
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Microsoft Publisher
- Development environment software — Adobe Systems Adobe ActionScript
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat ; Adobe Systems Adobe Reader
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud ; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; JamBoard; SmugMug Flickr (see all 8 examples)
- Information retrieval or search software — LexisNexis
- Instant messaging software — Twitter
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Multi-media educational software — Nearpod
- Network conferencing software — LogMeIn GoToWebinar; Slido
- Network monitoring software — Wireshark
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Apple macOS
- Presentation software — Apple Keynote; Google Slides; Mentimeter; Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Sales and marketing software — Google AdWords ; HubSpot software ; Marketo Marketing Automation
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video conferencing software — Cisco Systems Webex
- Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects ; Apple Final Cut Express; Apple Final Cut Pro; YouTube (see all 5 examples)
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Facebook ; Social media sites ; Website management software (see all 7 examples)
- Word processing software — 3M Post-it App; Adobe Systems Adobe Writer; Google Docs ; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
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- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
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- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Provide educational information to the public.
- Write advertising or promotional material.
- Develop promotional strategies or plans.
- Coach others.
- Collaborate with others in marketing activities.
- Write informational material.
- Edit written materials.
- Coordinate logistics for productions or events.
- Conduct market research.
- Inform viewers, listeners, or audiences.
- Promote products, activities, or organizations.
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- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 75% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 67% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 54% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 46% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 61% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 42% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 75% responded “Some freedom.”
- Deal With External Customers — 33% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Important results.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 54% responded “Very important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 67% responded “Some freedom.”
- Level of Competition — 42% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 33% responded “Fairly serious.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 50% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: EAS Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$30.20 hourly, $62,810 annual|
|Employment (2020)||272,300 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Faster than average (10% to 15%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||29,200|
|Top industries (2020)||
Other Services (Except Public Administration)
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Advertising Federation
- American Marketing Association
- City-County Communications and Marketing Association
- Council for Advancement and Support of Education
- International Association of Business Communicators
- National Council for Marketing and Public Relations
- National School Public Relations Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Public relations specialists
- Public Relations Society of America
- Public Relations Student Society of America
- Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development of the American Hospital Association
- Society for Human Resource Management
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