Public Relations Specialist
"Public relations helps an organization and its publicsadapt mutually to each other."
Public relations specialists handle organizational functions such as, media, community, consumer, industry, and governmental relations. They assist with political campaigns, interest-group representation; conflict mediation, and crisis communication. Public relations specialists also deal with employee and investor relations. Public relations specialists must understand the opinions of community members, consumers, employees, and public interest groups to establish and maintain cooperative relationships between them, the organization and the media.
- Effectively communicate information with the media.
- Study the opinions of the public and develop strategies to influence public opinion.
- Maintain positive, beneficial relationships with the public, employees, etc.
- Prepare organizational communications for both internal and external audiences.
- Media Communication - knowledge of the media's communication process, techniques and methods.
- Sales and Marketing - understanding the principles and strategies for marketing and promoting a product or service.
- Technology - understanding the uses for and of technology to assist in disseminating messages.
- Effective writing and reading comprehension and expression
- Effective speaking and listening comprehension and expression
- Time Management and Flexibility
- Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
At this point in my study of Public Relations, I feel that I have a solid basis of the tasks, knowledge and skills required to succeed in the field. I have taken classes in public speaking and interviewing in order to develop my oral communication skills. I have also studied conflict and cross-cultural communication, as to better understand a communication audience. I am also complimenting my degree in public relations with a minor in marketing. I feel that understanding how organizations and consumers view products and services can only be understood if there is an understanding of the products market and marketing strategies. My participation in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has allowed me to share my experiences with my peers and learn from their experiences as well. PRSSA has exposed me to the insights of field professionals and professors, and has provided valuable networking opportunities.
Through my classroom practice and internship experience I have been able to effectively perform duties required to be a Public Relations Specialist. For example, using my knowledge of social media; I was able to create and manage a social media presence for the Waukegan Park District during my internship with the organization. The park district is still using the sites I created and is adapting their use into the formal marketing and community affairs plans. Effectively communicating information involves utilizing the proper channels for disseminating a message. The target audience of the park district's social media campaign is teenagers in the community, a population that has low participation in district programs. Another aspect of Public Relations is to effectively communicate information with the media. Classroom practice press releases gave me the skills to properly compose and generate press releases to appropriate media outlets during my internship.
As for the more advanced responsibilities, I feel that I have not yet mastered the necessary required skills. My written communication is not as polished as I would like it to be, neither is my understanding of the tactics and strategies I will need to implement.
I understand that my education is not yet complete, and that I do not yet possess all of the skills required to successfully perform the duties of a public relations specialist. My continuances of study will only further my knowledge of the field and how to accurately perform the job. I also plan on taking a second internship position in the coming summer to help gain more knowledge and experience in the field. In the future I plan on taking courses in public relations tactics and strategies, as well as a technical writing course. The problems I see in my plan are that I have a limited amount of time to accomplish these goals. I declared a major in public relations late in my college career, which did not allow me to take many elective courses in the field. Similarly, I feel that my previous internship experience did not prepare me enough for a larger more in depth application of public relations. As I near graduation I am concerned that my skills may not be where they should be upon completing my degree, and that further study or internship experience will be required.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2010, May 17). Public Relations Specialist. Retrieved October 21, 2010, from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos086.htm
Public Relations Society of America. (2010). Public Relations Defined. Retrieved October 21, 2010, from http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/PublicRelationsDefined/
Public Relations Specialist. (2010). In O*Net Online. Retrieved October 21, 2010, from http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/27-3031.00