How To Become a Public Relations Manager

Public relations team

The role of a Public Relations manager involves managing or coordinating the communication between an organization and the rest of the world. Exposure to an audience is gained by using news items and topics of public interest that do not solicit payments and provide a third-party endorsement. Some common activities include working with the media, speaking at conferences, and employee communication. This is what sets public relations apart from advertising! Almost every organization employs some level of public relations, to build rapport with customers, employees, voters, investors or the general public. Some of the various related disciplines that fall under the banner of corporate communications are analyst relations, investor relations, media relations, labor relations or internal communications.

Areas of Public Relations

  • Product Public Relations – deals with gaining publicity for a particular service or product using PR tactics rather than advertising.
  • Financial Public Relations – deals with providing information mainly to business reporters.
  • Crisis Public Relations – deals with responding to negative information or accusations.

Career duties and education

Researching career duties and education will be the first and foremost step to becoming a public relations manager. Most PR Managers possess a 4-year degree in public relations, advertising or communication, journalism or similar subjects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PR managers are responsible for communicating to people with whom they do business; such as stockholders, consumers or the public itself! A public relations manager is also responsible for evaluating advertising programs in order to compare it with business efforts and observe economic, social and political trends that may affect the organization. They also produce internal communications within a company such as newsletters with required company information, arrange interviews, draft speeches for management, respond to request for information or maintain archives.

Get yourself a 4-year Degree
The basic training and experience, communication skills, can be acquired by earning a degree in journalism, communications or public relations in order to become a public relations manager. Register for additional courses in public relations management, principles and techniques, writing, organizational development, journalism, desktop publishing and computer graphics, finance, advertising, political science, psychology and related courses.

Get started with an Internship
Most colleges provide programs that offer students part-time internships that give you valuable training and experience. Join organizations such as the International Association of Business Communication (IABC) or the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), while in college. Both organizations help you make contacts and get jobs in the field of public relations. 

Get a job
Looking through job postings on IABC and PRSSA websites will be the next step. It is important to keep a portfolio of published articles, radio and television programs, other public relations-affiliated work or slide presentations while applying for a job. Working for college television or radio stations or writing for school publications will provide you with work experience in this industry.

Get certified in Public Relations Getting certified in PR increases your chances for advancement! Certification is provided by the PRSSA and nine other public relations&communications organizations. The procedure includes a review and exam for individuals who have worked and taught public relations for at least 5 years. UAB (Universal Accreditation Board) conducts accreditation and this gives you a designation called APR (Accredited in Public Relations).


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