Public Relations Manager Job Description

Public relations managers are responsible for helping a company or individual create and maintain a positive public image.

Public relations managers use many different tactics to create a positive image for their clients. Sometimes they’ll write press releases that detail a new product, service, or development, and use their contacts in the media to generate press.

Public relations managers who work with celebrities, athletes, or large companies often spend a lot of time helping their clients communicate effectively with the public. They may coach their client on how to handle certain questions, and in some cases, even answer questions themselves.

Public relations managers who work for the government are called press secretaries. For example, the White House has a press secretary who acts as a spokesperson on behalf of the president’s administration. His job is to keep the public informed about new policies, and provide daily news briefings to reporters.

Sometimes, public relations managers work closely with advertising teams to manage a brand’s public image. For example, you may have noticed that some transportation companies run advertising campaigns that highlight ways they are working on creating cleaner fuels to protect the environment. These campaigns help sway the public opinion of their product, and are often designed by a public relations team.

Public relations managers typically work closely with advertising and marketing teams to make sure that all advertising and marketing campaigns use the right messaging so they can hit their target audience and spread a message that’s consistent with the client’s other efforts.

In large agencies, public relations managers sometimes oversee a large staff of specialists. Specialists are normally responsible for carrying out the tactics that the managers design. For example, they may write the communications requested by the manager.

In many companies, public relations managers are responsible for internal communications as well. This way, all corporate communications remain on brand and tell a story that’s unified with the public perception of the company.

Work Environment and Schedule

Public relations managers are often employed by PR firms, the government, and advertising agencies. They work in pretty much every industry imaginable, since companies of all types need their services to create a positive image of their brand.

The schedule for public relations managers can be extremely demanding. Frequent travel is sometimes required, and managers can be away from home for long stretches of time. Most people in this occupation work far more than 40 hours per week. And because a client may need their services at any time, they are frequently on call at all times.

This can be a stressful occupation, as well. Many companies don’t think to call a public relations firm until they’re in the middle of a public relations crisis and need help handling it. In these cases, managers have to quickly assess the problem and come up with a plan to counter negative press.

Sometimes this occupation even when everything is going according to plan. For example, managers may have to keep track of many different events that are going on at the same time, while making sure that clients are happy. The demands on their time can be huge.

How to Become a Public Relations Manager

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required to work as a public relations manager, but some employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree. In 2010, almost 25% of all public relations managers had a master’s degree, and this number is expected to climb.

If you’re able to pursue a master’s degree and want to work in this field, you should take advantage of the opportunity. Without a master’s, your opportunities for advancement may be limited.

Though public relations managers come from all academic backgrounds, a degree in public relations, marketing, journalism, or communication is normally preferred.

Significant work experience is also required before a candidate will be considered for a public relations manager position. Many managers get their start working as public relations specialists, which are entry level positions in the field. Others work in entry level marketing or advertising roles until they’re qualified for a management position.

The amount of experienced required for a job as a public relations manager varies depending on the employer and the exact position. Anywhere between 1-5 years is normally required for lower level management positions. Up to 10 years may be required for directory level positions.

Related Occupations

Employment Outlook

There are currently 61,900 public relations managers in the United States, with 2,790 new public relations manager job openings created each year.

Public Relations Manager jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Public Relations Manager Salaries

Overall Salaries

Public Relations Manager salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most public relations managers make between $68,100 – $130,800 per year, or $32.72 – $62.88 per hour.

Updated: 09/02/2017

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