Public Relations Salary By Experience
|Experience Level||Low Hourly||High Hourly||Low Annual||High Annual|
|20 Years +||$19.02||$51.76||$39,560.00||$107,660.00|
Public relations officers, also called public relations specialists, are professionals whose responsibility is to handle the public image of their employers and ensure that their clients project a positive representation to the media and the general public. Public relations practitioners also ensure a smooth and continuous flow of information from their clients to the public. Simply speaking, people engaging in public relations are tasked to give and instill to the public a favorable view about their employers, the leadership and management, and their overall activities.
The usual approaches employed by public relations specialists include press conferences, newsletters, video and article releases, and fundraising events. They also prepare press kits which are given to media members to create interest and generate exposure from the press. With the advent of the Internet and social media, public relations also adapted to these technologies and eventually developed strategies that will give their clients presence in the online world such as blogging, websites, and official pages in social networking sites.
Aside from presenting a good image of their employers, professional public relations specialists are also tasked to do "damage control", where they need to counter the potential adverse consequences that might arise from a controversial business decision or to counter the effects of damaging information released by a third party or an internal saboteur. For example, a company retrenching thousands of workers can put the reputation of the organization at risk. Public relations officers counter these kind of problems by making media statements to justify the move.
In the United States, there are now 212,510 public relations specialists and practitioners employed. The median public relations salary is $53,190 per annum. Those who are in the top 10% of the demographic are making $96,880 per year, or more. PR practitioners in the bottom 10% are making less than $30,860.
Advertising public relations firms are the biggest employers of PR practitioners and consultants. In the United States, there are 30,830 PR specialists working in said companies and are earning around $73,190 a year, which is much higher than the nation's public relations salary average. Business, labor, and political organizations come up next, with 19,440 PR specialists working for them for an average pay rate of $59,640 a year, which is a lower than the national figure.
For those who are motivated by high income potential, working in firms engaged in water and sewage systems should be an option. A public relations officer in such company can earn an average public relations salary of $94,390 on a yearly basis. However, the employment opportunities are not that vast compared to other industries. The same can be said about the employment prospects in postal service providers who offer $89,450 annually but have limited employment options for PR specialists.
It is also important to take note that there are other variables that affect salary rates by employer types. Such variables include the stress levels, the working conditions, the environment, and the working hours among others. Understanding how these factors play out in establishing your pay grade will help you make good decisions such as choosing your employer and mapping out your career and establishing your long term goals.
The typical public relations specialist has a bachelor's degree, preferably in mass communication, journalism, or business and marketing. Knowledge in key areas like advertising, finance, business communication, and public affairs can prove to be crucial at the starting phase of one's career. While having a degree in other fields is accepted, employers tend to hire and pay premium public relations wage rates to those that can easily grasp the responsibilities of the position and require less training and supervision.
Most public relations specialists train while on the job and are monitored by experienced PR staff members. Upon gaining extensive knowledge and experience, one can be considered qualified to take a certification program offered by the Public Relations Society of America.
He or she can also opt to go for the Accredited Business Communicator credential, which is given by the International Association of Business Communicators.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the public relations industry will grow by 21% within the 2010-2020 decade according to a recent report. This growth is described by the said government agency as faster than the average for all occupations.
Growth will be spurred by the increasing significance of public relations in the business and commercial industries. More and more organizations are now utilizing public relations programs to bolster their reputation and further enhance their visibility in public. The internet has been used heavily to launch PR programs and this trend will affect other industries such as media and advertising.
Also, the positions that will open up as a result of PR practitioners retiring from the profession will provide employment opportunities for those who are coming to the industry. Competition will be fierce even at the entry level. Those with college degrees related to communications, business, and journalism and have strong communication, research, and organizational skills are more likely to get hired over other job seekers.
Entry level public relations specialists usually start out as staff members of the PR department of the company, being trained and supervised by experienced staff members. Typically, they are assigned to organized and maintain files and other materials for PR programs. They are also tasked to do research, skim newspapers and gather information to help in composing speeches.
After years of extensive experience, one can be promoted to project supervisor or campaign manager. These positions demand high level of public relations expertise as the tasks include complex duties designing a PR campaign, TV and print advertising, or organizing fundraising events.
Most public relations specialists start their careers in advertising agencies and public relations firms. Other sectors, such as business, political, and religious organizations, academic institutions, and government agencies provide substantial job prospects as well.
Occupations closely related to the public relations specialist profession include:
Good public relations is not always an easy task. More than just a strong academic background, a PR professional also needs to know how to deal with the media and general public. Communication skills, research skills, analytical thinking, and problem solving skills are demanded by this particular occupation. Also, it can be quite a challenge to represent a company or organization with questionable reputation. However, the challenge is a rewarding one that many PR workers can spin into a successful and lucrative career.