How to Become a Non-Profit Marketing and PR Manager?
Steps to Become a Public Relations SpecialistPublic relations (PR) specialists handle public communications for their clients. These clients may include celebrities, organizations, politicians, companies, and the government. PR specialists handle social media communications, press releases, case studies, trend stories, and more. They continuously assess the public opinion of their clients and take the appropriate actions to attempt to manage that opinion. This might include scheduling interviews, writing speeches, or designing advertising campaigns. Here are four steps you should follow to become a public relations specialist.
Get a bachelor's degree.
Most employers prefer to hire PR specialists with a minimum of a bachelor's degree. A public relations degree is the most obvious fit, but you can also get a job as a PR specialist with a related degree, such as communications, marketing, advertising, or journalism. PR specialists must be skilled in verbal and written communication, so it's important to take courses on these topics.
Complete an internship.
A public relations internship is widely regarded as the best way to gain entry into this field. It's best to seek an internship within the industry that most interests you so you can begin building contacts and networking in this area.
Not only will you form great contacts as an intern, but you'll also get some essential hands-on experience. Many internships involve drafting press releases, pitching articles, scheduling social media content, and analyzing public opinion. You may even elect to complete multiple internships as you pursue your college degree.
Get relevant work experience.
Most employers prefer to hire PR specialists with two to five years of relevant experience. Consider entry-level jobs that will help you build a solid foundation in communications and marketing, such as a public relations and communications assistant, marketing assistant, media relations professional, or marketing assistant. You can also hone your PR skills by volunteering with local organizations. Sign on to help promote charity events, assist with social media communications, or design marketing campaigns as a volunteer. You can add these projects to your resume and use them to demonstrate your expertise in properly handling public opinion.
Though not required to work as a public relations specialist, accreditation can help you increase your employability, particularly in the early stages of your career. The Public Relations Society of America offers an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential. To earn accreditation, you must complete the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations application, sit for a panel presentation, and complete the computer-based examination.
To maintain your certification, you must submit a renewal application every three years. The application requires professionals to earn a minimum of 10 points from qualifying activities, including at least five points in continuing education and professional development. You can earn points by completing educational opportunities, giving presentations or speeches, serving as a PR instructor, publishing works that contribute to the practice of public relations, serving in public relations organizations, and more.
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