Have you ever wondered what PR career options exist?
Confused about which PR career path you should choose as your own?
Are you having trouble narrowing down between two or more Public relations career options?
Well, if you’ve been looking for help decoding the many PR job descriptions and finding the right fit for yourself, this article will surely help you. However, before we get into answering the question of which PR career options fit your strengths, let’s understand what PR means.
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What Exactly Is PR (Public Relations)?
Public relations refer to the communication relationship between a brand, company or organization, and the public. PR managers and executives help companies project a positive brand image to the public in order to achieve their organizational goals.
Unlike advertisers who pay for ads or media coverage, PR executives aim at gaining organic or unpaid media attention for the clients. Within PR operations, the decision on whether a story or piece of news is worthy of coverage rests with the journalists. Additionally, PR executives represent the interests of (a) specific client(s), usually by liaising with the marketing or corporate communications departments.
The core motivation behind public relations activities and strategies are that positive media coverage will convince more people to purchase their products or services. It can also include promoting the ideas or values of an individual or organizations.
When looking at PR career options that would suit you best, it’s essential to consider your strengths. To do that, you first need to understand what professionals with careers in PR do.
What Do Public Relations Professional Do?
Professionals with careers in Public Relations often work in a dynamic, constantly evolving and ever-changing environment that doesn’t leave much room for monotony. PR careers in India are considered among the best and are highly sought-after.
But what do these professionals do?
PR executives have a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities that fall under their job responsibilities. It could range from connecting with media contacts, writing press conferences, managing or arranging events, creating a newsletter, all the way up to setting up interviews.
Needless to say, whatever PR career options you pick from, you need to be well-organized, a quick thinker, logical, detail-oriented, confident, assertive, and you should be willing to reach out to many people daily. Apart from that, you need to have excellent reading, comprehension and writing skills. Having an aptitude for social media, marketing, and sales also helps tremendously.
PR Career Paths and Public Relations Job Descriptions
Now that we have understood what people with a career in PR do, let’s talk about your choices regarding PR career paths by examining the different PR job descriptions and their responsibilities.
Public Relations Director
A Public Relations Director is the person who is responsible for directing, designing and creating the core strategy of PR initiatives for all the clients, brands or organizations that are a part of the agency. PR directors are the people at the helm of the whole operation, and anything that happens within the PR agency falls under the PR Director’s purview. These professionals are often lead spokespeople for the organization.
They also manage their team and oversee the progress of various departments. While they don’t exactly sit down to execute day-to-day operations, they are responsible for it all. Needless to say, you can’t just start your career in PR as a Public Relations Director; it takes decades of hard work and consistent effort to develop the skills needed to excel in this role.
When you think about PR careers in India, you may be thinking about a publicist. Whether they work in a PR agency or whether they are a part of an in-house PR team, a publicist is someone who develops, curated and executes PR strategies. While the Public Relations Director may be the captain of the ship, a publicist is the one who rows the boat closer to its destination.
If you’re considering a career path in PR as a publicist, remember that they are the ones responsible for crafting campaigns and coming up with creative solutions for the client’s needs. They need to identify the best channels and strategies to promote their client’s goals and execute them. Many publicists choose to work with individual sportspeople, celebrities, political leaders or other eminent personalities to promote their personal brand, projects or services.
Public Relations Specialist
While it may seem that way at first glance, publicists and PR specialists aren’t the same. PR specialists are tasked with being the single point of contact for journalists, writers and other media channels. These professionals are responsible for ideating, generating, and broadcasting positive press coverage for their many clients. They do this by developing a professional relationship with journalists, writers, editors etc., and pitching client stories to them based on their interest.
A good PR specialist knows how to identify if a particular story is newsworthy or valuable to their media networks. So, if you want to have a PR career as a specialist, it pays to learn how to represent your clients in a favourable light.
Public Relations Assistants are responsible for supporting other PR professionals with their day-to-day tasks. Usually, PR assistants work in close proximity to senior PR professionals like directors and specialists. These individuals are tasked with clerical responsibilities like conducting research, scheduling meetings, tracking PR coverage for clients, preparing press clips for media contacts, etc. They may also be the one who sends email blasts and updates contacts. If you’re considering the PR career path of an assistant, remember that you will have to be a pro at multi-tasking, organizing and managing day-to-day operations.
While copywriters are usually thought to be employed by advertising agencies and brands, even PR firms need copywriters. A PR copywriter is tasted with crafting copy for publicity, marketing or event-related materials for clients. Press releases, blog posts, and emails are vital types of copywriting needed in the public relations sphere. However, it’s essential to maintain a consistent brand voice among the same brand or organization’s communication and collaterals.
If you’re considering a copywriting career in PR, remember that you will be working with more practical and serious briefs instead of creative briefs usually found in ad agencies.
Social Media Manager
Another exciting career in PR is that of a social media manager. PR social media managers usually work towards promoting client organizations or brands on popular social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Medium etc. These managers are responsible for interacting with their client’s social media communities, creating branded content, and measuring the success of various social media-led PR activities or initiatives.
While this article covers a wide variety of PR career options, your career in PR starts with the proper education and training.
If you wish to become an expert PR professional, check out MICA and upGrad’s Public Relations M.A. Program and kickstart your journey towards success. With this program, you can become an expert in PR strategy, communications, implementation tactics, and much more.