Public relations managers supervise employees who specialize in public relations, and coordinate publicity programs that target a specific public demographic. They use any and all available medium to solidify and maintain the support of consumers, stockholders, or the general public. They evaluate and reconcile the compatibility of advertising and promotions with the public relations of the company. They observe social, economic, and political trends that could affect the firm in any way, and make recommendations to top management accordingly.
Public relations managers must be able to communicate, both in writing and orally, in a persuasive manner. They must be able to sell their ideas to other managers and executives, as well as maintain a positive public image of their organization. They also need to be mature, creative, highly motivated, resistant to stress, flexible, and decisive. In addition, they need to be able to use tact and good judgment.
In 2002, marketing managers earned a median annual salary of $60,640. The median annual salary for public relations managers in colleges, universities, and professional schools was $55,510.
Training and Education
Most employers prefer candidates with bachelor’s or master’s degree in public relations or journalism. Some candidates get hired with experience in a related occupation and a broad liberal arts degree, such as sociology or literature. Courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, political science, and creative and technical writing are usually viewed favorably by employers. Other resume enhancers include courses in management, school internships, familiarity with word processing and database applications, and fluency in a foreign language.
Out of the nearly 700,000 related jobs in 2002, about 69,000 people were employed as public relations managers. While these managers were found in almost every industry, a majority of public relations managers were employed in services industries such as professional, scientific, and technical services, finance and insurance, health care and social assistance services, and educational services.
Between 2002 and 2012, the number of public relations managers is expected to increase faster than the average. This is due to intense domestic and global competition in products and services offered to consumers. However, employment growth will vary greatly by industry. In scientific, professional, and related services, employment growth will grow much faster than average; while growth in manufacturing will stay the same. Because of the desirability of these types of positions and the opportunity for advancement, competition for most jobs in this sector is expected to be fierce.
Please visit our section on Marketing Education for more information on becoming a Public Relations Manager.