Have you got several years of PR experience? If so, you could be ready to move on to a public relations manager role.
Public relations managers are responsible for developing and implementing an organisation’s PR and media strategy, building its reputation and ensuring effective media coverage. As a PR manager you will draft or oversee the creation of media releases and content on social media, forge relationships with journalists and key influencers and manage the response to ‘crisis’ situations. PR managers work in every sector from finance to fashion, from education to charities.
Most PR professionals would agree that a typical day is difficult to define. But as a public relations manager you will be working on a proactive PR strategy for your organisation, often in conjunction with the director of marketing or communications.
Regularly analysing and reporting on media coverage is another key part of the job. You will cultivate relationships with influential print, digital and broadcast journalists or thought leaders within your sector. You will write or approve media releases and other press materials. You will write or approve digital content for your organisation’s social media outlets, such as regular posts, blogs or tweets.
You will brief spokespeople within your organisation on communicating with the media. You will, if your organisation is modest in size, be the first point of contact for media inquiries, or, if the organisation is larger, manage press officers who are. You will directly handle the PR response to ‘crisis’ situations.
You may organise promotional events such as press conferences or open days and supervise film or multi-media productions about your organisation.
Excellent writing and editing skills and the ability to write compelling copy are a must. Awareness of the PR significance of social media is increasingly important. Inter-personal skills are vital for developing relationships with media representatives, handling difficult situations and advising people within your organisation. You will need speaking and presentation skills and the ability to organise and plan PR strategies together with the tactics needed to achieve your ambitions.
Education to degree level is usually required. Sometimes employers are seeking a BA/MA degree in marketing, advertising or communications or a PR postgraduate qualification. But personal qualities and experience in the field are the most desired attributes.
Two to three years’ experience in public relations, either in-house or in an agency, is a minimum. A track record of developing and delivering communication strategies is desirable, as is experience of working closely with journalists and responding to media requests.
The average salary for a PR manager role ranges from around £28,000 to £50,000.
9:00am – 5.30pm, but employees are expected to work flexibly, to attend evening events, socialise and network with clients, and be on call in the event of crisis situations developing. Many jobs require a willingness to travel.
Public relations managers can make lateral moves to better-paid positions with different organisations. But after two or three years as a public relations manager, it is possible to move up to become a director of PR and communications. Self-employment is also an option for experienced PR professionals, as a freelance or leading your own PR firm.
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