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Public relations officer PR officer, PR executive, communications officer, press officer

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Public relations (PR) officers manage an organisation's public image and reputation.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £90,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need a foundation degree, higher national diploma (HND) or degree. This can be in any subject.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) lists relevant qualifications, including postgraduate degrees.

Experience gained from an internship or relevant voluntary work will help.

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You could move into PR if you've experience in areas like journalism, advertising, marketing or fundraising.

Another option is to start as an administrator, publicity assistant or information officer and work your way up.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent writing skills
  • confident communication and presentation skills
  • creativity and initiative
  • strong organisational and time-management skills
  • the ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines

3. What you'll do

You'll work in a company's in-house PR department, or at an agency that looks after PR for a number of clients.

You could work in the private or public sector, or for a charity.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • planning PR campaigns and strategies based on research
  • monitoring and reacting to the public and media's opinion of your client or employer
  • writing and editing press releases, speeches, newsletters, leaflets, brochures and websites
  • creating content on social media and responding quickly to user comments
  • arranging and attending events like press launches, news conferences, exhibitions and open days
  • developing good working relationships with the media to promote your clients
  • arranging photoshoots and production of promotional videos
  • public speaking at presentations, conferences or radio and TV interviews

You may also be involved with your local community to make sure that the company you work for is represented positively. This could include sponsoring corporate events or fundraising for local charities.

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £22,000

Experienced: £24,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000 to £90,000 (Director)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Hours can be irregular and may involve early starts, late finishes and working at the weekend if you have a deadline.

You could also be reacting to a crisis in the UK or in a different time zone.

You'll usually work in an office. You may also travel to attend events and conferences, and to meet clients.

6. Career path and progression

With in-house PR officer experience, you could be promoted to PR manager, social media manager or head of communications.

With agency experience, you could progress to senior account executive or account manager.

You could go freelance or move into advertising, marketing or journalism.

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Last updated: 28 July 2017