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Public relations officer PR officer, communications officer, press officer

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £100,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements but you'll usually need a relevant degree or postgraduate qualification. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) lists relevant qualifications.

You could start as an administrator, publicity assistant or information officer and work your way up, or gain experience through an internship or relevant voluntary work.

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

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

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.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • planning PR campaigns and strategies
  • monitoring the public and media's opinion of your client or employer
  • writing and editing press releases, speeches, newsletters, leaflets, brochures, websites and social media
  • arranging and attending events like press launches, news conferences, exhibitions and open days
  • developing good working relationships with the media
  • arranging for advertising or promotional films to be produced
  • 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 £20,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £80,000 to £100,000

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 or are reacting to a crisis.

You'll normally 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 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: 11 April 2017