What Does a Public Relations Manager Do?

FT Contributor  | 

As one of the highest-paying careers in business, a public relations (PR) manager is responsible for creating and upholding the public image of a company, business, or individual. A PR manager must develop and implement an extensive social media and marketing strategy that communicates the personality and mission of a company or individual.

Some PR managers may be in charge of a team of PR specialists or administrators to assist with the implementation of media strategies. The role is similar to a marketing manager since the person in this position must create a marketing campaign that leads to desirable results. Experience in marketing and public relations is crucial in this role.

While a job as a PR manager can be exciting and rewarding, the role can also be stressful and demanding. Ensuring a company or individual holds a reputable image in the public’s eye and executing a complex plan to ensure the company or individual stays relevant and beloved can be exhausting. Learning more about educational requirements, the salary and job demands, and the intricacies of the role may help you determine if you want to pursue a career as a PR manager.

PR Manager Responsibilities

A PR manager takes on the responsibility of developing a comprehensive media strategy for a corporation, company, small business, or individual. In some cases, they may have several clients they’re assisting at one time. There are many other responsibilities a PR manager may be assigned, depending on the type of company or client they work for. These duties may include the following:

  • Develop a public image and brand for a company or individual.
  • Identify the audience and customers the client is attempting to target.
  • Pinpoint the channels that may be used to reach this audience, such as social media or advertising on local TV.
  • Help companies or individuals communicate with the public through content or interviews.
  • Prepare information for media outlets about client accomplishments, such as scripts and press releases.
  • Meet with company spokespersons and executives to review plans and strategies.
  • Create promotional and advertising campaigns.
  • Review and supervise other PR workers to help implement strategies and tasks.

PR managers must establish close relationships with their clients, PR staff that helps implement strategies, and members of the media. They’re expected to use these relationships to ensure campaigns receive the positive outcome and results they’re counting on.

PR Manager Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, PR managers earn an average annual salary of $114,800. However, the specific salary you earn in this position depends on your experience, employer, and location. The lowest 10% of PR managers earned an average salary of $64,250 while the highest 10% earned an average salary of $208,000.

Due to inflation and the need for PR managers who possess advanced skills in social media and online branding, salaries in this role are consistently increasing. PR managers also earn higher salaries when they work in populous cities, such as New York City or Washington, D.C. However, the cost of living in these cities is also usually higher.

Some PR managers work directly for one company or individual while others have several clients they assist with creating and implementing media strategies. The highest-paid PR managers work in professional or technical services and in the management of corporations and enterprises. Lower-paying PR manager positions are available in the state, local, and private educational sectors.

PR Manager Job Requirements

To become a PR manager, you must at least have a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in communications may also prepare you for the role.

In addition to education, most employers require that you have experience as a PR or marketing specialist before taking on the role of a PR manager. In many cases, PR managers start out working in the marketing or public relations department at a company to gain experience before advancing to this management position.

There are specific skills and personality traits you must possess to be successful in a PR manager position, which include the following:

  • Leadership skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Experience with marketing and PR.
  • Creativity.
  • Presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Writing experience and skills.

Employers may not require that you’re certified to land a job as a PR manager. However, with experience in the field, you may earn your PR manager certification through the Public Relations Society of America. To become a certified PR manager, you must qualify by proving you’ve earned an education in a related field, have experience as a PR professional, and by passing a public relations exam.

PR Manager Job Outlook

Employment for PR managers is expected to grow by a rate of 8% from 2018 to 2028. This is a faster than average growth rate when compared to all other occupations. Over the decade, about 7,800 new job openings for PR managers are expected to be created each year. Most of these openings may be created when current PR managers retire and leave the workforce. Some openings may also be available due to current PR managers making career changes and entering new industries.

Job seekers looking to land jobs as PR managers may find competition with candidates who also have experience in the public relations and marketing fields. PR managers from other public relations firms or job seekers looking for an industry change may also be stiff competition. If you have experience with media outlets and assisting other companies with media strategies, it’s important to highlight these past professional experiences when applying for jobs with potential employers.

Should I Become a PR Manager?

When deciding whether a job as a PR manager is right for you, it’s important to analyze what you enjoy doing, your personality traits, and your skillset. The role requires you to be a spokesperson for your client, interact with the media, and engage in presentations. Therefore, you must have a passion for communication and public speaking. If you don’t enjoy speaking in public or presenting your ideas to a room full of executives, it may not be the best job for you.

To be successful as a PR manager, you must also have the skills and knowledge to create an effective marketing and public relations campaign. Using your creativity and experience with media outlets and social media platforms, you’re tasked with designing a unique PR strategy that caters to your client’s needs. You must identify the distinctive characteristics of your client and use them to develop a distinctive brand personality that’s easily communicated through several media channels.

While PR managers have exciting jobs that include different tasks and interactions each day, the role may be stressful. As a PR manager, your client is counting on you to ensure a good image of the company is portrayed in the media. You must utilize your skills and expertise to expose your client’s brand name to as much good publicity as possible so they can increase profitability and recognition.

If you pursue a career as a PR manager, you’re in for an exciting job with a generous salary. However, it’s important to review the job duties, and the personality traits you should possess to succeed in this position. As a PR manager, you’re responsible for developing a creative media strategy that gains exposure and builds positive branding for your clients. If you’re outgoing and have extensive communication and marketing skills and experience, you may enjoy taking on the role of a PR manager.


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