Public relations officer

Alternative titles for this job include PR officer, PR executive, communications officer, press officer

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

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£90,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends attending events or appointments

How to become a public relations officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a college course
  • specialist courses run by a professional body

University

You could study for a degree or postgraduate award recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Courses include:

  • public relations
  • media communications
  • business and public relations

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

College

There is no set entry route to become a public relations officer but it may be useful to do a relevant subject like a Foundation Certificate in Marketing.

You can also study higher level qualifications if you're working in a marketing or communications department.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More information

Apprenticeship

You can work towards this role by doing a public relations assistant higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a higher or a degree apprenticeship

More information

Volunteering and experience

You'll find it useful to get paid or unpaid experience of working in public relations. You can do this by:

  • contacting PR departments and consultancies for work experience
  • volunteering to promote local charities
  • writing for student magazines, newspapers, blogs or social media
  • working on student or volunteer radio services

Other routes

You can do professional qualifications through the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

These can be done online or at a training centre. Courses include:

  • a Foundation Certificate for beginners
  • a Professional PR Certificate, if you're a graduate or have 2 years' experience in PR

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Public Relations and Communications Association for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a public relations officer from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Public Relations and Communications Association.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in an office.

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.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

PR & Communications Apprentice

  • Wage : £20,000.00 Monthly
  • Location: London W1T 4TQ

PR and Communications Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage : £12,000.00 Annually
  • Location: GL7 1PX

Courses In England

CIM Level 3 Foundation Certificate in Marketing: Marketing Principles module.

  • Provider: Chichester College
  • Start date: 08 January 2020
  • Location: Chichester

Digital Skills to Market your Craft - Marketing Materials

  • Provider: BAES
  • Start date: 05 July 2019
  • Location: BIRMINGHAM

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