How to Become a Public Relations Manager

Public Relations Manager Key Stats
Education 4+ Years
Job Outlook 13%

Public relations managers work to promote businesses and individuals and to help give them a good reputation.

If you’re looking for a business career based around marketing and promotion, then you might like to become a public relations manager.

In many instances, the success of a company can depend on its reputation.

If a company is not well known, then consumers may not be aware of or trust their products.

If a performer or artist is known to have bad or negative characteristics to their personal life, people may lose interest in them.

If a business is seen as being greedy and not charitable, customers may look elsewhere.

A public relations manager would seek to resolve all of these issues, and change the way these companies and individual are viewed by the public.

Education Requirements to Become a Public Relations Manager

If you would like to become a public relations manager, then you will need to complete a college degree.

The minimum requirement to get an entry level job is a four year undergraduate degree in public relations, communications, or journalism.

A great way to get a job is to complete internships at college.

While you’ll gain valuable experience, these roles can often result in a job being offered later on.

Public relations has a lot to do with networking.

Meeting industry contacts will be very helpful now, and later on as well.

To be successful in the work of public relations you will need to be creative.

Good problem solving skills are needed, and of course you will need to be able to think on your feet.

Written and verbal communication skills are needed, and will be used on a daily basis in the working world.

Public Relations Manager Job Description

A public relations manager seeks to improve the reputation of its clients.

In the case of an unknown person or company, they will look for opportunities to put them in the spotlight.

This could be in the media, at public events, or through the use of the internet and social media.

A public relations manager is also careful to avoid overexposure.

Many magazine articles and news stories start with a public relations manager.

They write a press release about their client that is built around getting them some attention.

The media and news agencies pick up on the story, giving the client the attention they seek.

Public relations managers also seek to rebuild damaged reputations.

It could be the sports star in a sex scandal, the big business in the midst of an oil spill, or the politician caught with a brief case full of cash.

The PR expert will rebuild the public’s faith in them.

They may plan for them to appear doing charitable work, spending time with family, or other things that will be looked upon in high regard.

Most public relations managers work in an office environment and work a forty hour week.

They may sometimes work overtime.

Often, they will be required to attend events and functions.

Public Relations Manager Salary and Career Path

If you would like to become a public relations manager, your first job will probably be as someone’s assistant.

Work hard and learn on the job, and you will be promoted to a role such as public relations specialist.

As your experience grows, you be given more clients and responsibilities.

Eventually you could expect to become a public relations manager, and be responsible for other employees and teams.

The median salary for a public relations manager is $51,000 a year.

The top 10% earned over $91,000 a year.

More information on a career in public relations is available from the Public Relations Society of America.

Some jobs that are similar to public relations manager you might be interested in include:

  • Events manager
  • Advertising manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Lawyer
  • Market researcher
  • Journalist
  • Reporter

When you become a public relations manager you are certainly up for an exciting job that will offer a lot of variation and plenty of challenges.

There is room to climb the career ladder here, and even the possibility of having your own company one day.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Public Relations and Fundraising Managers, OCC Code 11-2030, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a public relations manager do?

The main goal of a public relations manager is to plan and create a certain material that will help maintain or enhance the public image of his or her client.

The typical responsibilities of a public relations manager usually include preparing information for the media (writing press releases); helping their clients communicate with the public; developing the image and identity of their employer or client; devising promotion programs; supervising the activities of staff, and so on.

The specialists help clarify their employer’s point of view to the audience by recommending ways to enhance the overall image of the company or individual.

A public relations manager might sometimes be responsible for handling internal communications (like newsletters, for example).

Specialists can be working closely with lawyers to ensure that the information is both clear to the public and legally correct.

How much do public relations managers make?

On average, public relations managers make a little more than $105.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to choose this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $50.000 and $176.000; however, some public relations managers can earn more or less than that.

The salary would certainly depend on your overall experience, education level, and the company or individual that you are working for.

The most jobs in the industry are provided by universities, colleges, and professional schools (the average salary is nearly $96.000).

However, in case you want to make more, you can try applying for a position in advertising and other related services (over $125.500 per year).

How much does it cost to become a public relations manager?

If you want to become a public relations manager, you have to be prepared to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree; however, some employers might require you to have a master’s degree.

A year in a university will cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $30.000 (and more); to obtain a master’s degree, you would have to pay over $30.000.

If you want, you can get certified through the Public Relations Society of America (it will cost you around $300).

What is the demand for public relations managers?

From 2012 to 2022, the public relations manager job market is expected to grow by 13%, which is higher than the national average.

That means that the industry is going to be providing good employment opportunities in the near future.

The role of online social media is increasing; organizations and individuals would need public relations managers to communicate with the audience effectively, especially in the time when the news travel at lightning speed.

How long does it take to become a public relations manager?

You would need four years to complete a bachelor’s degree.

In case you decide to go for a master’s degree, it will take you another year or two to obtain one.

To qualify for the majority of certification programs you would need to have at least a few years of experience (5 years of work experience to apply for the Certified Fund Raising Executive program, for example).

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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