Overview of Public Relations Careers & Related Skills

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

In this lesson, we'll define public relations. You'll learn about the roles and responsibilities of four public relations careers as well as the educational requirements, skills, and experience needed to obtain a job in the industry.

What Is Public Relations?

Lila just graduated with honors from one of the top high schools in the nation. She's trying to decide on a college major. She's meeting with several public relations representatives to learn more about the industry they serve and gain a pulse on her interest. Today she's paired with Julio, the CEO of a public relations firm. He explains that public relations helps entities and individuals shape how the public views their organization or persona. Julio explains various types of public relations careers.

Social Media Manager

One of the fastest growing public relations careers is social media manager. The main function of a social media manager is to promote the company's brand on major social media networks. Responsibilities include creating engaging content, interacting with the social media community, and analyzing the most effective campaigns.

Social media has become a large part of public relations for many companies.
social media is a big part of public relations

Julio gives Lila an example of a large retail outlet posting a list of appropriate accessories for winter. Afterwards, the manager asks community members to upload pictures of themselves wearing the accessories purchased from the store. Lila thinks about how she's always on social media, and this would be an awesome job.

Corporate Spokesperson

Julio asks Lila if she's shy. Lila exclaims, ''No way! I'm a social butterfly!'' He shares that this position might be a good fit. Corporate spokespeople communicate with the public on behalf of a business or organization. Responsibilities include making public statements and giving interviews on TV, radio, and social media. Julio reminds Lila that the interaction with the public may not always be positive. For example, if consumers have been harmed by the company's product, there may be a public backlash. The corporate spokesperson must communicate with the public in a professional, compassionate manner while understanding the legalities of his or her statements and comments.


Publicists can work for an in-house team or public relations firm that services various clients. Julio explains that he began his public relations career as an in-house publicist. Publicists' responsibilities include creating a campaign to promote the organization's or individual's brand, products, services, or events. They also manage their client's image and do damage control during negative press. Julio mentions that his company represents several professional athletes, celebrities, and wealthy clients, so confidentiality is a huge factor.


Julio explains that a copywriter is not what he considers a traditional public relations job because copywriters typically do not interact with the public. Instead, they write the material that is communicated and promoted to the public, such as press releases, blogs, marketing material, advertisements, and emails. Copywriters need exceptional writing abilities and in-depth knowledge of the organization, its vision, goals, products, and/or services.

Qualifications of a Public Relations Professional

Julio then tells Lila about the typical career requirements:

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