Public relations assistants are required to have a bachelor's degree and need strong communication skills. They also need to be confident and outgoing due to the nature of this entry-level position.
Public relations, also known as PR, is a field concerned with crafting a positive image for individuals, companies, or organizations through media coverage and special events. Beginners in public relations often start as PR assistants and have a wide variety of job responsibilities related to writing, research, client relations, and the production of PR materials. They need a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, or a related field.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6% for public relations specialists|
|Median Salary (2016)**||$34,443 for public relations assistants working for public relations agencies|
Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com
Job Description of a PR Assistant
PR assistants, along with account executives and other media relations specialists, help create and manage positive public perceptions of their clients. While the targeted group depends on the type of client, PR assistants help maintain affirmative relationships between the client and other businesses, employees, investors, legislators, customers, or other communities. As an entry-level employee, the PR assistant supports all members of the agency or firm in the day-to-day functions of media relations and the satisfaction of client needs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) explains that because public relations is a communications-based field, entry-level PR positions require candidates who can write, speak, and interact effectively with other associates in their firm, clients, and the media (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS notes extroversion and confidence as key personality traits, as well as the critical and analytical thinking needed to solve problems, make decisions, and conduct research.
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PR Assistant Salary
PayScale.com reports that as of January 2016 most public relations assistants received salaries between $25,773 and $45,764 per year. Public relations specialists earned between $30,873 and $66,785 at that time, according to PayScale.com.
PR Assistant Job Duties
Assistants and other entry-level employees in the PR field are often responsible for support, research, and administrative tasks when they first start. This may include preparing client files, presentations, and schedules, as well as monitoring relevant media coverage, assembling press kits, and fielding telephone calls from the media and clients. PR assistants may also distribute information between media relations specialists and account executives within the firm.
As PR assistants gain experience, they may write and edit media materials, such as press releases, newsletters, reports, and multimedia presentations. They may also help PR specialists develop communication strategies based on research and discussion with the client. Other duties may include contacting media outlets to arrange press coverage, events, and conferences, and assisting the client with speechwriting or coaching executives to deal with the media. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) notes that PR assistants may gain expertise in audio and video production, public affairs, research, or editing.
Public relations assistants provide support and administrative to help establish and maintain a positive public image for their client. They typically hold a bachelor's degree with a background in communications or public relations. In 2015, public relations assistants earned about $34,000 per year.