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Press Secretary: Job Description, Salary and Career Outlook

Press secretaries need to have completed formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and career outlook for press secretaries to see if this is the right career for you.

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Press secretaries typically work for governments, industries or organizations. They present information to the public to help maintain or improve the public's perspective of their employer.

Essential Information

Press secretaries are public relations professionals who handle crucial communication tasks for diverse industries, governments and other organizations. The high-profile and public nature of press secretary work may attract many ambitious and career-minded professionals who have completed bachelor's degree programs.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% for all public relations specialists
Median Salary (2015)* $56,770 annually for all public relations specialists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Job Description of a Press Secretary

According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), public relations helps an organization and the public adapt to one another. Press secretaries are public relations professionals who typically represent a government agency rather than a person or corporation. Their job duties resemble those of a public relations or public affairs specialist, but they may need specialized knowledge of politics, law, and governmental institutions in their region.

Press secretaries work with the news media on print and broadcast stories. They answer questions from reporters and write press releases for media consideration, attempting to create brand awareness and create good will toward their client. They also draft speeches and letters, maintain relationships with individuals and businesses, conduct public programs, plan meetings, and represent a politician or government sector at public forums. They may be held accountable for presenting agency objectives and demonstrating progress toward those ends. Public relations specialists may work long hours with considerable stress and deadlines, and they can be called upon in off-hours to handle emergencies.

Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median salary of public relations specialists was $56,770 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). In this field, the top ten percent of workers were paid more than $110,080, while the bottom ten percent earned $31,690 or less. Public relations specialists working for the federal government earned an average (mean) salary of $89,640.

Career Outlook

Spending on public relations services totaled $5.7 billion in 2010, which marked a 12.8% increase compared to 2009, according to the PRSA. There were 240,700 public relations specialist jobs in 2014, according to the BLS, which anticipated that employment would increase 6% from 2014 to 2024. This may be partly due to an increase in need for those with a background in social networking and multimedia communications in a variety of fields.

Press secretaries are public relations specialists who do not work for individuals, but rather represent industries, organizations, or governments. They can expect an average rate of job growth from 2014 to 2024, and while press secretaries earned a median annual salary exceeding $56,000 as of 2015, salaries in some industries were higher. Those employed by the federal government earned a mean annual salary exceeding $89,000 in 2015.

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