Public Relations Director: Job Duties, Salary and Requirements

Sep 29, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a public relations director. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.

Public relations directors are required to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Some employers may prefer applicants with a master's degree. To reach the role of director these professionals also need several years of experience in public relations.

Essential Information

A public relations director works as the head of a public relations firm or a business communications department. A bachelor's degree is required for employment as a public relations director; however, a master's degree may be preferred by some employers. Public relations directors often need years of work experience before obtaining their position. Computer skills are also necessary.

Required Education Bachelor's standard; master's required for some positions
Other Requirements Years of work experience, computer skills
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 8% (for public relations managers)
Average Salary (2019)** $86,048 annually (for public relations directors)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

Job Duties for a Public Relations Director

Public relations directors develop and execute strategies that are intended to create and uphold a positive public image for clients. By working and forming relationships with various members of the media, government, and public, directors generate new business opportunities. These professionals may hire and direct public relations specialists and other staff. This may include assigning activities and accounts, as well as approving and reviewing their work. In addition to supervising public relations specialists and staff, these professionals manage company or department goals and strategies.

Public relations directors are also hired by businesses to oversee their communications department. In this case, the public relations director acts as the businesses' representative during industry events and is in charge of all external communications activities. As such, directors may be responsible for researching public opinion and communicating with investors to enhance the businesses' reputation in the financial community. Other duties may include informing executives on market trends, calculating communications budgets, arranging interviews, and preparing speeches.

Public relations directors also work with marketing and advertising managers to ensure advertising campaigns are in line with the company's image and goals. Public relations directors often oversee crisis operations and work to repair a client's damaged reputation after negative incidents have occurred.

Salary for a Public Relations Director

According to, the public relations directors in the 90th percentile or higher earned $140,000 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $49,000 or less per year, in 2019. Those who have 1-4 years experience earned $54,048, while those who have 10-19 years experience earned $95,689.

Requirements for a Public Relations Director

The BLS reports that employers may favor candidates who have a bachelor's or master's degree in public relations, journalism, or a related field. Coursework for public relations degrees includes advertising, business administration, writing, public speaking, communications, and ethics. Journalism majors take classes like reporting, news writing, editing, and media ethics.

Public relations directors utilize their computer skills to keep the public informed through the press and social media tools. Public relations directors often start out as public relations specialists or journalists and may be promoted to director after years of experience.

The goal of public relations is to develop an image for the client so that the public will view them favorably. Public relations directors develop and implement strategies that will maintain and develop a positive image of their client. They may work for businesses, organizations or individuals.

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