Publicity Manager: Job Duties & Requirements

Apr 15, 2019

Learn about the type of work a publicity manager performs. Discover what education is required in addition to exploring salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.

Career Definition for a Publicity Manager

Publicity managers, also referred to as public relations managers, work with individuals and companies in an attempt to help them earn favorable press in the media. Having great people skills is a must for publicity managers; the job requires one to have an abundance of contacts at newspapers, magazines, television stations and other outlets. Most firms demand at least a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions; moving up the ranks may require a higher degree.

Education Bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree
Job Skills Great people skills, good organization, excellent writing and communication skills
Median Salary (2018)* $114,800 (for public relations and fundraising managers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 10% (for public relations and fundraising managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate programs to prepare students for publicity manager careers, and master's and doctoral degrees are also possible for this field. Degrees that offer good preparation for publicity managers include a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, a Master of Arts in Public Relations and a Doctorate in Public Relations. Students in these programs can expect to take classes in writing, marketing, computer science, public speaking, psychology, sociology and communication theory.

Skills Required

Publicity managers must have stellar people skills because the ability to influence media members in favor of an employer requires a subtle touch. Organizational skills are also necessary so that publicity managers are able to contact sources at the drop of a hat. Publicity managers must also have excellent writing and communication skills; they frequently draft press releases and speak to large groups of people.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 72,460 jobs existed for public relations and fundraising managers in 2018 ( Job growth for these managers is expected to be 10% from 2016 to 2026; more and more businesses are placing an emphasis on having a favorable opinion in the public, thus creating a need for more publicity managers. As of May 2018, the median salary for public relations and fundraising managers was $114,800; the salaries for those at the top of the field were upwards of $208,000.

Alternative Careers

Similar careers to a publicity manager include:

Public Relations (PR) Specialist

For those wanting to perform public relations and publicity work but don't desire the management responsibilities, becoming a public relations specialist may be a good option. Public relations specialists reply to media inquiries, create press releases and speeches, schedule interviews with corporate officers and execute other duties as specified by the supervising manager. To work as a PR specialist, a bachelor's degree in a related field such as communications, business, public relations or journalism is usually necessary, and completing an internship may be beneficial. Between 2016 and 2026, the BLS predicts a 9% increase in job opportunities for public relations specialist. As estimated by the BLS in 2018, these specialists earned a median annual income of $60,000.

Advertising Sales Agent

If convincing businesses to buy advertising space and services sounds interesting, consider a career in advertising sales. Advertising sales agents find leads, present a customized sales pitch to businesses, explain service details and make style recommendations, complete all necessary documents, show ad proofs to clients and follow up to make sure clients are satisfied after project completion. While some may get an advertising sales job with only a high school diploma and relevant job experience, many employers often prefer candidates with a college degree in a related business or communications field. In May of 2018, the BLS reported that advertising sales agents received $51,740 in median wages. This profession is projected to experience a 4% decrease during the 2016-2026 decade, according to the BLS, and this is mostly due to the decline of print publications.

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