Public Relations

Public Relations is important in any organisation - large or small; but it's only medium to larger organisations that can generally afford to employ people to work solely on PR.

PR jobs can be one of two types:

1. PR Consultancy - Some marketing companies specialise in providing PR services to other companies. (eg. A PR consultant who operates as a one person business, through to a large PR firm that employs a number of PR experts who provide services both on a one off, and ongoing basis to clients).

2. In House PR Staff -Some larger organisations that need are involved in a lot of PR, may employ permanent PR staff, or devote a proportion of time spent by a marketing officer, on PR activity. (eg. A large processing factory that needs to maintain awareness levels and good relations with the broad community; a government department, a charitable organisation that is reliant upon donations).

What is Public Relations?

PR is part of marketing; but marketing involves more than just PR.  Public Relations focuses upon raising awareness of an organisation, product or service; and building goodwill. In some respects it can be a less "tangible" area of marketing. A salesperson can measure their work at the end of a day by the sales they have made; but a PR Officer cannot readily and precisely determine how effective their effort has been.

For some people, after working in this job for a while; the lack of immediate, and measurable results, can make public relations a less attractive career. For others, the challenge is stimulating, and having a job that allows lots of interaction with other people is extremely rewarding.

To be a Public Relations Officer, you definitely need to be a "people person". You also need to be skilled in communication, networking, and naturally well organised.

If you're the sort of person who misplaces your phone or is frequently late for appointments; then PR is probably not the job for you.


Where to Start:

Any PR Officer needs to have a broad understanding of marketing, and will be far more successful if they polish their communication skills.

  • Start out by doing a course in Marketing that includes some studies in communications
  • At the same time, start networking
  • If you plan to run your own PR Business, you should also ensure you have basic small business skills

Consider courses such as:

Marketing Foundations

Professional Practice for Consultants

Advertising an PR.

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