The Importance of Public Relations

This week, our class will be focusing on careers in the IMC field. After taking both the introduction and advanced IMC classes, I have found that public relations is a vital part of this field. Searching for a job after college can now be very difficult with the current job market. By having the right qualifications and characteristics, anyone can achieve a career in public relations. Companies such as Nike and Walmart, along with individuals such as Tiger Woods, have used public relations tactics to regain respect from the public. This field has proven its importance through the several successful, and failed, PR stunts.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public relations specialists “serve as advocates for clients seeking to build and maintain positive relationships with the public.” In order to be successful in PR, you must be able to work well with others and maintain your time wisely. Someone working in this field must be capable of making the public happy and taking their harsh criticism. PR deals with businesses ranging from nonprofit organizations to fortune 500 companies.

Salaries for a worker in the public relations field can vary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in May of 2008, the annual salary of a PR specialist was around $51,280. You can earn anywhere from about $30,000 per year to $100,000 per year, depending on experience and actual position in the field. Public relations is just like any company though; if you work hard enough, you can work your way up.

Whether interested in working for a privately owned public relations firm or becoming an in-house PR representative, the work is stressful. Experience with press releases and face-to-face interaction will certainly help for success in this field. Being able to openly communicate with the client and efficiently multi-task are necessary characteristics of working in the public relations field. The demanding work load and pressures of deadlines can certainly be difficult, but the payoff is all worth it.

Lacey Inman