Public Relations Officer

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Photo by Vanilla Bear Films on Unsplash

In recent years, PR officers’ demand in the public and private sectors has gone up. It can be an exciting career option to get exposed to organizing events, reputation management, press conferences, and more.

If you want to find your niche in this domain, read on to understand what PR is and what skills you need to take on responsibilities in this field.

What is Public Relations (PR)?

PR can be defined as the deliberate, sustained, and planned effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its publics.

PR involves many roles and activities but mainly to maintain its image among its publics by having good long-term relationships.

Public relations aims at establishing the success of an organization by engaging people in its operation, whether they are shareholders, employees, or customers.

What does a Public Relations Officer do?

A PR officer is the spokesperson of an organization. Their role is to convey the organization’s policies and interests to the public through various strategies.

With the help of their team, the PRO is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing strategic communications activities for their organization, coordinating effective media, community and public relations, marketing, social media, and so much more.

As a PRO, you need to expect :

  • Getting exposure in marketing campaigns and media relations.
  • Learning how to organize, multitask and manage time.
  • Exposure to the field of public relations and its various responsibilities.

PRO’s are needed in almost every sector, including private companies, advertising agencies, financial organizations, government agencies, charities, etc.

Primary responsibilities of a PRO include:

  1. Developing, recommending, and implementing overall communication strategies for various organizational programs.
  2. They are compiling data from various sources(e.g., staff, agencies, public) to ensure compliance with organizational policies.
  3. Coordinating a variety of activities and events (e.g., marketing activities).
  4. Establishing positive Media relations with various media entities.
  5. Identifying effective communication strategies for each stakeholder group/publics.
  6. Presenting information on a variety of topics to provide appropriate information to stakeholders.
  7. Carry out the research required to manage assignments, including reviewing relevant policies, current business trends, financial resources, etc.
  8. Crisis management.
  9. Reputation management.
  10. Communication with senior management.
  11. Public speaking at interviews, press release conferences, and presentations.

Depending on the organization, a PRO may be required to carry out other more general marketing responsibilities. These can involve working on websites, social media managing, and other responsibilities.

What do you need to become a Public Relations Officer? (PRO)

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There are no specific qualifications to become a public relations officer; however, having a degree in marketing, journalism, or a related field is highly desirable. 

Of course, having prior experience in this field is a bonus as it sets you high in the Job market.

Responsibilities that come with being a PRO include:

  • Working under broad organizational guidelines to achieve set objectives.
  • Leading, guiding.
  • Coordinating others to impact the organization’s services.

Skills/ Qualities a Pro Should Posses

Being a Public relations officer is a very demanding job. You have to be dedicated and committed to protecting the interests of the organization. 

If you are ready to begin your next challenge, here are a few skills that you need to master to help you do your PRO job better.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Excellent communication skills are required for both writing and oral presentation. As a PRO, you will be required to put out many publications like press releases, newsletters, compile, etc., so you need to be eloquent and have strong writing skills. 

FLEXIBILITY

PR is a career that demands much flexibility. Between having a full tight schedule, clients changing plans without notice, to situations rising out of the blue, one needs to have the capacity to adjust quickly and calmly.

To be an excellent PRO, you need to have the ability to control whatever rises most efficiently.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Every step that involves communicating to communities and the media requires careful review and planning. As a PRO, you need to have the “Eagles eye” because if flaws are unchecked, even the tiniest error can transform into a full-fledged PR disaster.

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

Relationships are everything when it comes to PR. The principal purpose of the whole profession is to build, manage and maintain lasting connections with clients and the general public.

As a PRO, you need to be responsive, helpful, and friendly to the inquisitor. Success in PR banks on a professionals ability to maintain and bridge the communications gap by nurturing and grooming personal relationships with clients.

HONESTY AND TRANSPARENCY

To maintain a positive image, your information must remain clear and truthful at all times. Clients appreciate transparency; make sure your statements address the issues at hand in the most elaborate way.

Do not try to cover up or make excuses for anything, take full responsibility for any situation that arises, do not be afraid always to speak the truth.

BE THICK-SKINNED

The PR profession is not for the soft-hearted. You will get knocked down so many times, but how quickly you shake the negativity off is what will make you survive in this world.

As a PRO, you need to learn to stand your ground, withstand criticisms, and take clients’ decisions without becoming offended. It would be best if you learned how to embrace criticism and rejection without taking a left. 

ART OF STORY-TELLING

This aspect is crucial in PR. Creative stories draw people in and stick with them long afterward. Every narrative as PRO should be exciting and intriguing to your audience.

PERSUASIVE

As a PRO, you have to do more than tell the story; sell the narrative to people. You have to be vocal, engaging, and convincing to get people to your side.

Final Thoughts

The public relations scene is ever-evolving. New professionals must possess all the necessary cards to keep winning. While the list above doesn’t present all the requirements that make a good PRO, it is a great reference to start your journey.