become a public relations manager

What does a Public Relations Manager do?

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A public relations manager helps to improve the image of their organization by sponsoring corporate events and reviewing press releases. They maintain observance for political trends and test strategies to improve those trends as well as test the social and economic impact their client or organization has. With this information they advise the company of ways to improve and use their image to their advantage.

How to Become a Public Relations (PR) Manager

public relations manager

A minimum of a bachelors’s degree in public relations, marketing, communications, fundraising, journalism and English is suggested for a public relations manager. However, some organizations even require a master’s degree before considering an applicant. Business, leadership, writing, communication, and computer classes are usually included in these degree fields. In addition to earning a degree, public relations managers are also required to have years of experience under their belt before being considered qualified for this position. They often begin their career as public relations specialist or as a fundraiser and work there way up to management.

Although, not mandatory public relations managers can also get certified. These credentials can be earned through the Public Relations Society of America or the International Association of Business Communications. Both of these organizations require proof of proficiency, work experience, or passing an assessment. Those wanting to specifically be certified in fundraising can seek a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification. Again this is also voluntary but demonstrates professional competency to prospective employers and may give you an edge over other applicants. This certification requires 5 years of work experience in fundraising and continuing education hours to be eligible.

Job Description of a Public Relations Manager

Public relations (PR) manager may oversee a team of public relations specialists that are involved with marketing managers, advertisers, company leadership, and even lawyers to be sure that the facts are accurate before and during promotional campaigns or organized events. Fundraising is commonly used because many organizations require donations in order to operate their business.

Public relations managers have to be skilled in capital campaigns, annual campaigns, large scale donations, and planned giving in order to secure these funds. This also requires maintaining good relationships with past donors so that they continue to donate funding, while also building new relationships for new donors. Sometimes they may raise money for specific projects for a shorter-term which is considered to be a capital campaign. Public relations managers should be comfortable and trained in charitable annuities, taxes for stock gifts, real estate, and bonds.

A public relations manager must be able to communicate effectively with their clients and to the public to ensure clear messages for marketing and funding goals. They must always maintain the most up to date information for possible fundraising, advertising, potential consumers, and investors in order to best enhance their client’s image. They must be skilled in applying for grants and be able to develop fundraising strategies and ways to have different events to encourage donations. Public relations managers work full-time and primarily work in offices. However, at times they do travel to various locations to meet with donors, clients, or attend functions.

This job can be very stressful at times and public relations managers are often juggling many events at the same time. However, that is one of the benefits some people may really enjoy. These managers also get to meet many different people and network heavily. If you want a career that is fast-paced, provides new learning opportunities each day, and want to ensure there is never a dull moment, this may be a career for you.

Public Relations Manager Career Video Transcript

While a talent for public speaking and strong problem-solving skills are critical for public relations and fundraising managers, excellent writing skills are also essential to precisely define a client’s goals, engage an audience, and sway them in the intended direction.

Public relations (or PR managers) direct the creation of material aimed at enhancing the public image of their clients. They review press releases, sponsor corporate events, and monitor trends that might affect their client’s organization. They also oversee company publications, draft speeches, and handle other contacts with the public to help the organization’s top executives.

Fundraising managers bring in the donations necessary to keep their organization running. They contact past donors and reach out to new donors, raise funds for new buildings, and solicit wealthy donors for major gifts. Public relations and fundraising managers work for PR firms, civic and non-profit organizations, school districts, and other organizations. Generally, they work in offices during regular business hours, but may need to travel to events and attend evening meetings. They sometimes work longer hours to meet project and event deadlines, and may manage multiple events at the same time.

Public relations and fundraising managers generally need a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, English, fundraising, or journalism, and many years of related experience. Some positions also require a master’s degree.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Public Relations Managers.

National Center for O*NET Development. 11-2031.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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