Media

Public relations officer

Public relations (PR) officers manage an organisation's public image and reputation.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £90,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40

5%
Future employment

There will be 5% more Public relations officer jobs in 2023.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You'll work in a company's in-house PR department, or at an agency that looks after PR for a number of clients.

You could work in the private or public sectors or for a charity.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • planning PR campaigns and strategies based on research
  • monitoring and reacting to the public and media's opinion of your client or employer
  • writing and editing press releases, speeches, newsletters, leaflets, brochures and websites
  • creating content on social media and responding quickly to user comments
  • arranging and attending events like press launches, news conferences, exhibitions and open days
  • developing good working relationships with the media to promote your clients
  • arranging photoshoots and production of promotional videos
  • public speaking at presentations, conferences or radio and TV interviews

You may also be involved with your local community to make sure that the company you work for is represented positively. This could include sponsoring corporate events or fundraising for local charities.

University

You could study for a degree or postgraduate award recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Courses include:

  • public relations
  • media communications
  • business and public relations

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

Apprenticeship

You can work towards this role by doing a public relations assistant higher apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent qualifications, for a higher or a degree apprenticeship

College

There is no set entry route to become a public relations officer but it may be useful to do a relevant subject like a Foundation Certificate in Marketing.

You can also study higher level qualifications if you're working in a marketing or communications department.

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

Other Routes

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) lists relevant qualifications, including postgraduate degrees.

Experience gained from an internship or relevant voluntary work will help.

You could move into PR if you've experience in areas like journalism, advertising, marketing or fundraising.

Another option is to start as an administrator, publicity assistant or information officer and work your way up.

£18,000 to £90,000

Starter salary: £18,000 to £22,000

Experienced salary: £24,000 to £35,000

These figures are a guide.

37 to 40

You'll usually work 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Hours can be irregular and may involve early starts, late finishes and working at the weekend if you have a deadline.

You could also be reacting to a crisis in the UK or in a different time zone.

You'll normally work in an office. You may also travel to attend events and conferences, and to meet clients.

With in-house PR officer experience, you could be promoted to PR manager, social media manager or head of communications.

With agency experience, you could progress to senior account executive or account manager.

You could go freelance or move into advertising, marketing or journalism.

You could join the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Public Relations and Communications Association for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

You can find out more about becoming a public relations officer from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Public Relations and Communications Association.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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