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5 Facts About Working in Public Relations

Public relations is a popular field for people with a knack for communicating.  Not to be confused with advertising or marketing, public relations deals with the relationship a company has with the media and the public as opposed to its customers.  


PR representatives will work with media outlets to put out press releases and other materials, as opposed to working through the media to release advertisements and promotions.  Working with public relations, you might expect to work through mediums such as radio, newspapers, and more popularly, social media.


You can also have a very healthy career with public relations working for government officials.  Working through the media for a public official is better known as being a press secretary, and can be a very rewarding way to both test your communication skills and help a politician you want to support.  So what do careers in public relations look like?  We explored the numbers working as a public relations specialist, a normal entry level position in PR.  


Jobs in PR are Growing at an Average Rate

Positions as a public relations specialist are expected to grow from 240,700 to 255,600, or 6% between now and 2022.  This is roughly on par with the nation’s average growth rate during that time of 7%.  Competition is fierce in the job market though – PR is the first choice for many communications major, so expect to be stacked up against strong candidates, especially at prestigious advertising and PR firms.



Entry Level Pay is Nothing Special

The average entry level salary for a public relations specialist is $41,895.  Naturally this does vary by your industry and your experience.  Once you move up as a public relationship specialist, the median salary is $56,770, with the top 10% earning over $110,080.  On average, the professional industry pays the highest for PR specialists.



Top Hiring is on the East Coast

The New York City and Washington D.C. areas hold 40,670 jobs together, which is 70% of employment held by the top 5 highest employing cities.  This isn’t surprising though, these are the business and government capitals of the country, the two most involved sectors of public relations.


You Can Work in a Diverse Group of Fields

Most companies need assistance working with the media, but many of the top hiring industries are within the public sector.  26% of the top 5 hiring industries were government related.  Also – interestingly enough, grantwriting is a portion of the largest hiring component, along with religion.




There are a Lack of Women in High Positions

Despite women making up about 62% of the PR workforce,  only 25% of the top 20 highest earning PR firms are led by women. Keep in mind this is different from management positions – women make up 60% of management in PR positions.  This disparity is nothing new – unfortunately women are underrepresented in most industries, particularly in fields like finance.




Want a different career path?  Check out our articles on similar roles in Marketing and Advertising to find the career that’s right for you.  


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