A Public Relations (PR) executive is accountable for handling all public relations activities for a company. The term ‘public relations’ refers to a planned communication process which is responsible for building relationships that are mutually beneficial between an organisation and their audience members.
PR executives assist a business or individual to develop a positive reputation with the public by using various unpaid or earned communication methods. These methods include:
- Traditional media,
- Social media, in addition to
- Personal engagements.
In addition, professionals in the PR space also assist clients with defending their reputation during a crisis that threatens their credibility. Public relations in a time of crisis management has the ability to make or break your company during this time. Your business is not protected against a varied range of unexpected threats. Anyone of these risks can ruthlessly damage your reputation. In addition, it can have a possibly devastating effect on revenue in addition to customer acquisition, loyalty and other vital business outcomes.
The skills of a PR executive
There are several skills that a PR executive needs to have for them to be successful. If you feel that you want to join the PR profession, it is very important that you have these skills:
- The capacity to be honest in everything you do
- Research skills
- The skill of building relationships
- Multi-tasking in a highly-pressure work environment
- Fastidious attention to detail
- Adaptability to change
- Strategic thinking skills
- Social media knowledge and street smarts
- The ability to write well
- Fantastic presentation skills
- The ability to look for overseas opportunities for your clients
What does a PR executive do daily?
On a daily basis the PR executive will be doing the following:
- Managing, as well as
- Maintaining the public’s view of the person, business, product or service you are representing.
As a PR executive, you’ll work with individual clients. In addition, you’ll work with business executives in order to determine the exact publicity-related goals that you’d like to achieve.
You may provide information for public dissemination
A PR executive may also be responsible for creating media or consumer awareness. Your aim may even be to create positive publicity. Whatever the outcome, as a PR executive your task is to achieve it through wisely crafted written, verbal or visual communications which are designed for public consumption.
Public relations executives have a toolkit of a number of methods for getting across the precise messaging or images that they need to. In fact, one of their most significant jobs is selecting the most effective mode of communication to meet publicity goals. For example:
- Product launches,
- Digital marketing campaigns,
- Public information sessions, in addition to
- Other special events.
As a PR executive, you can also look for media coverage – and the publicity that results from it – through promotional tools such as press releases, press conferences, media alerts as well as press kits.
What does a PR environment look like?
There are about 16 different areas of professional interest for public relations executives. These are:
- Sports and entertainment,
- Travel, and
It is possible that you may work for a for-profit corporation, a non-profit charitable association, a government organisation or other various companies. You could be employed full time, on a contractual basis or you could work at a freelancer.
Public relations executives how are employed by government may be known as public affairs specialists. As such, they may focus on sending out political news, facts and figures to the public and media. However, if your work is freelance, or for a company that exclusively provides public relations services, you might work specifically as an account executive. In this capacity you’ll handle the publicity for multiple clients.
Just because there’s been a shift towards digital doesn’t mean that PR is dead. It’s just become a more exciting and dynamic field!
If you want to go more into this field, check out the Digital School of Marketing’s Digital Public Relations Course.