Brief outline of the Occupation
After college, my career route is all cut out; I am pursuing Public Relations or PR as my line of business. PR is an as old as humankind and a fascinating subject; our grandparents made perfected it, we today continue to use it, and our children will use in their day-to-day lives. Simply put, PR is when you pursue a person to do, not to do or to keep on doing something. It was not until in the tail years of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century that PR was recognized as a formal profession in the U.S. (Seitel, 2007).
A PR manager or personnel working in a PR department come up with a story behind a particular product, brand, or individual and make it appealing to a targeted audience. According to Seitel, PR practitioners deploy media campaigns including newsletters, advertorials, brochures and catalogs, social media, and social events. Typically, these campaigns are packaged with a specific audience in mind.
Normal Career Route
Many types of PR jobs exists in the market for fresh graduates with Public Relations bachelor’s degree or any other related specialty in communication. PR jobs are not different from other jobs. Fresh graduates start as interns working in various PR fields including account managers, spokespersons, lobbyists, publicists, social media, fundraising, events planning, research analysts, and research associates among others. At this level, an intern’s job description entails doing all the groundwork for an ongoing media campaign in the respective departments.
The next level is a PR assistant, account coordinator, or junior account executive and in the middle tier, we have senior PR assistants, senior account coordinators or an executive. From here on one can now join the ranks of a full manager or head of a department or section.
Effects of Technology and organizational structure, financial trends and training on Occupation
Changes in technology relative to communication, organizational restructuring, diversified training, and impacts of globalization have not spared the Public Relations industry. To keep abreast with the emerging trends, the industry reshapes itself to fit in. First, the advent of social media and Internet-driven technology changes are today dictating how the industry carries out its business. Second, restructuring of market economies globally into more significant social, economic, and political outfits have thrown the industry into disarray, prompting changes to keep up with the global pace. Thirdly, the frequency at which acquisitions and mergers are taking place implies that the industry must come up with the new organizational structuring of business entities.
With the above emerging issues, diversified training becomes a new component that defines the industry. The industry is coming up with new training materials and manuals while senior personnel is going back to class for more training to play catch up (O*Net OnLine).
Positions and Salaries
Public Relations is not only exciting but also lucrative. There exist an extensive range of PR jobs in the market each commanding its pay grade, varies according to one’s level of education, experience, and location. In the U.S, typical entry-level salaries for PR professional range from $45,368 and above while account executives with more than two years of experience take home between $60-70,000. The average pay for senior professionals in the industry starts at $180,000 above as of March 2018 (Salary.com).
Requisite Skills for the occupation
An undergraduate degree is the starting point in PR job market; nevertheless, extensive skills in research, writing, communication, and creativity are an added advantage. To be an excellent communicator, one needs to be a confident speaker and an outstanding listener. One must also have research skills to help communicate correctly and convincingly on various subjects. Additionally, one must be good in writing to write press releases, become a newspaper guest columnist and to speeches for clients or bosses. Being conversant with global trends and unfolding event in the international scene goes a long way to become a competent PR practitioner. Knowing one or two foreign languages is an added advantage. Finally, to survive in this industry, one must be talented in creativity, in not only writing but also coming up with innovative approaches to endorse businesses and brands (Communications-major.com).
Organizations that hire individuals with skills in this occupation
All organization, companies, and famous individuals require PR services in their day-to-day lives. PR agencies and personnel help them communicate with the public and media on their behalf, represent them in their self-interests, and portray them more favorably. Furthermore, it helps them stand out from their competitors. On the one hand, companies and enterprises make use of PR firms and their services to display their goods services, forge a strong bond with clients, and acquire prospective customers. On the other hand, not for profit organization (NGOs), learning institutions, and hospitals among others seek PR services to fundraise funds and promote what they stand for and what they are doing. The last category is famous individuals including politicians and celebrities who utilize PR services to endear and communicate to the electorate and fans alike (Bob, 2000).
Ways of finding a job opportunity in this occupation
With several hundred thousand graduates being churned every day into the job market, competition becomes quite stiff. To survive the game, one needs to be more creative and network a lot. The days when colleges and companies used to do joint job fairs are now behind us. However, this is not to say some companies are not collaborating with high-end colleges for the potential employees.
A job seeker must read the news relating to the industry, go a notch higher, learn the art of self-promotion, and above all be creative how to draft a CV, resume and cover letter. Most companies and organization have the job vacancies section on their websites, and this would be a good starting point. Nonetheless, this gesture is just a formality most companies have maintained. Perhaps the surest way to land on those jobs is to go through human resource firms and agencies.
Internship and job volunteering is another way to go about it, but rarely you will find any company or organization have an open-door policy. The trick here is to know someone who knows somebody in high places.
A normal employment ad relative to an occupation that is of interest
A casual browse of the Internet job market reveals several thousand of job postings of companies and organizations seeking the services of social media managers and personnel to work in related fields. Here is a sample advert that wholly caught my attention and felt it was mainly looking for me. “Are you passionate about media trends and spend most of your time on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook? It’s time to turn your love for social media into a career!” The social media is today the fastest-growing field and as the job postings attest; there are several job opportunities available for those who want to pursue the career in this industry. Some of the social media jobs that interest students in the PR industry include a social media manager, a digital strategist, and a community manager.
For one to meet job requirements of the jobs mentioned above, one must know how to engage an audience and generate a buzz around a company, product, service or a person. A social media manager comes up with a company’s or organization’s social media strategy and primarily manages the various media forums including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Pinterest among others. Additionally, a social media manager analyzes tracking engagement metrics including likes, clicks, shares, and followings. The job does not here; the manager will conceptualize engaging posts of the company’s products and services through the various social media platforms (Monthly Labor Review, 2018).
The working conditions of the occupation
PR physical environment, stress level, type of administration, customer interaction, waged hours, and work-attributed travel takes various forms and degrees. It all boils down to a situation where one is working for a small, or a large size company. Whereas working for a small firm gives a worker some leeway to be more focused, the contrary is true if you are working for a more prominent company. Often, in big companies, one runs some accounts while implementing strategies at the same time. This can take a substantial toll on you and might experience work-related stress ailments.
A PR job involves working closely with the media people, not to mention keeping tabs trending news as they unfold. The job description demands that you control any story that is for or against your company or brand. You lose the plot if all you do is to put fires off and woe unto you if your bosses are not supportive and your support staff is not complimenting you.
Legal matters and technical problems are among the other crises that a PR specialist must learn to handle. Your days will tend to have long hours if you have not developed company’s strategies to deal with such disasters while putting the company’s of brand’s interests before anything else (Salarycom).
Major of studies relatice to the occupation
Ordinarily, a PR degree program takes four years to complete, and it prepares somebody to enter the industry, create campaigns and work directly with the media. After working for some time in the field, you might want to back and advance to become a manager. Students taking PR bachelor programs are encouraged to take other additional courses that go hand in hand with the major degree program including English, writing, business, advertising, public affairs, and public speaking. Specific coursework includes Introduction to Public Relations, Principles of Advertising, Mass Media Law, Professions and Advertising Research, and Communication for Business (The Guardian, 2013).
Any PR practitioner dedicated to proceeding with their career will attain certification at the end in the particular field. Currently, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) examines through the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credentials, which are managed by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB). To make an application for the APR exams include being a holder of a degree in any area in communication or corresponding experience. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) also provides an authorization program that gives public relations experts and directors the description of an Accredited Business (IPR.org.uk). To succeed, you must have full-time work knowledge in the communication of 5 – 9 years.
Professional or union organizational memberships
PR practitioners join professional and trade associations for several reasons including Contribute to the profession: Members are duty bound to give back to the profession and industry.
- Learning: Members join to learn new things, be updated on new technology and to improve on knowledge.
- Ethics: These bodies provide members with a framework and codes of conduct that helps improve the profession.
- Networking: These organization help members interact and meet new people in the industry.
- New business: Interaction with new members significantly can boost one’s business portfolio.
Some of these professional bodies and unions include:
- Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
- Public Relations Consultancy Association (PRCA)
III. International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)
- Professional Speaking Association
Current and anticipated job opportunities in the occupation,
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, specialized and interrelated occupations and service professions, which includes PR, are anticipated to create more new employment opportunities compared to other professions. Thisis projected to be between the period 2008 and 2018. It is expected that the employment opportunities would increase by 10% -11%. This will translate to 1.7 to 1.8 million new jobs. The report adds that growth will be expected to be faster in these occupations where a college education is a critical form of education or training. In addition, the needs attributed to replacement in these occupations will generate more employment opportunities than job growth.
The report, which publishes long-run work-related employment forecasts every two years, indicates that an array of factors, which includes population, technological advancement and changes in consumer trends, will also affect job openings.
Occupation and Family
We are presently living in the modern world regarded as a global village where everything fast-paced and no matter how one looks at it, work has taken a toll on the lives of American families, notwithstanding the workplace. In the process, people are choosing work at the expense of the lives and families. It is not the people wish, but companies are setting unrealistic expectation from their workers where specific targets must be met. Failure to fulfill this one foregoes their bonuses, and other goodies or worst lose their jobs. This is when tragedy strikes as people neglect their lives, marriages, families, and friends. The result is a rise in work-family conflicts often leading to stress brought about by working long hours and additional workload. Indeed, vacations are getting shorter or none at all, especially in family-run businesses where there no human resources or some workers union to intervene on behalf of the worker. Thisis supported by various studies that show that most grownups suffer chronic health from anxiety.
Between 76 to 92%, physician visits indicate cases attributed to stress-attributed complaints and ailment that if not countered can result in death. Stress-related illnesses or lifestyle diseases include heart diseases, lung ailments, cirrhosis of the liver, cancer,and suicide that are today the leading killers in the US. When it comes to work and family and work, the PR industry has good and bad moments. On the positive side, we have tasks such as relationship building and image maintenance and enhancement. On the negativeside, we have functions that handle the public poorly including client crises. For this reason, it is essential to discuss with your family members and friends and help them understand how PR works and why it is an integral part of our lives.
Summary and Conclusions
Public Relations does not only safeguard company’s or brand’s interest but also improves the name, standing, and character of the subject. Unlike the years before, today, the world is wrought in cutthroat competition, where PR practitioners go out of their way to enhance and improve a brand image. Besides, it is crucial that companies or organizations must effectively communicate and interact with the public to get their message across. That is why it is essential for information to flow in the right manner and this where Public Relations comes into play (progressions.prssa.org).
Public Relation is my path toward fulfilling my career in the hospitality industry; indeed this is where my journey begins and ends. Armed with a degree in PR, this is a sure way of satisfying my professional ambitions. I plan to have a thorough understanding of the industry, learn the industry’s successes and pitfalls. I consequently plan to undertake some administrative programs that would help me get to the top much faster. This undertaking would enhance my skills and confidence for the betterment of my career progression. When I cast my eyes in the future, I visualize myself occupying a managerial position in the good old industry.
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Progressions.prssa.org. How to Explain Public Relations to Your Family and Friends. Retrieved fromhttp://progressions.prssa.org/index.php/2015/02/25/how-to-explain-public-relations-to-your-family-and-friends/
Monthly Labor Review. (Feb 25, 2015). Occupational employment projections to 2018.
Seitel, F. P. (2007). The Practice of Public Relations. Pearson/Prentice Hall.
The Guardian. (16 Jan 2013). Five must-have skills for a career in PR. Retrieved from