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Your Future in Public Relations
Part 3: What you need to move ahead in PR
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 Part 2: When it's rough
 Part 4: How to look
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 PR Career Guidance

There are many ways to start and advance through a career in public relations, from opening your own firm, to simply having it plop on your job description one day. But the most straightforward preparation is through a fairly formulaic scheme: Checkmark

  • a related college degree (journalism, public relations, advertising, communications)
  • demonstrated skills and aptitudes (writing, public speaking, outgoing personality)
  • specialized expertise (technical, financial, business, international)
  • some pre-entry level experience (reporting, internships, volunteer work)
  • successful networking (professional associations, personal connections, legwork)

Once the first PR job is landed, the advancement-oriented novice will have to demonstrate consistent excellence in elementary areas: 

  • stay on top of the current news related to your industry
  • develop good working relations with the target news media
  • prepare sharp promotional materials and internal communications
  • represent the organization well to key constituencies and the public
  • demonstrate self confidence and enthusiasm for motivating people

Some public relations professional organizations, such as the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators, offer professional development support and accreditation for demonstrated levels of professional performance. This is a nice addition to your resume or a useful talking point at an upcoming performance evaluation.

A typical career path in public relations may progress from job titles such as entry-level account assistant, upwards through promotions to account executive, account supervisor, vice president, and senior vice president. Many seasoned PR pros eventually open their own firm.

  Next page > How to look for career advancement > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

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