Public Relations Specialist How to Hire, Salary Data, and Job Descriptions

Public relations specialists are experts in crafting appearances for individuals and companies. They communicate with the public to generate positive publicity for their clients and enhance their reputation. They will use a combination of offline and online presences, which may include website features, social media posts, interviews, local charity events, or more. The PR specialist will be the first point of contact for those looking for information on the company.

PR specialists will need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills. They should also have the ability to perform research and gather analytics on a monthly basis to report what the public opinion of the company or individual is.

Sample job description #1

Job description:

An ideal role for a dynamic, creative self-starter, the Public Relations Specialist is expected to understand the ever-changing news cycle, maintain, and build relationships with key media and craft stories that can deliver results. The candidate will have the opportunity to assist in the planning, development, and implementation of communications strategies and activities to support the brand’s efforts.

The Public Relations Specialist will be expected to use their experience to move select projects forward on their own, as well as collaborate on brainstorming, planning, and execution with their peers.

Job roles and responsibilities:

  • Develop and manage Media Relations activities to include crafting story narratives, pitching media outlets, developing relationships with key media, and assisting with management of external PR firms
  • Guide and craft a wide variety of company-wide and internal communications
  • Handle inbound media inquiries
  • Build and maintain comprehensive media database
  • Writing and editing of materials including Press Releases, Media Alerts, Executive Messaging, News Blogs, etc.
  • Concept communications and events plans that serve to promote company news and product launches
  • Be available to support and assist in project coordination as needed
  • Organize and prioritize numerous tasks and be able to work under deadlines
  • Compile competitive information, stay abreast of advertising and marketing trends, and obtain additional background and current development information through research and interviews
  • Maintain a working knowledge of all resort brands and current promotional efforts. Attend operational reviews and weekly department meeting, visit resorts as needed/requested, etc.

Competence requirements:

Qualifications include

  • Must be proficient in MAC – Word, Excel, Power-Point, Outlook
  • Excellent follow-up and communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and prioritize workload to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team landscape
  • Ability to travel internationally as well as domestic
  • Must maintain proper and up-to-date documentation

Experience:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree (B. A.) from four-year College or university preferred, in Public Relations, Journalism, or related communications field
  • Experience: 3-5 years of experience in journalism or at agency level. Candidate should possess at least 3 years of public relations experience, with emphasis on a media relations skill set including strong writing skills, ability to identify and pitch story concepts, develop strong media relationships, plus the ability to secure assets and meet deadlines. Tourism experience is a plus!

Sample job description #2

We have an opening for a Public Relations Specialist on our global PR team, working with our Infrastructure business. This role requires someone who has serious skills when it comes to PR—a team player who always thinks strategically, can see creative stories and bring them to life, provide counsel to leadership, and respond quickly to shifting priorities.

In this role, you’ll take on media relations, social media strategy, content marketing, issues management, and reputation management in partnership with Marketing & PR/Communications colleagues and leadership. Combining your business savvy and PR skills, you’ll look for creative ways to tell the most critical stories stemming from our Infrastructure teams. We’re looking for someone to be based in (City, State), however remote opportunities are available for the right candidate.

Your key responsibilities

Reporting to the Infrastructure Public Relations Manager, some of the activities you’ll focus your energy on include, but are not limited to:

  • Partnering with Infrastructure Marketing colleagues globally to develop and implement an integrated marketing and PR plan that tells the Company’s news and brand story across multiple channels
  • Developing a strong understanding of the built environment, company’s brand, client needs, key differentiators, and market trends
  • Working with internal clients, stakeholders and leadership to ensure PR engagements are strategic and contribute to a holistic story for ABC Company’s infrastructure business
  • Developing and managing communications initiatives involving news releases, social media outreach, content marketing, research, interviews, media training and spokesperson support, media monitoring and tracking, and other support on special projects and events
  • Helping to drive and support our thought leadership program, both through strategic planning and content development
  • Communicating with national industry publications to contribute expert articles and blogs, and to seek editorial coverage
  • Overseeing media outreach and preparing practice leadership by developing briefing documents; identifying opportunities and issues; and developing relevant remarks, speeches, and talking points for them
  • Providing social media and communications training for internal groups

Qualifications

Your Capabilities and Credentials

  • Detail-oriented and organized, with exceptional prioritization skills
  • Ability to effectively balance multiple priorities
  • Fundamental understanding of the media landscape (traditional and digital)
  • Excellent interviewing, written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate effectively in a team environment, as well as to work autonomously
  • Basic familiarity with photography and video preferred
  • Ability to quickly establish credibility with multiple audiences and articulate clearly within tight deadlines
  • Strategic mindset and strong business acumen

Requirements

  • Professional writing (samples required)
  • Examples of campaign planning and facilitation
  • Demonstration of digital marketing acumen

Education And Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, English, journalism, or marketing
  • Minimum 2 to 5 years of public relations experience in corporate, government, or agency preferred

Sample job description #3

What you’ll do

  • Work with the PR team to advance the company’s narrative, market leadership, and industry-leading innovation
  • Lead all aspects of end-to-end execution of PR campaigns and programs to drive positive awareness around the ABC Company brand
  • Work with internal teams to plan and complete PR campaigns across the globe
  • Draft well-written and strategic external materials
  • Support the development of global communications plans, messaging, talk tracks, and FAQs
  • Uniting with key company partners across engineering and marketing to agree upon strategy and affect decisions in relation to announcements, messaging, and strategy
  • Successfully engage new and existing business, tech and channel media relationships to elevate product awareness and coverage
  • Run corporate speaking engagements and awards calendars, engaging global agencies for support where necessary

This role requires

  • A minimum of 3-5 years of communications or PR agency experience, preferably with enterprise software companies or related industries
  • Demonstrated experience carrying out well-written and essential communications (e.g. press releases, media pitches, Op-Eds, speaking abstracts, and award submissions)
  • Strong writer and editor with experience translating sophisticated technical concepts into compelling stories that resonate with core developer audience
  • Established relationships with key media and influencers who cover enterprise software
  • Self-motivated, creative, and curious approach to storytelling
  • Bachelor’s degree

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a public relations specialist is $59,500 per year in the United States plus potential for a quarterly or annual bonus. Salary will vary based on the level of experience, responsibility, industry, company size, and geographic market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$63,550$86,000
Los Angeles, California$71,700$97,000
Denver, Colorado$59,750$80,850
Washington, DC$72,800$98,450
Miami, Florida$59,450$80,450
Orlando, Florida$54,850$74,200
Tampa, Florida$55,400$74,950
Atlanta, Georgia$58,100$78,650
Chicago, Illinois$66,800$90,400
Boston, Massachusetts$72,250$97,750
Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota$57,550$77,900
New York City, New York$76,050$102,900
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$61,900$88,800
Dallas, Texas$62,300$81,550
Houston, Texas$60,000$81,200
Seattle, Washington$69,500$94,050
National Average$54,300$73,500

Sample interview questions

  • Describe a recent PR campaign that worked well and why.
  • Describe a recent PR campaign that failed and why.
  • What writing experience do you have in public relations?
  • How do you find relevant contacts and sources?
  • What skills are required by a public relations specialist?
  • Which public relations firms do you admire and why?
  • Which media outlets do you follow closely? Why?
  • How do you use social media for public relations?
  • What should a social media press release look like?
  • What are important areas for growth in public relations? 
  • How do you measure the ROI of your campaigns?
  • How would you deal with a public relations crisis?
  • How is public relations different from advertising?
  • Can you name some of the social media optimization or monitoring tools you’ve worked with?
  • Describe a time you had to overcome a challenge with an individual or group when developing and executing a public relations campaign?
  • What was the most difficult situation you have been in when responding to media and public inquiries? How did you handle it?
  • What would you do if a client or manager disagreed with your public relations strategy?

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