Copyright

How to Become a Public Relations Agent: Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a public relations agent. Research the education requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in public relations.

View 7 Popular Schools »

Do I Want to Become a Public Relations Agent?

Public relations (PR) agents plan and execute strategic public image campaigns for their clients. They may also work together with corporate marketing, advertising, and human resources departments to execute specific communications and image enhancement programs.

Public relations professionals usually work in an office setting on a full-time basis. Some positions require travel and long workdays, including overtime, are typical of the field. PR agents must be comfortable talking in front of groups, large and small.

Job Requirements

Generally, the minimum education requirement to become a public relations manager or specialist is a bachelor's degree. Additional training is completed on the job. The following table contains the main qualifications and requirements needed to become a public relations specialist or manager as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Common Requirements
Degree LevelBachelor's degree
Degree FieldPublic relations, journalism, communications or a related field
CertificationCertification is available from organizations like the Public Relations Society of America, but it is not required
ExperienceVaries; entry-level jobs may be available for PR specialists, but public relations managers need several years of industry experience
Key SkillsOrganizational, research and problem-solving skills, ability to communicate well and deal with the public

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor's Degree Program

A bachelor's degree in public relations, communications or journalism is preferred for careers in public relations. Aspiring PR agents may also want to consider courses in public speaking, advertising, business administration and creative writing, even if they are not required for graduation.

Success Tip:

  • Seek an internship. By securing an internship while in college, aspiring PR agents can build their professional networks and acquire valuable on-the-job training. Some degree programs grant college credit for internships.

Step 2: Complete On-the-job Training

With a degree in hand, aspiring public relations agents can apply for entry-level public relations positions, such as PR specialist or account executive. According to the BLS, most employers require new PR staff to complete on-the-job training, which may be delivered through a formal program or informally by experienced supervisors. Depending on the company, the training period can last anywhere from one month to a full year. At the entry level, training is typically interspersed with basic tasks such as filing and conducting research. After training is complete, the new employee may graduate to more traditional PR agent duties, such as writing press releases and planning campaigns.

Success Tip:

  • Join a professional organization. Organizations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) offer their members career development tools like training and networking opportunities. Joining such an organization may help aspiring public relations agents advance their careers.
Show me popular schools

Related to How to Become a Public Relations Agent: Career Roadmap

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Top Ranked School for Public Relations - San Jose, CA

Students interested in studying public relations in San Jose, California, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about...

Online Public Relations Associate Degree Program Overview

Public relations specialists work in business, public policy and government to implement communication strategies in various...

Public Relations Officer: Job Duties and Requirements

Public relations officers may also be called public relations specialists or public information officers. These professionals...

Job Description of a Public Relations Coordinator

Public relations coordinators, sometimes referred to as public relations specialists, use print, broadcast and online media to...

Public Relations Consultant: Job Description and Outlook

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
        • Advertising
        • Public Relations
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
        • Advertising
        • Health Communication
        • Public Relations
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
        • Advertising
        • Public Relations

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics