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Public Relations Director: Job Duties, Salary and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a public relations director. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

A public relations director works as the head of a public relations firm or a business communications department. A bachelor's degree is required for employment as a public relations director; however, a master's degree may be preferred by some employers. Public relations directors often need years of work experience before obtaining their position. Computer skills are also necessary.

Required Education Bachelor's standard; master's required for some positions
Other Requirements Years of work experience, computer skills
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 13% (for public relations managers)
Median Salary (2014)** $115,049 annually

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

Job Duties for a Public Relations Director

Public relations directors develop and execute strategies that are intended to create and uphold a positive public image for clients. By working and forming relationships with various members of the media, government, and public, directors generate new business opportunities. These professionals may hire and direct public relations specialists and other staff. This may include assigning activities and accounts, as well as approving and reviewing their work. In addition to supervising public relations specialists and staff, these professionals manage company or department goals and strategies.

Public relations directors are also hired by businesses to oversee their communications department. In this case, the public relations director acts as the businesses' representative during industry events and is in charge of all external communications activities. As such, directors may be responsible for researching public opinion and communicating with investors to enhance the businesses' reputation in the financial community. Other duties may include informing executives on market trends, calculating communications budgets, arranging interviews, and preparing speeches.

Public relations directors also work with marketing and advertising managers to ensure advertising campaigns are in line with the company's image and goals. Public relations directors often oversee crisis operations and work to repair a client's damaged reputation after negative incidents have occurred.

Salary for a Public Relations Director

According to the Salary.com, the median annual salary for a public relations directors was $115,049 as of October 2014. The same source reported that most of these professionals earned between $84,535 and $155,549 per year.

Requirements for a Public Relations Director

The BLS reports that employers may favor candidates who have a bachelor's or master's degree in public relations, journalism, or a related field. Coursework for public relations degrees includes advertising, business administration, writing, public speaking, communications, and ethics. Journalism majors take classes like reporting, news writing, editing, and media ethics.

Public relations directors utilize their computer skills to keep the public informed through the press and social media tools. Public relations directors often start out as public relations specialists or journalists and may be promoted to director after years of experience.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (5)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BS - Marketing

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • All degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree or higher
    • Post-Master's Certificate degree applicants must have a Masters degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Maryland (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Master
        • MA in Communication

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • B.S. Marketing Management

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (1)
    • Colorado (1)
    • Georgia (1)
    • Michigan (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    When are you looking to start classes?

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

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics