Research and Markets: The Public Relations Writer's Handbook: The Digital Age, 2nd Edition
Long workdays are common, as is overtime. The need for organizations to maintain their public image will continue to drive employment growth. Candidates can expect strong competition for jobs at advertising and public relations firms and organizations with large media exposure. Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for public relations specialists. Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of public relations specialists with similar occupations. They craft media releases and develop social media programs to shape public perception of their organization and increase awareness of its work and goals.
In government, public relations specialists may be called press secretaries. In this setting, workers keep the public informed about the activities of government officials and agencies. Public relations specialists draft press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material. Many radio or television special reports, newspaper stories, and magazine articles start at the desks of public relations specialists.
For example, a press release might describe a public issue, such as health, energy, or the environment, and what an organization does concerning that issue. Press releases are increasingly being sent through the Internet and social media, in addition to publication through traditional media outlets. Public relations specialists are often in charge of monitoring and responding to social media questions and concerns.
Public relations specialists are different from advertisers in that they get their stories covered by media instead of purchasing ad space in publications and on television. Public relations specialists held about , jobs in The largest employers of public relations specialists were as follows:.
Public relations specialists usually work in offices, but they also deliver speeches, attend meetings and community activities, and occasionally travel. Most public relations specialists work full time during regular business hours. Employers prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business. Through such programs, students produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates their ability to prospective employers. Internships at public relations firms or in the public relations departments of other businesses can be helpful in getting a job as a public relations specialist.
Some employers prefer candidates who have experience communicating with others through a school newspaper or a leadership position in school or in their community. Interpersonal skills. Public relations specialists deal with the public and the media regularly; therefore, they must be open and friendly in order to maintain a favorable image for their organization. Organizational skills. Public relations specialists are often in charge of managing several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.
Problem-solving skills. Public relations specialists sometimes must explain how a company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it. Speaking skills. Public relations specialists regularly speak on behalf of their organization. Writing skills. Public relations specialists must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them in a short, succinct way, to get the attention of busy readers or listeners.
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U. Source: U.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. In May , the median annual wages for public relations specialists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program.
Organizations will continue to emphasize community outreach and customer relations as a way to maintain and enhance their reputation and visibility. Public opinion can change quickly, particularly because both good and bad news spread rapidly through the Internet. Vary language and sentence structure. Connect thoughts.
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Attribute quotations. Back up all your claims. Use one tense. Assume nothing on the part of the reader.
Proofread carefully. The structure of biographies is similar to that of appointment releases, discussed in Chapter Two. Feature bios are written in a more relaxed style and read more like a magazine story, with additional elements of human interest, usually delivered through quotations from the subjects themselves, as in this one from www. Larry Payne, Ph.
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Then a dear friend insisted I go to a yoga class, he virtually dragged me there! Over the next two years, orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and prescription drugs failed to bring him relief. Larry is now the founding president of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and founder of the cor- porate yoga program at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Larry later embarked on a year-long world tour—a sabbatical that spanned eleven countries—to immerse himself in the philos- ophy and techniques of yoga.
With a background in psychology, he also completed graduate work in phys- ical therapy at Cal State University at Long Beach. His pioneering efforts have been well recognized throughout the world. Most recently, Larry released six instructional DVDs as part of the Yoga Therapy Rx series with a focus on a healthy back and immune system. He brought joy and learn- ing about the natural world to millions and millions of people across the globe.
He was a true friend to all of us at Discovery Communications. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Terri, Bindi and Bob Irwin as well as to the incredible staff and many friends Steve leaves behind. This is another way of saying that very little adaptation is needed to turn a corporate-style bio into an obituary suitable for the business press. Backgrounders Backgrounders are written on inanimate subjects, places, and products. Whatever you need to accomplish, Steelcase can pro- vide you with the environment and the tools to do it better, faster and more effectively.
We make it our business to study how people work, to fully understand the ever-changing needs of indi- viduals, teams and organizations all around the world. We changed our name to Steelcase in and became a publicly held company in For more about our history, see our milestones [a time line that is part of the backgrounder].
Steelcase was founded by people with a strong com- mitment to integrity and doing the right thing for their customers, employees, business partners, associates and neighbors. Their principles became the foundation of our company, passed on from decade to decade.
Living our core values is essential to our identity, rep- utation and success today, just as it was in the past. For a more detailed discussion of the Steelcase family, view our list of companies. Or see some of our key buildings. This backgrounder succeeds for several reasons. It condenses lots of notable information into a concise essay, and it offers the information simply, clearly, and painlessly.
Paragraph 1: The big picture. Paragraph 2: Summary of scope and philosophy. Paragraph 3: Background.
The third paragraph explains the process the company goes through in creating its products. Paragraph 4: History. Paragraph 7: Conclusion. This backgrounder works because it offers only the most important information and does so concisely. Notice that the language and sentence structure are varied, each sentence is a complete thought, and all sentences and paragraphs are logically connected to the ones preceding and following them. The writer does not assume that the reader already knows anything about the company.
Public Relations in the Digital Age
Although this piece uses both the present and past tenses, it reserves the past tense strictly for historical events. In public relations, you are often in the storytelling business. All good stories have beginnings, middles, and ends, and all are interesting as in the example of this Steelcase backgrounder. Your job as a public relations writer is to learn everything you can about your client and then extract the most useful and important details to create a brief, coherent story. Writing the Bio Outline All good writing starts with a good outline. An outline is a map showing exactly where you are going and how you will get there.
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