A Public Relations Executive is responsible for gathering positive and informative publicity for their client through various forms of media.
Public Relations is an exciting and challenging career for graduates to embark on. Public Relations, or PR as it is often abbreviated to, is a competitive field with graduates needing to be hardworking and persistent to succeed. A Public Relations Executive or Account Manager will be in charge of promoting a particular brand or company in a positive light, harnessing a wide range of media channels, journalists and thought leaders. The overall aim of a Public Relations Executive is to generate publicity and help their particular client succeed.
While the ins and outs of Public Relations practice various from client to client, the Public Relations Executive will tailor their approach to the needs of the client or company. This could be helping promoting new product they have through getting coverage in industry relevant magazines or helping companies undertake some research that could get coverage in local and national newspapers.
Public Relations Executives usually work in agencies who are contracted by companies and operate traditionally in a consultative approach. While some agencies may specialise in Public Relations for certain types of industries, graduates going into these fields will need to be flexible in their approach and able to research and understand complex industry dynamics relatively quickly. This also means graduates will need to understand trends and what's "fashionable" in specific industries too, so they can find develop initiatives that will be suitable and effective.
Public Relations Executive Salaries
The average starting salary for a graduate Public Relations Executive is £20,857. This is a fantastic starting salary for graduates in such a competitive industry to be starting their careers on. However, it should also be noted that because of the increased competition, it is highly likely that graduates will need a lot of experience behind them to get their foot on the ladder.
It should also be noted that graduates looking to start their careers in this field will be awarded very competitive salaries compared with others in similar positions, such as Communications Officers or Marketing Executives.
The Daily Duties of a Public Relations Executives
The daily duties of a graduate Public Relations Executive are incredibly varied and are usually totally dependent on the needs of their client and at what point they are up to in the client's campaign or strategy. It should also be acknowledged that the sort of tasks that a Public Relations Executive may vary if they are working at an agency that specialises in Manufacturing PR as opposed to Retail or Fashion PR. However, many of the practices can be considered universal for Public Relations Executive and here are a few of them:
- Arranging campaigns - The main focus for graduate Public Relations Executives is looking to see what the client is looking for in terms of publicity. This could involve companies looking for promotion and publicity on a new venture, a new product line or just a larger branding and awareness exercise. It is the responsibility of Public Relations Executives to learn and tailor proposals for their clients and satisfy their requirements.
- Events - Much of Public Relations can involve putting on events for clients and attending events as part of networking and establishing contacts. Events whether they are drinks receptions or launches are an important weapon used by Public Relations Executives to get the best publicity from the right people.
- Making contacts - A Public Relations Executive is only as good as the contacts they have. While this might not be entirely true, those in Public Relations need to have an excellent contact book and know and be able to talk to the right people. This is so they can get their stories or products where they want them in the best interests of the client.
- Monitoring coverage - Graduate Public Relations Executives need to monitor how their campaigns are going so they can understand what works and what doesn't for individual clients. This could be keeping tabs on the newspapers and also checking more data driven information for reporting back to clients, such as web page hits on a particular piece of PR.
- Researching Industries - Public Relations Executives are expected to understand how industries work. This requires a lot of research to be undertaken. Many agencies and PR firms specialise in particular areas but Public Relations Executives or Account Managers need to understand how their client fits into their industry and how to make them stand out.
- Writing press releases - Not only requiring a perfect command of the English language, Public Relations need to take steps to make their specific press release stand out from crowd. Press Releases are the traditional method of Public Relations practice whether they are informing media about a new product or event or being used to fight fires about a negative story circulating about a client.
Public Relations is a highly competitive and rewarding field. Being a graduate Public Relations Executive is an exciting position to occupy and will require graduates to work hard and understand the needs and desires of their client. The field is competitive and will usually require graduates to have undertaken an internship or two to show they can do it.