Public Relations Managers


Requirements

Education and Training Requirements

High School

You can prepare for a career as a public relations manager by taking college preparatory classes. Concentrate on courses that will improve your communication skills, such as speech, English, and creative writing. Also, you should aim to study business-related subjects such as marketing, economics, public relations, management, and computer science.

Postsecondary Training

Most public relations mangers have a bachelor's or master's degree in public relations, communications, English, or journalism. Others have entered the industry with a business, fine arts, or liberal arts degree, though with some concentration in public relations, advertising, or communications. Useful college classes include psychology, sociology, business, economics, social media marketing, and any art medium. Graduate and professional degrees are common at the managerial level. Visit https://prssa.prsa.org/chapter-firm-resources/start-a-prssa-chapter/pr-program-certification for a list of colleges and universities that offer certified public relations programs.

Other Education or Training

The Public Relations Society of America offers a wealth of continuing education (CE) classes, webinars, seminars and workshops on leadership, management, staff development, crisis communications strategy, digital media, social media, and other topics. The International Association of Business Communicators, Canadian Public Relations Society, National Management Association, National School Public Relations Association, and the Public Affairs Council also offer CE resources. Contact these organizations for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification of Licensing

Many candidates on the executive track find it very helpful to pursue certification in this field. The Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, and the Canadian Public Relations Society accredit public relations workers who meet specific educational and work experience requirements and pass a comprehensive examination. Contact these organizations for more information. 

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Several years of experience in lower-level public relations positions is needed to enter the ranks of management. 

Having excellent communication skills, the ability to work on multiple projects, and superior management skills are imperative to becoming a successful public relations manager. Managing an entire department, dealing with other business executives, or interacting with a difficult client are often daily tests for workers in this career. You must be able to work well under stressful situations and tight deadlines, be able to delegate responsibilities, and effectively communicate your ideas to various staff members.

Other traits considered important for public relations managers are intelligence, decisiveness, intuition, creativity, honesty, loyalty, a sense of responsibility, and planning abilities.