What is a Public Relations Specialist?

A public relations specialist acts as the representative voice of an organization for directly communicating with the public. Ideally, a public relations specialists can take the fundamental message of their employer and deliver it in a manner that the public fully understands. In most cases, the media will serve as a platform for the specialist to deliver their employer’s message, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Alternative Titles

A public relations specialist is sometimes referred to as a publicist, media relations specialist, public affairs specialist, or relations coordinator. In the context of the government, the responsibilities of a public relations specialist may be carried out by an individual who holds the title of press secretary.

Whatever the title may be, the core responsibility of the one who holds the title will essentially be to maintain a positive image in the public eye for their employer.

Specific Tasks

The specialist’s public image optimization task can be broken down into a number of smaller, more specific tasks. When the company has a new service or change to announce, the specialist may be tasked with the creation of informative written material such as press releases.

Should an organization plan to hold a fundraiser, the specialist might be tasked with reaching out to donors to make appeals. While contacting donors, the specialist might also have the responsibility of securing grants.

Speech Drafting and Communication Coaching

A company’s top-level executives will oftentimes employ public relations specialists to write their speeches. Aside from preparing a company’s outgoing messages, PR specialists also sometimes coach their clients in more effective ways to communicate with the public.

Advertising and Promotion Examination

In addition to actively managing the client company’s communication, the specialist may also be called upon to examine the company’s ongoing advertisements and promotional material. In their examination, the specialist determines whether or not the company’s promotional material is in sync with the public image that it desires to craft.

Company Response Management

PR specialists not only play a role in their client’s outbound advertising, but also in the company’s response. It will be the PR specialist who responds to any requests from the media for more information regarding the company.

Empathizing with the Audience

Of all of the organizational and technical skills that a public relations specialist must possess, there are none more crucial the the ability to get in touch with the thought process of their audience. As their words will be interpreted as an extension of the company, is necessary for a PR specialist to be in-tune with their audience’s dispositions and desires.

In order to remain cognizant of the needs and pain points of those they communicate with on the company’s behalf, a public relations specialist will have to study consistently. It is common for a specialist to regularly devote a sufficient amount of a time to studying the most dominant social, political and economic trends.

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A public relations specialist’s communicative talents are applicable to a diverse array of different tasks, from internal communication to advertising. Above all things, a public relations specialist will need to be deeply in touch with the attitudes of those to whom their communicative material is directed.