2 answers

What requirements are needed for a Public Relations Specialist?

Asked Viewed 226 times

I am a sophomore, but I have already decided that I want to focus on Public Relations / Communications. What requirements are needed in high school or college classes for someone interested in Public Relations? #communications #public-relations #college-prep #career-path #requirements

2 answers

carlos’s Answer


Hi Jenna,

I am Carlos and I have been working in Public Relations for more than 15 years.

Regarding to your question, the requirements or strengths to become an amazing PR Specialist is related to the filed your are interested in, however here some general ones:

  1. Good writing / Be an storyteller: Working in PR means that you will need to write public statements , press releases, presentations, Q&As documents, among others. Its important for you to practice as much as you can and I would also recommend reading magazines and newspapers, for you to understand how is it done. Normally in the news business, everything needs to have a good story, and its an art to tell one in just a few paragraphs.
  2. Be Politic / Read people personality and interest: As a PR for any king of company or organization, you will need to interact with a lot of people that will want to hear from you. Its important for you to be always prepare before any meeting trying to get to know as much as possible about that person (now its easier than to the internet). Once you know that, be prepare to have a kind and friendly interaction, always focusing in his / her interest, but always putting yours in the middle.
  3. Crisis Management: In any company or organization, no matter how public or relevant it is, you will need to handle every crisis. This doesnt mean to solve it, but to communicate it in the best way possible, always prioritizing the best interest of your key stakeholders. For this is, the only option you have to be good at it, its practice. I recommend for you to enroll in any organization as a volunteer to manage their communication - no matter how small an organization is, they will always have crises, and it will start giving you a sense about this skill.
  4. Build strong connections: In PR, no matter the sector, you will need to build connections that allow you to share your messages externally.

I hope this is helpful.

carlos recommends the following next steps:

  • Define the sector you are interested in. With this, you can start reading magazines about this topic, follow news, and identify the journalist or/and opion leasders. No matter is you are Port Charlotte, you can start with the local journal and move to a bigger city.

Ken’s Answer


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities such as public relations is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##