Public Relations Executive Career Information
What a Public Relations Executive does
Apart from strong marketing efforts, companies these days need much more to make people buy their products. You guessed it right. Companies need good or positive image, what you call 'corporate image' to stay in the business. As a Public Relations Executive in a company you'll work towards building up this corporate image in the minds of the public. That's the summation of your job profile.
A good image translates into an increase in the sales turnover. However, good Public Relations Executive is not just the domain of the multinationals. Even an NGO needs good Public Relations Executive to raise capital for all its activities.
Your job as a Public Relations Executive will be very interesting and varied. Other than building the corporate image of your company or organisation, you would also be involved in publishing the in-house magazine or communiqué, developing corporate brochures and other PR materials like slides, transparencies, video films, presentation, etc.
Your job as a Public Relations Executive doesn't end there. You could also be called in to give your inputs on designing and developing the brochures for promotional and marketing purposes. In crisis situation you will be trusted upon to spruce up your company image and handle the image damage.
As a Public Relations Executive you will also help the corporates in developing and maintaining good relations with government agencies, legal and statutory bodies, press, media, suppliers, vendors, franchisee, shareholders and various other stakeholders of the company.
Developing and maintaining a good relation with the media will be your main preoccupation as a Public Relations Executive. Keeping the media abreast of any notable incident and development in your company (launch of a product or service) will be handled by you. You'll have a tough job avoiding any negative publicity that might arise in the media.
Apart from corporate and other organisations as a Public Relations Executive you could also be handling PR for high profile people like rich industrialists and filmstars. Why, even the political parties these days need PR to develop and maintain a good image among the masses.
Actually this trend is also a hand-over from the West where everyone right from the presidents to the rock stars, film stars, musicians and child prodigies hire Public Relations firms or independent Public Relations professionals (what they call Image Consultants these days!). Even in India you aren't happening unless you are backed by a cellphone trotting Public Relations Executive.
As a PR executive you could specialise in:
Corporate Communications You'll be helping organisations manage their relations with stakeholders, investors, general public, customers, government, employees, future employees and others.
Marketing Communications You could be handling product launches, branding and positioning, media tours, sales promotion, sponsorships, dealer/franchisee/distributor/supplier contact programmes, etc.
Corporate Identity You'll be working on building the corporate name, logo, symbols, letter pads, envelopes, websites, interior and exterior design of office, displays and exhibition stands, audio-visual materials and other such things.
Investor Relations Your focus will be developing and maintaining good investor relations for the company.
Employee Relations Maintaining good relation with the employees of the organisation will be your domain as a Public Relations Executive. This is important for the smooth and successful functioning of the organisation.
Event Management As a Public Relations Executive, you are concerned with conceptualising, developing, implementing, and managing events for corporates and other clients. You'll handle product launches, treat delegates in a seminar, manage the Annual General Meeting and so on.
Crisis Management A company is often caught unaware of various legal implications and accidents like its particular product causing harm to the environment, government banning manufacturing in a plant, etc. In these cases as a Public Relations Executive, you have to manage the crisis situations.
Celebrity Management It is a growing area in Public Relations. You would help the rich and the famous in managing their careers. The new entrants in this field will look up to you to give a boost to their careers.
• Large Public Relation firms like Perfect Relations, Good Relations India Ltd., etc.
• Public Relation/Corporate Communication/Corporate Affairs/External Affairs department of large companies
• Independent Public Relation consultants often recruit assistants to help them
• Various government agencies and big NGOs
• Marketing and management consultant organisations and event management firms
• New age Image management/Corporate Identity management firms (in fact the term PR will soon be replaced with Image Management)
Good Public Relation is imperative to create a long lasting brand out of a product. It increases the credibility of a product and hence Public Relation executives have never had it better.
We have both good and bad news here. Though the opportunities for a Public Relation executive are increasing, most PR firms prefer to hire people with prior experience in media, marketing, advertising, and corporate communication.
So it's becoming sort of important to have a good network of known people in media to get the initial break. After all, good Public Relation begins at home!
Abilities & Traits Required
It's not easy to please all the people all the time. This is what you need to be a successful Public Relations Executive:
• First and foremost you got to have charisma, which draws people to you. Then you need to build up good and lasting relationship with them
• You must have excellent communication skills in English and any other regional language. It helps if you know a foreign language. And you should be good in both your writing as well as in verbal
• Good presence of mind
• Desire to take initiatives, as PR is all about being proactive
• Other than these, you got to have a creative mind, an enterprising and dynamic personality
• The most important quality of a Public Relations Executive is their ability to strike the right rapport with whosoever it matters. You got to have good contacts in the media. This will help ward off any negative publicity. That's the reason Public Relation firms prefer people with prior experience in media.
As for the educational qualifications, a postgraduate degree/diploma in public relations only helps you marginally. A degree/diploma in Mass communication may also help. PR firms also recruit MBAs.
People with good experience in Advertising, Marketing, Corporate communication can also get good jobs. You can even join Public Relations after having a good 10 years of experience in a government department (in a senior officer cadre).
In a medium-sized Public Relation firm you will get about Rs 10000-25000 or more a month to start with.
With 5-7 years of experience as a Public Relation executive in media, advertising, marketing, corporate communication, etc., you can expect Rs 45000-50000 or more.
The government departments and agencies make appointments through UPSC. The pay ranges from Rs 11000-12000 in the beginning. As a Public Relation executive you could earn a maximum of Rs 35000 a month.