What Is a PR Manager? (With Skills and Responsibilities)
Updated 3 April 2023
A public relations manager (or PR manager) can assist a company or individual by improving and maintaining their public image. PR managers often use their time to plan marketing strategies and manage multimedia platforms to engage the public. Understanding the typical responsibilities of a PR manager can give you insight into the public relations industry. In this article, we discuss what a PR manager does and explore their skills, average salary and how to become one.
What is a PR manager?
A PR manager is a professional who leads a team of PR professionals and works with the marketing department. This role usually oversees a company's media content and plans strategies to maintain the brand status. A public relations manager might also gain employment assisting an individual, such as a politician or celebrity. Below are some of the typical duties that a PR manager might be responsible for:
Set company goals
A person in this role often sets goals and targets for a PR department. The goals set by a PR leader help keep the public relations department focused on a specific achievement. For example, the target might be to increase the percentage of positive online reviews. The PR manager can then set goals to improve employee customer service and increase the business's online presence. This might improve the public perception of the business, which can lead to more positive online reviews.
A manager in PR may work closely with a marketing department to design and coordinate public events. The purpose of these events is usually to improve brand awareness. The events create an opportunity to engage with customers and leave them with a positive memory of the brand. When planning an event, a PR manager will often review the performance of prior public events and identify areas for improvement.
Manage media marketing
There are several media platforms that a PR manager might oversee. A large company that regularly engages with the community might have an online presence on a variety of social media platforms. Social media can provide a business with an opportunity to communicate with the public and add a human touch to the brand image.
Related: 5 Key Managerial Responsibilities
Managers of PR departments often analyse sales records to identify correlations between public relation strategies and volume of sales. By analysing profits, a PR manager can identify effective PR strategies. Businesses with excellent PR often benefit from increased sales because of customer loyalty and brand trust.
Liaise with other departments
The manager of a PR team often makes use of experts from their own team and from other departments. They may work closely with event marketers and marketing managers to form a PR strategy. Public relations managers may also report back on their team's productivity and progress to the company's board of directors. The directors then usually make executive decisions based on the PR team's reports.
Create innovative PR strategies
Managers of a business's PR team often have to create memorable and engaging experiences for customers. Unique public events and community activities often entice the public to take part. Innovative PR strategies can help a business distinguish its brand from the brand of its competitors.
Skills in public relations management
Below you will find key skills that a PR manager might use as part of their daily duties:
Managers in PR need to be aware of social trends and how society responds to publicity. Social awareness can help them implement strategies to relate the business to popular social trends. This usually encourages customers and clients to trust the business and make repeat purchases.
Managers of public relations teams may research social trends, marketing techniques and business reviews. Research skills can help these managers identify credible sources and ensure that their information is reliable. The head of a PR department uses this information to make informed decisions relating to the business's PR policies.
A public relations manager uses leadership skills to improve the workplace culture. They can promote enthusiasm in the workplace and foster a positive work environment. When a manager leads by example, they can inspire their team members to complete their tasks efficiently.
A public relations manager might need to address the public in person during a press release. Communication skills can help a PR manager to address the public with confidence and clarity. These professionals also need to have good communication skills to successfully manage their teams. A manager can promote communication within the team to improve the workplace environment and strengthen employee relationships.
Salary of a PR manager
The average national salary of a public relations manager is $95,813 per year. Your salary might vary depending on the organisation you work in. If you gain employment in a large corporation, you could be in charge of several departments and a large PR team. These extra responsibilities are usually accompanied by a higher salary.
The location of your organisation can also affect your salary expectations. The demand for PR professionals may vary between states. Areas with a high demand for PR managers might offer a higher salary. Below, you can find the average salary in different cities:
Melbourne, VIC: $76,503 per year
Sydney, NSW: $82,333 per year
Brisbane, QLD: $91,342 per year
Perth, WA: $121,465 per year
How to become a PR manager
Below, we've provided a helpful guide on how to become a public relations manager:
1. Develop fundamental PR skills
Consider identifying the PR skills you can improve. Skills such as communication and leadership will help you to become a PR manager. Other skills, such as public speaking, may also be required for a PR manager job.
2. Complete PR courses
There are several online courses, certificates and diplomas available in PR management. These courses are an excellent way of improving your basic knowledge of the public relations industry. There is usually no formal qualification required to become a PR manager, but completing your education is always beneficial, and is an effective first step towards becoming a PR manager. Completing a course in public relations will also provide you with an opportunity to gain employment in a junior PR position. Most certificates and diplomas can take between six months and one year to complete
3. Complete a university degree
By completing a university degree, you can learn advanced methods of communication and management. Consider studying for a university degree in communication, management or marketing. Some degrees may even provide specialised public relations training. A master's degree usually takes five years to complete and includes a bachelor's degree, which can take three years to complete. Employers appreciate candidates with advanced qualifications, such as a master's degree because it shows the capacity to commit to an objective and complete it. A specialised degree can also show your dedication to a particular industry.
4. Gain work experience
Companies looking for a new PR manager will usually search for candidates with experience in public relations. There are usually several roles that can provide you with transferable skills that will help you to fulfil your duties as a public relations manager. These roles typically require less extensive experience and qualifications. For example, the role of a public relations assistant will open doors by providing you with valuable industry knowledge.
5. Apply for a PR management role
Once you have the relevant experience, qualifications and skills, you can apply to become a public relations manager. These types of jobs are usually within a large company with a PR department or a PR company that specialises in providing PR services. You can apply for a public relations management role by using the Indeed job board.
Careers similar to public relations manager
Below, you can find the average national salary and typical duties of several other careers that also relate to public relations:
National average salary: $75,176 per year
Primary duties: A social media specialist works in the marketing and PR industry and manages the social media content of a business. A public relations manager often provides a brief to a social media specialist that outlines the desired tone and theme of the content. The specialist may post public comments, respond to media inquiries and create social media events.
National average salary: $101,104 per year
Primary duties: A marketing manager oversees a team of marketers to improve a company's brand awareness and generate sales. The marketing industry includes a wide range of marketing specialists. A marketing manager may oversee copywriters, graphic designers, event marketers and media relations specialists.
National average salary: $123,049 per year
Primary duties: A communications manager usually works for a large corporation that has several communication departments. They use their knowledge of communication techniques to plan strategies for the PR and marketing departments. A communications manager often has an executive role within the company and reports directly to the company directors.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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