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The purpose of a PR Specialist is to help develop public relations strategies and implement the corresponding tactics—including events, social media, internal and external communication, community outreach, and media relations—that build and maintain an organization’s favorable image with the public, and support the company’s strategic and marketing goals. Depending on experience, a PR Specialist job can be an entry-level position or middle management. PR Specialists usually wear multiple hats in an organization, working with cross-functional teams, including marketing, corporate communications, and community relations.

What does a PR Specialist do, typically?

Proactively manages media relations

A PR Specialist establishes and maintains positive relationships with media contacts, key influencers, and digital communicators. The Specialist monitors media coverage of the organization, and coordinates interviews and media training for the organization’s spokespeople.

Coordinates and executes specific PR projects

A PR Specialist provides support for public relations and communications projects and activities, and, depending on level, administrative support for the department, as needed.

Implements tactics that promote community engagement

A PR Specialist identifies ways to elevate the organization’s profile in a community and to connect with its stakeholders, through events, social media, press conferences, community relations programs, marketing initiatives, or new product/brand launches.

Creates content

A PR Specialist generates targeted collateral, including blogs, case studies, bylined articles, white papers, thought leadership content, and feature stories.

Knows how to repond to crises

A PR Specialist helps develop a plan for how the organization responds to an urgent situation that could injure the company’s reputation, and works with cross-functional teams to execute the plan. The PR Specialist may act as the organization’s crisis communicator.

A PR Specialist is not:

A Public Relations Manager

PR Specialists usually work under the supervision of a PR/Marketing Manager, who manages the PR staff and department.

A Marketing Specialist

PR Specialists focus on growing the name of the company and strengthening its relationships with its stakeholders and the wider public. Marketing specialists focus on delivering products or offerings that have value to specific customers or clients.

An Event Planner

PR Specialists often develop and deliver events as part of a public relations strategy. Event Planners coordinate all aspects of meetings and events, including location, transportation, vendor contracts, and other details. These jobs often overlap.

Important metrics for a PR Specialist

Many PR experts cite the Barcelona Principles as internationally accepted metrics that cover traditional, digital, and social media. Simplified, these metrics cover:

  • Mentions
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Advocacy
  • Relationship
  • Item
  • Return on Investment

Bonus copy for your PR Specialist job description and job ad

Copy the following text and paste it into your own job description, or, into our downloadable template in the section that looks like this:  <INSERT JOB DESCRIPTION COPY FROM BLOG POST HERE>

As a PR Specialist at <Company XXX>, you’ll get to showcase your expertise in public relations by implementing PR tools, resources, and tactics to build awareness and engagement among our target audiences.

More specifically, you’ll get to:

  • work on events, social media, internal and external communication, community outreach, and media relations to elevate our organization’s profile in a community and connect with our stakeholders
  • nurture relationships with media contacts, key influencers, and digital communicators
  • work on targeted collateral, including blogs, case studies, bylined articles, white papers, thought leadership content, and feature stories
  • work with cross-functional teams to execute PR and marketing projects that connect with communities, key leaders, and media influencers
  • help manage any crisis communications

free job description template