A public relations officer (also known as a public relations specialist) plays an important role in creating the public’s perception of an individual or company through organising and managing media opportunities.
As there are many factors involved including building relationships and keeping the public informed, the role can leave many people asking, ‘what is a public relations officer?’. So, Adoni Media’s Account Manager, Jess, has outlined her usual day as a PR officer to show you her role behind the scenes.
“The main responsibility of a PR officer is planning media strategy for each client, which means looking at what they’re doing currently and what’s coming up for them. Then, tailoring their key messages and looking at how the media we can get these messages in the media spotlight. With that comes writing media releases and finding the right journalist to pitch your story,” said Jess.
There are daily or weekly tasks including monitoring what stories have gone live to send to the clients and, depending on the client, putting together a weekly or monthly report of results so they can get their ROI.”
“Easily one of the main questions I’m asked is ‘what is the job of a public relations officer?’, and this is usually because no two days are the same in the PR industry. Other questions I’ve been asked are ‘what is the function of a public relations officer?’, ‘what is expected of a public relations officer?’ and ‘what is the duty of a public relations officer?’
I’ve also noticed people tend to ask industry specific questions including ‘what is the role of a public relations officer in an organisation?’ or ‘what is the role of a public relations officer in a school?’ As an agency, there can be a variety of clients from a wide range of fields, so it’s a great way to gain experience representing companies in multiple industries.”
“The best thing about university is it really refines your writing, but it also teaches you how to problem solve and that’s what you’re constantly doing as a PR officer. You’re finding problems and figuring out what the best solution is for the client, the media, and the agency itself.
There are many skills I’ve personally picked up during university, which weren’t taught in a classroom. Out of them all, the main skill I’ve used as a PR officer is time management. Between juggling multiple courses, internships, and work – time management is a skill I needed at the time and still rely on now.
Another helpful skill is being able to prioritise tasks. While there might be five assignments due in the same week, it was important to prioritise those which needed more time and those which didn’t. This is used a lot in my role as some tasks might take weeks to prepare for while others simply need a day.”