Everything you need to know for a career in Public Relations

Public Relations can be broadly defined as the field in which tactical communication strategies are used to build favourable relationships between organisations and their audiences.

If you like the idea of an exciting, fast-paced job where you have the opportunity to influence public opinion on a local and even an international scale, then a career in Public Relations could be just what you’re looking for.

Positions within the Public Relations field

The PR realm is wide-reaching and there are lots of different career paths you could follow including;

  • Publicist – responsible for getting maximum coverage for their clients using their good relationships with the media.
  • Communications consultant – a freelancer who consults on marketing strategies and other aspects of an organisation’s public image.
  • Marketing analyst – collects, analyses and interprets data to help organisations plan sales strategies and marketing campaigns.
  • Journalist – writes and presents news and commentary for radio, television, press and online.
  • Media Liaison Officer – fosters relationships with media outlets with the aim of increasing an organisation’s media coverage.
  • Press Officer – prepares press releases, organises press conferences and acts as the main media contact for an organisation.
  • Public Relations Officer – liaises with the media to help maintain and grow the relationship between an organisation and its audience.

Public Relations tasks include, but are not limited to;

  • Organising publicity campaigns  
  • Advising organisations on the public relations implications of their policies and procedures
  • Preparing press releases and organising press conferences
  • Undertaking and commissioning public opinion research
  • Organising special events to promote favourable publicity
  • Representing organisations in media interviews
  • Attending functions to promote organisations
  • Monitoring publicity material to ensure favourable publicity.

Benefits of a career in PR

As well as being a glamorous career, Public Relations offers a range of great benefits including;

Attractive salary – the average salary for a Public Relations specialist is around $67,000, with a base salary of $54,000 and a top-end salary of around $111,000.

Job security – there is a consistent demand for experienced PR professionals in Australia and most positions are permanent.

Career options – the many different directions you can go and the different fields you can specialise in make Public Relations a dynamic career with plenty of freedom of choice.

Prestige – you could find yourself helping to develop marketing and PR strategies for major international brands such as Coca-Cola or Nike.

Excitement – the role is always interesting and challenging and never boring, requiring intelligence, creativity, hard work and dedication.

Job satisfaction – being innovative and successfully solving clients’ marketing and PR problems can be a highly rewarding role.  

Social interaction – if you enjoy socialising, PR is a people-focused career providing lots of opportunities to meet like-minded people and rub shoulders with movers and shakers.

Influence – a PR professional is in a position of influence, helping to change peoples’ thinking, educating and informing them and inspiring them to action on various topics

Inside knowledge – public relations specialists are privy to the latest trends and products before they hit the market.

What makes a great public relations professional

While most skills can be developed and improved through training, some basic talents you would do well to have for a career in Public Relations include an outgoing nature, the ability to relate well to others, good communication skills and a basic understanding of human nature and why people act the way that they do.

Other attributes that would hold you in good stead might include:

  • A talent for public speaking
  • Active listening abilities
  • Problem solving skills
  • Good time management
  • Loads of creativity
  • Excellent reading and writing skills

Additionally, having a knack for negotiation and persuasion, sound research skills and familiarity with using social media tools would also help you to hit the ground running in most PR positions.

So is Public Relations the right field for you? Often the best way to find out is to suck it and see. And the best way to do that is to enrol in ICI’s Diploma in Public Relations. This course will teach you the skills you will need to succeed and give you a quick and convenient insight into whether PR is the right career path for you.

Online, career focused education that suits your lifestyle.

See our courses
Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.