Whether it’s a small, independent business or a multinational corporation, every company needs a reliable public relations (PR) department. PR plays a vital role in maintaining a company’s reputation, and insuring that it is viewed positively by the public.

With PR such an important part in every business, it makes for a great industry to work in. With plenty of job opportunities and the chance to decide which industry you actually go into, more and more people are turning towards the PR profession.

Specialising in public relations at university isn’t essential, but it is a step in the right direction if you’re already considering a career in PR. You can even study a postgraduate PR programme online. 

Here, you can find out about what studying PR entails, and what your potential earnings could be.

What skills will I need?

- Excellent communication, both written and verbal
- Refined time management skills, and the ability to multitask
- Good organisational skills and the ability to think ahead
- A keen interest in and adequate knowledge of media

What will I learn?

If you choose to study public relations, you will acquire theoretical knowledge and develop practical skills, all of which will be incredibly useful once you secure employment.

You will learn how to successfully identify the cause of various different problems, while developing the ability to analyse trends and predict their consequences. You will also learn how to research public attitudes and expectations effectively, and how to use such research to gain your employer an advantage.

Studying PR will develop your writing and editing skills as you’ll be expected to work on a range of media including press releases and reports. As such, you’ll also learn how to build professional relationships and work well alongside journalists.

You will also learn how to identify major social issues and the effects they can have on an organisation.

In which sectors can I find employment?

The list of sectors you can find PR employment in is extensive. Here are just a few industries you may want to consider:

- Charity/not-for-profit
- Corporate and financial
- Education
- Fashion
- Food
- Healthcare
- Music and entertainment
- Motor industry
- Property
- Public affairs
- Technology
- Travel
- Science and engineering

If you already know which sector you would like to work in then it makes sense to educate yourself on that particular industry. Keep up to date with industry trends and current issues, as this will prove your interest and dedication.

How much will I be able to earn after graduation?

The starting salary for a PR officer usually sits somewhere between £20,000 and £28,000. With several years of industry experience, it isn’t difficult to earn over £30,000. Those in senior positions, such as PR director, can find themselves earning upwards of £40,000, with some earning more than £100,000.

Salaries generally depend on the company and region; the private sector tends to pay more, as do roles situated in London and the south east.