Public relations, or “PR,” professionals develop and maintain a favourable public image for the individuals, groups or organizations they represent. They write news releases and strategic communication plans and create social media programs to shape public perception of their clients and to increase awareness of an organization’s work and goals.
Individuals in this profession work with clients, investors, reporters, and other media specialists. In government, public relations specialists may keep the public informed about the activities of government officials and agencies.
There is a wide range of public relations courses, diplomas and degrees one can pursue to become a public relations professional. A university degree or diploma in business marketing, public relations, communications or journalism, usually in combination with liberal arts studies, is standard for the industry.
Regardless of their credentials, public relations professionals will need exceptional writing and verbal communications skills, the ability to distill complex information into simple and coherent messages, and determination and resilience in the face of tight deadlines to succeed in this field. Experience with social media and other digital tools — for social media monitoring, blogging, podcasting, video production, and others — will help differentiate public relations professionals.
Job titles in this field include Public Relations Specialist, Public Relations Manager, Account Manager, Account Director, Communications Strategist, Investor Relations Manager, and Vice President of Public Relations.
According to the Canadian JobBank website, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings in this profession are expected to total 46,400, while 44,100 new job seekers are expected to be available to fill them.
The average public relations salary in Canada is $59,778 per year or $30.66 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $49,253 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $120,000 per year before taking on senior management roles.