A media relations specialist is someone who delivers information about a company to the press. Media relations specialists write and edit press releases, send out emails and update websites. Their main goal is to get coverage from journalists on different events or happenings within their company. In some cases, they don't want coverage and will merely send out releases to help the media keep the facts straight.
Media relations specialists provide important links between their employers and the press. Most attempt to put a positive spin on what is happening with their company or client. Media relations specialists must understand their company's policies, mission and history, informing reporters when something newsworthy takes place. They also issue press credentials and guest passes to various events, as well as arrange interviews between key personnel and journalists.
Media relations specialists must possess strong writing and editing skills, and be experts in grammar and punctuation. They need to possess excellent research skills, ably identifying landmark moments in their company's history--and when those moments are equaled or surpassed. They should be capable speakers, organized, confident, professional, focused and not easily distracted or rattled by questions from reporters. Most media relations specialists also need strong computer skills, since much of their releases in today's world are either sent via email and posted online.
Most companies require their media relations specialists to have a bachelor's degree in public relations. Other studies for media relations specialists may include journalism, mass media, information technology and communications. Occasionally, media relations specialists will have worked as reporters themselves, either in the print or broadcast formats. Others may have made the transition from careers in marketing or sales.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 275,000 workers were employed as public relations specialists in May 2008. That number is projected by the BLS to grow considerably, or by 24 percent, through 2018. That is nearly double the average growth rate for all occupations during the same span. Jobs will be particularly favorable, the BLS reported, for those with college degrees.
Much of what a media relations specialist is able to earn is based on time on the job, industry and overall duties. Obviously, those who work for bigger corporations and manage departments have the best earning potential. According to PayScale.com, media relations specialists makes anywhere from $44,000 to more than $69,000 per year in April 2010.
- Photo Credit reanding a report image by Mykola Velychko from Fotolia.com
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