What Are the Functions of the Public Relations Officer?

Public relations officers, also referred to as public relations specialists, media specialists or press officers, serve as the communications link between an organization and the public. They make use of media contacts and their own creativity to communicate an organization's message and to handle any potentially damaging circumstances. Public relations officers must have a strong command of the English language and the ability to think on their feet.

  1. Crafting Press Releases

    • Public relations officers create press releases and send them to various media outlets. The releases can provide information on a new product or service or alert the public about an upcoming event. They may also announce changes in an organization such as the hiring of new personnel or plans for business expansion.

    Media Liaison

    • Public relations officers serve as a liaison between an organization and the media. Any requests for information or media interviews are often directed to the public relations officer. The officer may consult with the organization's leaders before giving a response to potentially sensitive or confidential matters.

    Strategic Planning

    • Public relations officer may develop and implement a strategy or campaign for a specific event. For example, when an organization is planning a campaign to raise funds, the officer will develop a strategy to make the public aware of the event. A strategy can involve using media, the telephone, the Internet and personal contacts to accomplish the task.

    Crisis Management

    • A public relations officer will serves as the spokesperson for the organization when something negative occurs. For example, when an industrial accident results in injuries to workers, a company will have the public relations officer state the company's position and handle media questions. Politicians use public relations officers to help show a poor public approval rating in a more positive light.

    Community Relations

    • Public relations officers create ways to strengthen an organization's ties to the community. They may arrange for company officials to speak to community organizations or develop a plan to sponsor a charity event. They might also develop a scholarship program in the name of the organization to help send a high school student to college.

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  • Photo Credit Company image by Yuriy Rozanov from Fotolia.com

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