PR qualifications, or public relations qualifications, include education requirements, training and personal characteristics. Some companies that hire public relations professionals may also require the professional to earn special certifications. A public relations professional is responsible for shaping the reputation and brand of the company, product or service the PR specialist is representing.
One of the primary PR qualifications is an education. Most companies, even those hiring entry-level public relations specialists, require a college degree, such as a bachelor’s degree. The degree can be in marketing, communications, journalism or public relations. Earning a more advanced degree, such as a master’s degree in public relations, can help to make the individual more marketable by giving them PR qualifications that stand out above the other applicants for a job.
Experience is another one of the types of PR qualifications that companies look for when hiring employees. Experience can be earned before graduation and while earning a degree through an internship program. The internship may even allow the student to earn credit toward earning their degree. Even if it is not an official internship program that earns college credit, it is a good idea to have experience working in public relations.
When a public relations professional is hired, some companies require them to complete a training program to add to their PR qualifications. These types of programs generally educate the employees on the rules and guidelines of the public relations program that the company runs and how the company handles PR situations.
On a personal level, PR qualifications require professionals that are outgoing. These professionals also need to be able to speak in public, conduct interviews with the media and be able to stay calm in cool in the face of a crisis.
Some companies require or prefer professionals with PR qualifications, such as a certification or various certifications. PR certifications can be earned through various professional organizations. In addition to earning certifications in general public relations, some companies want individuals that possess certifications for the industry in which the PR person will be working.
PR qualifications can land professionals jobs in various types of companies and organizations. Public relations firms and advertising agencies all hire public relations professionals. Individual companies may also staff their marketing department with a public relations person. Bigger companies may even staff the department with more than one person with PR qualifications. Other public relations professions opt to start their PR firm, but this is typically after working for some time in a corporate setting of some kind to gain public relations knowledge and business experience in general.