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What Skills Does A PR Manager Need

Our head of Marketing recruitment, James Hales, talks us through the role of a PR Manager, how they can impact a business and what skillset is needed in this role.

PR and how it sits within a business

The CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) defines PR as about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. As a marketing recruiter, I have noticed that more businesses are recognising not only the need to incorporate PR into their marketing strategy, but also the benefits it can have as a standalone role both internally and externally.

PR roles are traditionally agency based as most companies will seek it out as just one of their marketing needs. Larger businesses may have the need for this to be a standalone, in-house role by also focusing on the internal PR function; as it is important for a business to build their reputation internally before focussing externally. However, for an SME, PR roles will often be part of a broader marketing or communications role.

What a PR Manager does

Like most roles in Marketing, there is no ‘typical day’ for a PR Manager. Depending on the company you work with and the activities they will be promoting, it can be a very varied role where no two days will be the same.

You will more than likely be dealing with both online and offline media. Depending on the size of the business, you could be the sole person putting together copy for press releases, articles, interviews, blogs and case-studies. It will also be up to you to showcase your business through the correct channels (websites, magazines, social media, partner communication etc.) and in a strategic manner. You could also find yourself dealing with the press and advertising or a regular basis.

Part of your role as PR Manager may be to organise press or product launches. You may also be managing relationships with key stakeholders and maintaining regular communication, from general updates to crisis comms.

What skills are needed to be a PR Manager?

First and foremost, a passion for PR is a must. It may sound obvious, but PR in particular is best suited to somebody who believes in the value of what they are doing and has the confidence to deliver it well. The industry can be challenging and very fast-paced so you really need to love what you do in order to do it well. And that “passion” is one of the first things your future employer will look for when hiring their PR Manager.

One of the biggest elements of PR is to be a strong communicator through multiple channels. Whether you are dealing with the press, putting together content for an article or a piece as part of a bigger campaign for a business. We often see candidates beginning their journey in PR through comms, and it often leads to valuable experience that you can draw upon when it comes to progressing your career.

A crucial part of being a PR Manager is managing your relationships. Either internally, generating content from your co-workers, or external relationships with clients and the media. It is essential that you ensure the business message is delivered consistently and in the correct way.

You must also be a proactive manager. It will be your responsibility to go and find opportunities to showcase your business, formulate a strategy and see it through from planning to launch. So, you’ll need to be self-motivated and committed to each project.

PR Managers will almost always have had prior copywriting experience, whether that was your previous job role or just part of what you were doing before; it almost goes without saying you’ll have a keen eye for good content as well as being a strong content creator yourself. In the current marketing climate, “content is king” so you’ll have to be on top of your game. There is a difference between writing copy and writing copy that will really make your message and business initiatives stand out, and as the PR Manager, it will be up to you to recognise that difference.

How Much Does A PR Manager Earn?

Depending on your level of experience, you will be looking at a salary of between 30-35k at an agency. You could then progress up to a Senior Account Manager, and then an Account Director.

If you are working in-house, this may increase to 40k, depending on the size of your team. If you’re leading a PR function for a large business, you could see your salary go up to an impressive 50-80k. This could lead to a broader head of Communications position.

The East Midlands PR market is typically candidate short, which makes it candidate led and we are regularly working with PR agencies who are always interested in speaking to good people – so this puts our candidates in a great position. We are always looking to speak to PR professionals, from account executives and copywriters to directors. So, if you’re looking to take the next step in your PR career – get in touch!

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