Public Relations Assistant Job Information

Public relations assistants are usually those starting in the industry, often during their qualifications phase. Working in the PR industry provides new lessons from day one. The PR assistant job is usually an entry level job. In many cases the assistant role functions like an internship, with the difference that the PR assistant as an employee may apply for higher jobs within the agency. It's best to consider the PR assistant job as a PR agent at entry level.

The work environment

The clientele in PR are very mixed, mainly corporate and high profile individuals, with each having a different range of issues in PR terms. The PR assistant's role can include working across many different aspects of the PR business:

  • Writing press releases under the direction of the account manager.
  • Liaising with clients.
  • Assistance with Public Relations campaigns, which may include preparing materials
  • Administrative roles including agency internal administration.

The PR assistant's role regarding content management includes requirements for researching and supplying publicly available information, client issues, formatting and use of media where applicable. Other "production" functions may also be available within the PR agency.

In practice, most PR assistants are progressively trained for their roles, with a heavy emphasis given to their personal academic qualifications. The public relations industry is strictly quality controlled, so although the PR assistant does have inputs into materials content, the work is done under supervision. Working in public relations requires:

  • Excellent communications skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Excellent client relationship skills.
  • Problem solving skills
  • The ability to understand complex situations in relation to client interests

Because PR agencies also do a form of "case management" in often difficult situations for their clients, these skills have to be developed within the agency environment. Agency experience is in fact a requirement of higher PR positions, and it's required because of the nature of the agency's role in these areas. PR assistants receive a thorough introduction and orientation to important agency functions.

The career environment

Qualifications are necessary for promotions, but the industry experience is like an artist's portfolio, credentials for advancement. The PR business demands high levels of performance. Job mobility is the norm in the PR industry to progress, and PR networks often act like headhunters, finding people who are known to be effective in their roles.

For example: For John, Sam is an invaluable, supportive contact, a first member of a professional network which will operate throughout his career. The client is also a contact, even a possible reference, in some contexts. PR professionals know how to do their own personal PR to advance their careers.