In public relations you are always focused on communicating a message, either directly or indirectly. Whether it’s a direct or indirect message, you present it in an appropriate, efficient and effective manner to your target audience.

Job duties and other functions of a PR professional are dependent upon the job type. PR professionals can focus in several different areas according to the type of organization or the level of the employee.

Public Relations between levels of an organization will often exist between a director and a specialist. A director of public relations or communications will manage all of an organization’s messages along with staff. The communications or PR director will likely be the middleman between executives and communication specialists. If needed, they will aid communicators in framing the organizations message.

Jobs are usually not the same among levels of an organization, but also within those levels. All communications and PR-related jobs have the same base work or basic purpose in an organization, but they will differ depending on what is needed or what department they are in. Various jobs can include community relations, health communications, crisis management, media relations and lobbying.

Community relations involves having a presence in the community. These jobs bring information and faces of the organizations into the community. They commonly aim at providing awareness through events. The events promote the image in a positive light, but the key message may have a charitable focus, such as raising money for a cancer cure.

Public relations professionals who may need to directly deal with the effects of cancer are health communicators. Health communicators are usually presenting messages internally and externally. Their audiences can include physicians, nurses, managers, administrators, patients, families and potential patients.

A function of health communicators may sometimes include crisis communication. In crisis communication, professionals will aim to release a message about bad news in the least damaging way possible while releasing the message as fast as they can. They deal with threats, either to the organization or to its stakeholders. They have to know what decision to make or what message to release. They must make it quickly enough to minimize any damage.

A crisis communicator may hire or may be a media relations specialist. A media relations specialist deals with media on behalf of a company. They moderate the conversation between the company who employs them and any relevant TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, online content managers and magazine editors. This job may consist of constant emails, phone calls or in-person meetings with the media.

Lobbying consists of skills similar to all of the above PR professionals, but usually never makes the PR job list. PR professionals have all the same skills as lobbyists and can easily be very successful. Lobbying consists of being the middleman of communication between an organization, the media and legislators. The goal of a lobbyist is to influence a legislator’s vote on a pending legislation. In order to be effective, researching content and being persuasive are necessary attributes.

Public Relations degrees can qualify you for a gamut of jobs. Don’t let the lack of “PR” in a job title deter you from applying if you think you might be qualified. There are many different specialties, so find the one that is right for you.

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