Career and Education Opportunities for Public Relations Specialists in Huntsville, Alabama
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for public relations specialists in the Huntsville, Alabama area. Currently, 2,260 people work as public relations specialists in Alabama. This is expected to grow by 20% to 2,700 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for public relations specialists are expected to grow by about 24.0%. Public relations specialists generally engage in promoting or creating good will for individuals, groups, or organizations by writing or selecting favorable publicity material and releasing it through various communications media.
Public relations specialists earn about $19 per hour or $40,060 annually on average in Alabama and about $24 hourly or $51,280 annually on average nationally. Jobs in this field include: motivational speaker, relationship manager, and political aide.
There are eleven schools of higher education in the Huntsville area, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree to start your career as a public relations specialist. The most common level of education for public relations specialists is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a public relations specialist if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Public Relations Specialist
In general, public relations specialists engage in promoting or creating good will for individuals, groups, or organizations by writing or selecting favorable publicity material and releasing it through various communications media. They also may prepare and arrange displays, and make speeches.
Public relations specialists respond to requests for data from the media or designate another appropriate spokesperson or data source. They also arrange public appearances or exhibits for clients to increase product and service awareness and to promote goodwill. Equally important, public relations specialists have to talk with other managers to pinpoint trends and key group interests and concerns or to furnish advice on business decisions. They are often called upon to ready or edit organizational publications for internal and external audiences, including employee newsletters and stockholders' reports. Finally, public relations specialists talk with production and support personnel to produce or direct production of advertisements and promotions.
Every day, public relations specialists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they speak clearly.
It is important for public relations specialists to establish and maintain cooperative relationships with representatives of community and public interest groups. They are often called upon to study the objectives, promotional policies and needs of organizations to optimize public relations strategies that will influence public opinion or promote concepts, products and services. They also confer with advertising agencies or staff to organize promotional campaigns in all types of media for products, organizations, or individuals. They are sometimes expected to formulate and direct development and communication of informational programs to maintain favorable public and stockholder perceptions of an organization's accomplishments and agenda. Somewhat less frequently, public relations specialists are also expected to purchase advertising space and time as used to promote client's product or agenda.
Public relations specialists sometimes are asked to formulate and conduct market and public opinion research to test products or decide on potential for product success, communicating results to client or management. They also have to be able to ready and deliver speeches to further public relations objectives and talk with production and support personnel to produce or direct production of advertisements and promotions. And finally, they sometimes have to ready or edit organizational publications for internal and external audiences, including employee newsletters and stockholders' reports.
Like many other jobs, public relations specialists must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Huntsville include:
- Copy Writer. Write advertising copy for use by publication or broadcast media to promote sale of goods and services.
- Interpreter. Translate or interpret written, oral, or sign language text into another language for others.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Public Relations Specialist Training
Oakwood University - Huntsville, AL
Oakwood University, 7000 Adventist Blvd NW, Huntsville, AL 35896. Oakwood University is a small university located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,850 students and an admission rate of 57%. Oakwood University has 2 areas of study related to Public Relations Specialist. They are:
- Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree.
- Public Relations/Image Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
Certified Special Events Professional: The CSEP designation is the hallmark of professional achievement in the special events industry.
For more information, see the International Special Events Society website.
Certified Speaking Professional: The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, conferred by the National Speakers Association and the International Federation for Professional Speakers, is the speaking profession's international measure of professional platform skill.
For more information, see the National Speakers Association website.
Accreditation in Public Relations: APR certification proves you have successfully demonstrated competency in the knowledge, skills and abilities required to practice public relations effectively in today's business arena.
For more information, see the Public Relations Society of America website.
Certified Recycling Systems Professional: Earning this certification shows your employer and your colleagues that you are committed to only the highest standards in our industry.
For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.
The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.