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Career and Education Opportunities for Public Relations Specialists in Hartford, Connecticut

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for public relations specialists in the Hartford, Connecticut area. There are currently 3,260 working public relations specialists in Connecticut; this should grow by 13% to about 3,680 working public relations specialists in the state 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%. 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.

The income of a public relations specialist is about $25 hourly or $52,890 yearly on average in Connecticut. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $24 hourly or $51,280 annually on average. People working as public relations specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: lobbyist, environmental communications specialist, and communications director.

There are sixty-two schools of higher education in the Hartford area, including ten within twenty-five miles of Hartford where you can get a degree to start your career as a public relations specialist. Given that the most common education level 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

Public Relations Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Hartford include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • 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

Central Connecticut State University - New Britain, CT

Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley St, New Britain, CT 06050. Central Connecticut State University is a large university located in New Britain, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,233 students and an admission rate of 60%. Central Connecticut State University has 2 areas of study related to Public Relations Specialist. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 76 students in 2008.
  • Public Relations/Image Management, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Westfield State College - Westfield, MA

Westfield State College, 577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01086-1630. Westfield State College is a medium sized college located in Westfield, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,562 students and an admission rate of 62%. Westfield State College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Connecticut - Storrs, CT

University of Connecticut, , Storrs, CT 06269. University of Connecticut is a large university located in Storrs, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,273 students and an admission rate of 54%. University of Connecticut has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated six and six students respectively in 2008.

Tunxis Community College - Farmington, CT

Tunxis Community College, Rts 6 and 177, Farmington, CT 06032-3187. Tunxis Community College is a small college located in Farmington, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,328 students. Tunxis Community College has a less than one year program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two students in 2008.

Quinnipiac University - Hamden, CT

Quinnipiac University, Mt Carmel Ave, Hamden, CT 06518. Quinnipiac University is a medium sized university located in Hamden, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,413 students and an admission rate of 45%. Quinnipiac University has 2 areas of study related to Public Relations Specialist. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 95 students in 2008.
  • Public Relations/Image Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 95 students in 2008.

University of Hartford - West Hartford, CT

University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117-1599. University of Hartford is a medium sized university located in West Hartford, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,366 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Hartford has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Capital Community College - Hartford, CT

Capital Community College, 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103. Capital Community College is a small college located in Hartford, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,989 students. Capital Community College has an associate's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two students in 2008.

Springfield College - Springfield, MA

Springfield College, 263 Alden St, Springfield, MA 01109-3797. Springfield College is a small college located in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,849 students and an admission rate of 68%. Springfield College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Middlesex Community College - Middletown, CT

Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, CT 06457-4829. Middlesex Community College is a small college located in Middletown, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,624 students. Middlesex Community College has an associate's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated three students in 2008.

Western New England College - Springfield, MA

Western New England College, 1215 Wilbraham Rd, Springfield, MA 01119-2684. Western New England College is a small college located in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,215 students and an admission rate of 73%. Western New England College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut photo by Contimm

Hartford is situated in Hartford County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 124,062, which has grown by 2.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Hartford, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Hartford cost $82,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Hartford, down from twelve the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Hartford are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 12.4% of Hartford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Hartford is 14.4%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Hartford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Our Lady of Sorrows Church, All Saints Orthodox Church and Sacred Heart Church are all churches located in Hartford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Hartford is home to the Albany Avenue Branch Hartford Public Library and the North Meadows Industrial Park as well as Little Hollywood Historic District and West End North Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Park Plaza Shopping Center, Pavillion at State House Shopping Center and Civic Center Mall Shopping Center.