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Career and Education Opportunities for Public Relations Specialists in Tampa, Florida

If you want to be a public relations specialist, the Tampa, Florida area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 18,940 people work as public relations specialists in Florida. This is expected to grow by 21% to 22,980 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for public relations specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 24.0% over the next eight years. 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.

Public relations specialists earn approximately $24 per hour or $50,130 per year on average in Florida. Nationally they average about $24 per hour or $51,280 per year. Public relations specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: public relations coordinator, marketing coordinator, and publications manager.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can study to be a public relations specialist, among fifty-four schools of higher education total in the Tampa area. Public relations specialists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Tampa 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

The University of Tampa - Tampa, FL

The University of Tampa, 401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606-1490. The University of Tampa is a medium sized university located in Tampa, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,790 students and an admission rate of 50%. The University of Tampa has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Clearwater Christian College - Clearwater, FL

Clearwater Christian College, 3400 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33759-4595. Clearwater Christian College is a small college located in Clearwater, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 604 students and an admission rate of 89%. Clearwater Christian College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two students in 2008.

Florida Southern College - Lakeland, FL

Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr, Lakeland, FL 33801-5698. Florida Southern College is a small college located in Lakeland, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,319 students and an admission rate of 67%. Florida Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Public Relations/Image Management which graduated one student 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: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.