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Career and Education Opportunities for Public Relations Specialists in Atlanta, Georgia

Public relations specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Atlanta, Georgia. There are currently 3,510 working public relations specialists in Georgia; this should grow by 17% to about 4,120 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.

Public relations specialists earn approximately $21 per hour or $44,810 per year on average in Georgia. Nationally they average about $24 per hour or $51,280 yearly. People working as public relations specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: public affairs officer, public relations officer, and service promoter salesperson.

There are ninety-one schools of higher education in the Atlanta area, including three within twenty-five miles of Atlanta 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 studying to be 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 Atlanta 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

Kennesaw State University - Kennesaw, GA

Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Rd, Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591. Kennesaw State University is a large university located in Kennesaw, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,340 students and an admission rate of 59%. Kennesaw State University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated 199 students in 2008.

Georgia State University - Atlanta, GA

Georgia State University, 33 gilmer st, Atlanta, GA 30303-3083. Georgia State University is a large university located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,182 students and an admission rate of 53%. Georgia State University has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated fourteen and one students respectively in 2008.

Clayton State University - Morrow, GA

Clayton State University, 2000 Clayton State Boulevard, Morrow, GA 30260-0285. Clayton State University is a medium sized university located in Morrow, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,056 students and an admission rate of 46%. Clayton State University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twelve 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.

LICENSES

Public Relations Specialists

Licensing agency: Public Relations Society of America
Address: 33 Maiden Lane, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038-5150

Phone: (212) 460-1400
Website: Public Relations Society of America

LOCATION INFORMATION: Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia photo by Evilarry

Atlanta is located in Fulton County, Georgia. It has a population of over 537,958, which has grown by 29.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Atlanta, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Atlanta cost $173,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred two new homes were constructed in Atlanta, down from 1,247 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Atlanta are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 34.6% of Atlanta residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Atlanta is 11.1%, which is greater than Georgia's average of 10.1%.

The percentage of Atlanta residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Aarons Tabernacle Church, Welcome Home Baptist Church and Adair Park Church are some of the churches located in Atlanta. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Atlanta is home to the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center and the Diuid Hills Golf Club as well as Alexander Park and Wesley Avenue Park. Shopping malls in the area include Rio Mall Shopping Center, Collier Heights Plaza Shopping Center and Northside Parkway Shopping Center. Visitors to Atlanta can choose from Country Inn-Stes Atl Dwntwn S, Comfort Inn and Comfort Inn Buckhead North for temporary stays in the area.