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Career and Education Opportunities for Public Relations Managers in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for public relations managers. About 2,110 people are currently employed as public relations managers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 16% to 2,440 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for public relations managers are expected to grow by about 12.9%. Public relations managers generally plan and direct public relations programs designed to create and maintain a favorable public image for employer or client; or if engaged in fundraising, plan and direct activities to solicit and maintain funds for special projects and nonprofit organizations.

A person working as a public relations manager can expect to earn about $38 hourly or $79,780 annually on average in Illinois and about $43 hourly or $89,430 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Marketing and Advertising, people working as public relations managers in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Marketing and Advertising nationally. People working as public relations managers can fill a number of jobs, such as: information director, public affairs director, and media relations director.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a public relations manager. Given that the most common education level for public relations managers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a public relations manager if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Public Relations Manager

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

In general, public relations managers plan and direct public relations programs designed to create and maintain a favorable public image for employer or client; or if engaged in fundraising, plan and direct activities to solicit and maintain funds for special projects and nonprofit organizations.

Public relations managers establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients and media representatives and use these relationships to evolve new business opportunities. They also draft speeches for company executives, and arrange interviews and other forms of contact for them. Equally important, public relations managers have to evaluate advertising and promotion programs for compatibility with public relations efforts. They are often called upon to oversee special events such as sponsorship of races, parties introducing new products, or other efforts the firm supports to get public attention through the media without advertising directly. They are expected to oversee communications budgets. Finally, public relations managers assign, supervise and review the efforts of public relations staff.

Every day, public relations managers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to speak clearly. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for public relations managers to formulate policies and procedures pertaining to public data programs, working with public relations executives. They are often called upon to facilitate consumer relations, or the relationship between parts of the company such as the managers and employees, or different branch offices. They also direct efforts of external agencies, establishments and departments that design and implement communication strategies and data programs. They are sometimes expected to produce films and other video products, regulate their distribution, and operate film library. Somewhat less frequently, public relations managers are also expected to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients and media representatives and use these relationships to evolve new business opportunities.

They also have to be able to observe and report on social, economic and political trends that might affect employers and assign, supervise and review the efforts of public relations staff. And finally, they sometimes have to oversee special events such as sponsorship of races, parties introducing new products, or other efforts the firm supports to get public attention through the media without advertising directly.

Like many other jobs, public relations managers must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Advertising Manager. Plan and direct advertising policies and programs or produce collateral materials, such as posters, contests, or give-aways, to create extra interest in the purchase of a product or service for a department, an entire organization, or on an account basis.
  • Marketing Manager. Determine the demand for products and services offered by a firm and its competitors and identify potential customers. Develop pricing strategies with the goal of maximizing the firm's profits or share of the market while ensuring the firm's customers are satisfied. Oversee product development or monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Public Relations Manager Training

Dominican University - River Forest, IL

Dominican University, 7900 W Division St, River Forest, IL 60305. Dominican University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,413 students and an admission rate of 85%. Dominican University has a bachelor's degree program in Public Relations/Image Management which graduated one student in 2008.

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has a bachelor's degree program in Public Relations/Image Management which graduated one student in 2008.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has a bachelor's degree program in Public Relations/Image Management.

CERTIFICATIONS

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter: More than 65,000 people have earned the CPCU professional designation.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives’ everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations’ that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Certified Fund Raising Executive: The Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential provides you with a recognizable demonstration of your personal and professional achievement and commitment.

For more information, see the Association of Fundraising Professionals website.

Marketing Skills Certification: The third module, Marketing Skills Certification (MSC), is the professional certification examination of the Business Marketing Institute, the business-to-business marketing profession's most recognized professional certification standard for marketing managers.

For more information, see the Business Marketing Association website.

Business and Employer Services - Professional Certification: Professional certification exam for Business and Employer Services in workforce development.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

Certified Health Education Specialist: The Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam is a competency-based test that measures the possession, application and interpretation of knowledge related to the Seven Areas of Responsibilities: a comprehensive set of Competencies and Sub-competencies defining the role of an entry-level health educator.

For more information, see the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. website.

Certified Associate in Project Management: As project management grows in scope, importance and recognition, so do the related career and credential options available to you.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.