Career and Education Opportunities for Public Relations Specialists in Des Moines, Iowa
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for public relations specialists in the Des Moines, Iowa area. Currently, 2,190 people work as public relations specialists in Iowa. This is expected to grow 13% to 2,470 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.
Income for public relations specialists is about $21 hourly or $44,540 annually on average in Iowa. Nationally, their income is about $24 per hour or $51,280 yearly. Public relations specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: corporate communications director, press secretary, and relationship manager.
The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree 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 studying to be 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 Des Moines 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 College - Pella, IA
Central College, 812 University, Pella, IA 50219. Central College is a small college located in Pella, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,558 students and an admission rate of 77%. Central College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.
Drake University - Des Moines, IA
Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has a bachelor's degree program in Public Relations/Image Management which graduated one student in 2008.
Simpson College - Indianola, IA
Simpson College, 701 North C St, Indianola, IA 50125. Simpson College is a small college located in Indianola, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,052 students and an admission rate of 88%. Simpson College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated three students in 2008.
Grand View University - Des Moines, IA
Grand View University, 1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316. Grand View University is a small university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,936 students and an admission rate of 95%. Grand View University has a bachelor's degree program in Public Relations/Image Management which graduated two 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: Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.
The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.
Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.