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Career and Education Opportunities for Public Relations Managers in Columbia, Maryland

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for public relations managers in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 760 working public relations managers in Maryland; this should grow by 18% to 900 working public relations managers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for public relations managers, which sees this job pool growing by about 12.9% over the next eight years. 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.

Income for public relations managers is about $41 per hour or $85,370 yearly on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $43 per hour or $89,430 yearly. Public relations managers earn less than people working in the category of Marketing and Advertising generally in Maryland and less than people in the Marketing and Advertising category nationally. People working as public relations managers can fill a number of jobs, such as: public relations director, account supervisor, and publicity director.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia 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 training to become 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 Columbia 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

Towson University - Towson, MD

Towson University, 8000 York Rd, Towson, MD 21252-0001. Towson University is a large university located in Towson, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,111 students and an admission rate of 61%. Towson University has a master's degree program in Public Relations/Image Management which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.