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Career and Education Opportunities for Public Relations Specialists in Charlotte, North Carolina

For those living in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, there are many career and education opportunities for public relations specialists. About 4,640 people are currently employed as public relations specialists in North Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow 21% to about 5,610 people employed. 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 hourly or $45,210 per year on average in North Carolina. Nationally they average about $24 hourly or $51,280 per year. Jobs in this field include: press agent, concert promoter, and campaign manager.

The Charlotte area is home to forty-three schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Charlotte where you can get a degree as a public relations specialist. Public relations specialists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Charlotte 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

University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Charlotte, NC

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223-0001. University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a large university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,300 students and an admission rate of 75%. University of North Carolina at Charlotte has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated four and five students respectively in 2008.

Catawba College - Salisbury, NC

Catawba College, 2300 W Innes St, Salisbury, NC 28144. Catawba College is a small college located in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,261 students and an admission rate of 61%. Catawba College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated eight students in 2008.

Lenoir-Rhyne University - Hickory, NC

Lenoir-Rhyne University, 625 7th Avenue NE, Hickory, NC 28601. Lenoir-Rhyne University is a small university located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,548 students and an admission rate of 81%. Lenoir-Rhyne University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Queens University of Charlotte - Charlotte, NC

Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Ave, Charlotte, NC 28274-0001. Queens University of Charlotte is a small university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,316 students and an admission rate of 57%. Queens University of Charlotte has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated one and nine students respectively in 2008.

Winthrop University - Rock Hill, SC

Winthrop University, 119 Tillman Hall, Rock Hill, SC 29733. Winthrop University is a medium sized university located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,018 students and an admission rate of 70%. Winthrop University has a bachelor's degree program in Public Relations/Image Management which graduated thirty-nine students in 2008.

Wingate University - Wingate, NC

Wingate University, 220 North Camden Road, Wingate, NC 28174-0157. Wingate University is a small university located in Wingate, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,126 students and an admission rate of 55%. Wingate University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty-four 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

Lobbyist

Licensing agency: NC Department of the Secretary of State
Address: Lobbyist Registration, Post Office Box 29622, Raleigh, NC 27626-0622

Phone: (919) 807-2156
Website: NC Department of the Secretary of State Lobbyist Registration

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina photo by Alaskan Assassin

Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 687,456, which has grown by 27.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charlotte, 86, is well below the national average.

The three big industries for women in Charlotte are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 36.4% of Charlotte residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charlotte is 9.7%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Charlotte residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.0%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. New Hampton Church, New Emmanuel Church and New East Stonewall Church are all churches located in Charlotte. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charlotte is home to the Crown Point Plaza and the Providence Square as well as Kilborne District Park and Little Rock Road District Park. Shopping malls in the area include Heckinger Shopping Center, Hampshire Hills Shopping Center and Providence Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Charlotte can choose from American Motel, Extended Stay America - Charlotte/Tyvola and Drury Inn and Suites Charlotte for temporary stays in the area.