How to Become a Public Relations Consultant

If you’re excellent with people and have great verbal and written fields, you may find that a field in public relations consulting might be great for you. Public relations consultants need to work closely with their company to project the right image to the public.

What Is a Public Relations Consultant?

How to Become a Public Relations Consultant

The public relations consultants for large corporations are highly paid and highly skilled individuals.

A public relations specialist is an organization’s first point of contact with the public. As outlined in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a public relations consultant is required to craft and maintain a company image using a diverse set of tools. These tools include media outlets, press releases, corporate logos, websites and branding. A public relations consultant needs to be an expert in marketing and communications, and will usually have a Bachelor’s Degree in a field related to these areas.

Public relations consultants can range from specialists that work within a dynamic team to managers that manage specialists and other media consultants. Public relations consultants work in a variety of industries, such as for big corporations, charities, non-profit organizations, government organizations and even private politicians.

Bachelor's Degree
1 to 5 years
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to O*Net Online, the field displays extremely large growth and is expected to expand by 28 percent in the next decade.

What Does a Public Relations Consultant Do?

A public relations specialist needs to control all of the media about a company in order to control the company’s image. A consultant may write press releases to be dispatched directly to the media or need to do work to analyze a company’s clients and audience. The consultant needs to talk to the company to identify the message the company wants to put out to the clients and then determine the best way to project this message.

Consultants often focus on creating a comprehensive branding for a company and maintaining this branding. Public relations consultants often work very closely with marketing departments or directly with the marketing department for this reason. Public relations consultants are highly trained and highly motivated individuals who are uniquely responsible for the company’s image.

How Do You Become a Public Relations Consultant?

If you’re interested in becoming a public relations consultant, you will usually need to first acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. This degree is often directly in the field of Public Relations or Communications, but it doesn’t always have to be. Degrees in business, advertising and political science are also related. Public relations specialists usually undergo on-the-job training through a public relations manager.

The industry is very unique and requires experience and knowledge. Public relations consultants new to the business will often want to consume large amounts of media and learn more about the media industry overall. There is also a certification process available through The Public Relations Society of America for those that want to prove they have the skills the job demands.

How Do You Advance as a Public Relations Consultant?

The simplest form of advancement as a public relations consultant is to become a public relations manager. By maintaining a good track record and running superb campaigns, a public relations consultant will eventually develop a reputation. Reputation is extremely important within this industry, as is networking. Experience is equally important. Public relations consultants usually acquire many years in the industry before they are considered very advanced professionals.

The public relations consultants for large corporations are highly paid and highly skilled individuals. Consultants may also enter into related fields, such as the fields of fundraising management, market research analysis, advertising and promotions management and more. Arbitrators, mediators and conciliators are also related to consulting and are often self-employed and maintain their own client base.

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