If you’re a newspaper reporter, or dream of landing a job in this field, you may want to consider other options as the career takes the dreaded “prize” as the absolute worst job in the nation for 2013. The reason? “Ever-shrinking newsrooms, dwindling budgets and competition from Internet businesses,” according to CareerCast.com. For 2014, the news isn’t any better. In fact, by 2020, the number of reporter jobs is projected to decline by 6 percent and the average pay will continue to fall, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fortunately, there are a number of career options for reporters and individuals studying journalism in college today.
A Skyrocketing Career
On the other end of the spectrum, for those in public relations or who are thinking about a career in the field, the projected growth for a public relations specialist is expected to be nearly 23 percent between 2010 and 2020; Yahoo Education named public relations the No. 1 “Hot Career.”
It’s a Great Time for PR
Today’s instant access to news and information coupled with the fast pace of social media have highlighted the importance of marketing and PR, which is only expected to increase in the future. Good public relations can make or break a company. A specialist helps a client to communicate effectively with the public using many social and business platforms including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
U.S.News.com listed a public relations specialist as the “Best Creative Job,” noting that social media outreach has become an integral part of the position, and that combined with a range of versatile Internet tools, jobs are growing at a fast rate.
Necessary Skills and Education
To land a PR specialist position you’ll likely need to have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, public relations, journalism or communications. An internship in PR can help students obtain essential hands-on experience and give them an edge over other job applicants.
For a successful PR career, you need to be extremely well-rounded, with outstanding skills in everything from communication to research and writing. Due to the globalization of business, there also is an increased demand for those who are fluent in at least one other language besides English.
Many would-be P.R. professionals don’t realize they’ll also need to have exceptional writing skills since one of their responsibilities will be to write engaging content that requires an outstanding grasp of grammar. According to the Salary Survey by PR News, the two skills that are considered the most important for advancement are media relations and written communication.
When applying for any position, including public relations, acing the interview is a must for actually winning the job. Proper preparation for the interview and a neat and complete application is crucial. Printable applications can be found at www.job-applications.com for nearly all major employers, making it easier to ensure a clean, well-written application and a good first impression.
Top Cities for the Best PR Jobs
How is the outlook where you live? PR Daily published a list of the “happiest cities” for public relations and marketing professionals. Not only were salaries taken into account, but overall job satisfaction and location also were considered. Phoenix took the honor as the No. 1 city for happy PR and marketing pros, while the other cities listed included Indianapolis, Houston, St. Louis, Detroit, Charlotte, Boston, San Jose, Chicago and Austin.
If you’re looking for strictly the highest salaries and most available jobs, Marketwired says the top city is Washington, DC, where the average mean salary is $81,000, compared to the national overall average of $46,000. Toronto, Denver, Austin and Boston round out the top five for highest paying locations for PR jobs.
Pete Crawford used to hire and fire people for a Fortune 500 company. These days the Phoenix-based HR consultant plays golf as much as he can.