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In April 2010 BP’s Deepwater Horizon well exploded, sending oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and into the news for three months. Boycotts of BP gas stations popped up all across the country as frustration grew over the company’s failed efforts to stop the massive leak. The gushing well wasn’t their only problem, as their public relations efforts continued to make the situation worse according to many. First, they delayed responding at all, allowing the fake and humorous BPGlobalPR Twitter feed to dominate the conversation by relaying the angst of the public. Furthermore, when BP did issue public statements they lacked a show of human compassion, said most public relations experts. President Barack Obama voiced that the money spent on their multi-million dollar national TV spot should have gone to cleanup and compensating devastated fisherman and small business owners. In every company’s history there are public relations crises like this, which is why Public Relations Coordinators exist. A PR Coordinator is in charge of crafting a company’s story to help portray it in a positive light across the media to potential customers every day.
A Public Relations Coordinator works to create and maintain a favorable public image for an organization. They do this by analyzing public opinion towards their company and using this information to help shape their organization’s policies and refine the story they’re crafting about it. As part of building the story, they help coordinate events and promote their company across print, broadcast, and online media.
While a typical day might vary, here are some tasks you’ll probably encounter:
On average a PR Coordinator makes $43,000 per year. Beyond that you can go on to become a Communications Director ($92,000 on average per year), a Publicist ($52,000 on average per year), a Public Relations Director ($92,000 on average per year), or a Public Relations Specialist ($52,000 on average per year).
Here are some hot spots for PR coordinators:
To be a PR Coordinator you’ll generally need a bachelor’s degree in communications, PR, journalism, or marketing. Beyond that employers are looking for people with excellent writing and communication skills. It’s also important that you have interpersonal skills, and that you’re organized, deadline-oriented, proactive, and creative. And finally it’s great to have new media experience–so to get started begin branding yourself across the internet. Create profiles on social media outlets that reflect your own story.
If Public Relations still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
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