Let’s Hear It for the PR Pro

The public relations profession doesn’t typically rake in a great dual of kudos. Sure, the internal "way to go" feedback takes place occasionally, but when the external spotlight shines it is often negative in nature — as in struggles in dealing with a crisis.

That shouldn’t deter one from the profession, at least according to U.S. News & World Report. In its "Best Jobs of 2012 list," it ranks the public relations specialist position the number one creative services job of the current year.

Thanks to the explosive popularity of social media, companies have entered a new era in the field of reputation monitoring, and social media outreach has largely been assigned to PR departments, and has led to more comprehensive contracts with PR agencies — and will continue to do so. "Whether you’re the press secretary for the President of the United States, a communications director for Google, or a media specialist for a small nonprofit, your main goal is to generate positive publicity for your client and improve their reputation," the article says about the PR profession.

In addition to the high ranking for PR, the article also cites promising job opportunities over the next decade — the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects public relations specialists’ employment growth of 22.5 percent between 2010 and 2020. During that time period, an additional 58,200 jobs will need to be filled, the article reports.

On the topic of landing a PR job, "A public relations specialist job requires writing skills, critical thinking ability, fast turnaround, patience, a thick-skin mentality, and creativity," said Public Relations Society of America chair Gerard Corbett in the article. He also adds that you should be able to demonstrate real accomplishments and have broad networks. And wallflowers need not apply — public relations specialists must have an outgoing, self-confident and friendly personality.