Public relations specialists have a business meeting with the public relations manager

How to Become a Public Relations Manager

When planning goals, it's easy to forget about all of the steps required to get there. Still, you can’t just skip to the finish line; you must put in the work. To do this, you first have to know what those steps are. So let’s look at what it takes to become a public relations manager.

Major in public relations in school.

In this day and age, it's pretty much a necessity to have at least a bachelor’s degree when entering many career fields. Public relations is no exception. While some people come to the position with a related major, if you already know what you want to do, then a major in public relations would be your best bet. It shows that you that you're knowledgeable about the field and that you have been taught the skills that will help you excel in it.

Some schools may offer joint degrees in advertising or management, which may make you more desirable to potential employers.

Put together a portfolio of your work.

Much of this will occur naturally, as many of the projects you do through your degree coursework will translate to public relations on a larger scale. Save these projects, fine tune them, and compile them to create a portfolio of your work. This is will give employers a sense of your work and give you an edge over less prepared candidates.

Another way to strengthen your likelihood of getting a job is to join a professional public relations organization at your college. This will create a network of people who will be able to guide you as you graduate and begin applying for positions. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is also helpful in this respect.

Find a position in public relations.

You're going to need you climb your way up the corporate ladder; you can’t start out at the top. Most public managers have experiences in a position that's related to the field for at least a few years before being hired as a manager. Keep an eye out for public relations specialist positions, and don’t forget about marketing. Although it's not exactly the same field, the skills you'll be using are transferable to what you hope to be doing in the long haul. By getting your foot in the door, you'll be one step closer to gaining accreditation in the world of public relations.

Seek accreditation.

While this isn’t a necessity, it makes it that much easier to move forward in your career. In order to apply, find one of the professional organizations (the PRSA that was mentioned earlier is probably the most popular) and review their requirements for accreditation.

You won’t be able to apply until you're a few years deep in the field, but you'll be glad you did. National recognition for your accomplishments is a great way to get your name to potential employers. It sure beats Craigslist.

Last Updated: September 04, 2015