A career in public relationships may be the right choice for you, if you love interacting with people and know how to influence people to build a positive image. It's about managing reputation, influencing other person's opinion and behaviour, understanding listener's or viewer's psyche, and generating publicity.

Public relations professionals are effective communicators and know how to handle toughest of the situations, conveying the right message at the right time to the right audience. They are also responsible for liaising with and answering queries from individuals, media or any authority.

Competencies for a PR Career

Interested in building a career in public relations? Read on to find what you will need to begin your career in this field.

1. In order to work as a public relations associate or manager, you will need to possess critical research and professional writing skills, strategic communications and social and digital media communication skills.

2. You will also need basic business skills, including accounting and financial management, organizational behaviour, business law and business research and analysis.

3. An in-depth understanding of ethics for a plural world, communication law and ethics, public affairs, issues management and crisis communications is also required.

4. You must also develop the skills to navigate the digital world and create marketing and communication programs for multi-faceted social media.

5. A deep understanding of the complex world we live in and global citizenship, corporate social responsibility and the role of communicators in bringing change in the organizations is also required.

6. You must also possess a strong command over language and a flair for writing. In addition, you must be well-groomed and have a pleasant personality.

7. The ability to maintain relationships with people is probably the most important skill required for a PR job.

Along with possessing the above mentioned competencies, you should be open to travel, ready to put extra hours at work and able to adapt to anything.

Developing Competencies

PR is a specialized field; thus, you need to undergo specialized education at least at post-secondary level to seek an entry to the world of work. There are a number of public relations programs available throughout Canada that may help you develop the knowledge, skills and attitude required to work as a PR professional.

The post-secondary public relations courses typically run for four years and provide you with solid foundation in business principles, public affairs, and corporate communications, digital and social media marketing and so on.

Although a large number of PR programs are available in the country but you should be extremely careful in selecting a program. Not all programs provide you with industry exposure, which is a mandatory requirement to build careers in this field.

Centennial College's bachelor of public relations program offers you a unique blend of theory and practical. It uses a combination of learning methodologies, such as in-class sessions, projects, group discussions, industry visits, guest lectures and industry field placement. It's a comprehensive and rigorous program that offers excellent employment prospects. You may easily find employment with public relations agencies, digital marketing companies, investor relations departments, hospitals and healthcare organizations.