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What Are the Functions of the Public Relations Officer?

by Stephanie Dube Dwilson, studioD

A public relations officer represents an organization or company as the face that the media sees. Most public relations officers have bachelor's degrees in fields such as journalism, public relations or communications. A public relations officer must be content working during tedious days but always ready for a media firestorm following an unexpected crisis.

Crisis Manager

Organizations rely on their public relations officers to handle media inquiries during a crisis. For example, if someone dies on the job or if a company's new stock offering fails to generate interest, the public relations officer must have a plan in place for handling media questions and portraying his organization in the best way possible.

Media Contact

A public relations officer is the media's main contact for news about an organization or company. The PR officer writes press releases for the media about upcoming events, and cultivates relationships with members of the local and national media. The PR officer might also host media conferences when special events happen. For example, an officer might host a press conference after a university researcher makes a big discovery, or he might hold a press event honoring the opening of his company's newest office.


A public relations officer is also in charge of communicating information about her organization to the community. Her job involves creating publications that the community or members of her organization will read, and generating interest in attending company-sponsored events.

Budget and Management

Some public relations officers oversee an entire communications department. These individuals must also be in charge of their department's budget, making sure hosted events and media outreach efforts are not too costly. They oversee people who work in their department, which may include writers, secretaries or graphic artists. They participate in workshops to stay up-to-date on their field and help their staff succeed.

About the Author

With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.

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