Because public judgment tends to change rapidly and spread quickly over the Internet, public relations specialists will always be needed. These professionals compose and distribute media releases, write speeches and evaluate marketing campaigns to make certain the entities they represent are presented in favorable fashion.

In the greater Los Angeles region, experienced workers that have also earned a bachelor’s degree in a related subject matter earn an average annual salary greater than $66,000, according to current data. Seasoned experts rake in well over $82,000 per annum.

Even though many experts are now flocking to social media to establish and maintain their clients’ good standing in the community, they still value the impact of traditional public relations.

“Shaping the image of a person or company through stories published by magazines, newspapers and trade journals or broadcast by electronic media defines traditional public relations,” said Lori De Waal, owner of De Waal & Associates. “To be successful in social media, you must know traditional PR.”

What prompted you to launch a public relations career?

“I was a communications major at UCLA, where I wrote for The Daily Bruin and was publicity director for my theatre arts class. Public relations was a logical choice. I seemed to have the appropriate skill set. I was ambitious and the entertainment industry sounded like a creative and fun place to be.”

How has your education benefited you?

“A liberal arts education serves you for life. By majoring in communications, I received a comprehensive background on the history of media.”

What is the best way to prepare for a career in public relations?

“Those interested in pursuing this vocation should make sure they are detail-oriented, hard-wording and can write. There are very few graduates applying for PR jobs who have a good journalism background, which is absolutely critical.”

What is your message to aspiring public relations specialists?

“I advise them to get a college degree and take additional journalism courses. It is a job that allows you to work with interesting and intelligent people in media and fascinating clients. It is never the same every day.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist. Some news articles she has authored are archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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