Public relations, also commonly referred to as PR, is debated to be both and art and a science. The basic functions involved in public relations are manage a client, which can be an individual, group or business and presenting their public face to media and the overall public in general. Due to the type of functions they perform, those involved in public relations perform a management function.
Managing clients involves a great deal of juggling and tactics. Public relations involves targeting audiences and making sure their clients and their messages are suited to those audiences. Part of the public relations job is to formulate press releases or the delivery of messages to the media on behalf of their clients and press conferences, where the client answers questions posed by the media. These are typically the most crucial functions because these situations tend to arise over scandals or issues that might bring negative press.
Becoming a public relations specialist does not require a specific degree in public relations. Public relations specialists carry degrees in journalism, marketing and business. Degrees in public relations are helpful, with courses in public relations principles/techniques. Students in this area would also have courses to emphasize journalism writing, business, finance, psychology and advertising.
Public relations requires not only being a public face for their clients, but also having knowledge of how to market their clients and speak on their behalf to avoid negative situations. Being able to interact with media, clients and handle high-pressure situations are all necessary to be successful in the field of public relations.