Public Information Officer Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for a public information officer job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a public information officer. Feel free to use our public information officer job description template to produce your own public information officer job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a public information officer.
Who is a Public Information Officer?
A Public Information Officer is an individual who is well trained in communication. They are professionals and their key role is to facilitate an organization’s communication with the general public. They may work for the federal or the state government because there is always a need to pass information to the general public by the leaders and as such public information officers are being employed to help make these easily accessed by the public. Public Information Officers may also be employed by a private firm or organization but they are referred to as Communication specialists or Public Relation Officers in these work environments.
Public Information Officers do a standard 40hour work. However, since it’s their responsibility to create and access responses concerning public meetings and events, they may do extra hours to proffer solutions to issues or questions. Their duty may cause them to travel around their community to hold interviews, make public awareness or statements, and fulfill requests from the media. Owing to this, Public Information Officers may ripe benefits by employing their flexibility and adaptability skills in their work. One of the first things to do after finally choosing a career path is to get the necessary education in that field. To become a Public Information Officer, you should go for a minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations, Mass Communication, Public Administration, or any field that will expose students to the fundamentals of Communication and Public Speaking. Most employers will choose an applicant with a Bachelor’s Degree in any of these fields over his or her counterparts with only basic training.
You may also want to go further by taking a Master’s Degree program in Public Information relations. Going for a Master’s degree will help you further advance in your career because some establishments or Organizations may have a salary scale structure that favors individuals with more exposure and education in their field. You may be required to go for certain depending on your organization. This training could be organized by your professional body or the organization you are working for. The essence of professional training is to help equip you. It is important to get an internship or work experience under the supervision of high-profile Public Information Officers before going further to get a job as a professional Public Information Officer
Public Information Officer Job Description
What is a public information officer job description? A public information officer job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a public information officer in an organization. Below are the public information officer job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a public information officer job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
A Public Information Officer is responsible for several duties that information dissemination. One responsibility that is common among them is hosting press conferences and other kinds of meetings that as platforms for their announcements or updates on situations. They also prepare press releases, make posts on social media and also relate to the general public via other channels made relevant or used for communication in their place of work. Below are the outlined responsibilities of Public Information Officers:
- Answering the questions of the public by engaging with them through conferences and gathering the necessary from them to improve the services of their organizations
- Preparing press releases
- Creating strategic content for press release
- Organizing events that are specific to the promotion of public holidays or events
- Hosting interviews between the stakeholders and other members of the organization
- Building a sustainable and effective relationship with media bodies or outlets
- Helping the general management to create a unique image for their organization for easy identification by the public
Here are some qualifications required from prospective Public Information Officers:
- Educational Background: Most employers would go for an applicant that has acquired a first degree or Bachelor’s Degree. Owing to the responsibilities of Public Information Officers, applicants with a degree in Mass Communication, Public Administration and any other related course of study will be at an advantage. However, you may choose to major in marketing, journalism, or any related field that helps you develop your interpersonal skills and language which can be essential for a Public Information Officer
- Training: You may be required to go for certain depending on your organization. could be organized by your professional bodies or the organization you are working for. The essence of professional training is to help equip you
- Exceptional verbal and writing communication skills
- Good knowledge of the media, social media inclusive
- Being able to travel on short notice. An organization may have an urgent or impromptu meeting that is important to its growth and it is expected that when you are called upon as a Public Information Officer, you make yourself available for the needful
- Great interpersonal and public skills
- Great Communication Skill: Public Information Officers are expected to deliver information to the public effectively and as such, there is a need to master the art of communication. Effective communication simply means passing information across in a way the listeners properly the intention of the speaker. A Public Information Officer should be fluent in speaking and writing the common language of their work environment. Having a good knowledge of foreign languages can be an added advantage
- Detail Oriented: The duties of a Public Information Officer that every prospective Public Information Officer should be Keen on noticing and keeping records of meaningful details. They pay attention to audience reactions and contributions during conferences and this helps them in preparing further to be released. Detail-oriented individuals are capable of giving a task their undivided attention to enable them to identify changes or mistakes before they fall into a bigger problem
- Empathy: With this being defined as the ability to understand other people’s points of view, a Public Information Officer is expected to apply this virtue in his or her line of duty to enable them better understand the information needs of their organization and the general public
- Good Writing Skills: A Public Information Officer should be dexterous in writing press releases
- Research Skills: The core responsibility of Public Information Officers demands that they research regularly on topics concerning their job discretion to ensure they are releasing updates. They may look up topics social media notifications, press releases, or other public information. They can also research interview topics for media appearances. They also research their roles in cases of emergency interviews. Prospective professionals in this field are hereby advised to seek proper training in researching
- Social Media Management: Public Information Officers often make use of social media platforms to communicate certain pieces of information to the public. They may use the social media space to share updates, answer the masses’ questions and provide detailed pieces of information that public awareness. There is a need for Public Information Officers to be familiar with the right social media platforms for every information
- Time management: Public Information Officers are often faced with a full desk and this requires that they know how to properly manage their time. They may have to prepare reports for submission, attend events and meetings, send feedback emails and take or make official phone calls. Managing their time appropriately will be of help to them in completing their projects and tasks timely
- Critical Thinking: Public Information Officers may be confronted with cases of emergency and thus the need for an urgent response. This kind demands that these professionals can critically analyze issues and come up with befitting answers in time. For instance, a reporter may call to get verification on a sensitive or important topic, therefore the Public Information Officer should be in a good position to give a truthful and thoughtful response in a way that saves both parties from scandals
How to Become a Public Information Officer
The career path of a Public Information Officer can be fulfilling and rewarding. However, it is necessary to put into consideration the different aspects of the career before choosing it. Below are some of the factors to consider:
- Your Prospective Employer or Organization: One of the very important factors to consider is the kind of organization you would like to work with. You may want to work in a nonprofit organization, government establishment of an agency, or any other corporate organization. Bearing in mind that each of these mentioned organizations has its unique structure and challenges. It is also good to consider the organizational strength because an organization with a small or no team of Public Information Officers may certainly not be able to make much advancement as one with a strong team
- Consider the amount of time you may be spending at work: Public Information Officers do a standard 40hour work. However, since it’s their responsibility to create and access responses concerning public meetings and events, they may do extra hours to proffer solutions to issues or questions. Their duty may cause them to travel around their community to hold interviews, make public awareness or statements, and fulfill requests from the media. Owing to this, Public Information Officers may ripe benefits by employing their flexibility and adaptability skills in their work
- Get the needed Education: One of the first things to do after finally choosing a career path is to get the necessary education in that field. To become a Public Information Officer, you should go for a minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations, Mass Communication, Public Administration, or any field that will expose students to the fundamentals of Communication and Public Speaking. Most employers will choose an applicant with a Bachelor’s Degree in any of these fields over his or her counterparts with only basic training. You may also want to go further by taking a Master’s Degree program in Public Information relations. Going for a Master’s degree will help you further advance in your career because some establishments or Organizations may have a salary scale structure that favors individuals with more exposure and education in their field
- Obtain an Internship or Work Experience: It is important to experience working under the supervision of well-experienced Public Information Officers and getting endorsed by such individuals before going with your career. The number of years to get an internship may vary from one organization to another but the minimum is 1 year
- Prepare your resume and search for an organization of your choice that is open to hiring staff in your field. Check if you met up with their requirements and proceed with the application processes
Where to Work as a Public Information Officer
Public Information Officers have a broad spectrum of job opportunities. They can work for any organization that needs public interaction to prosper and of course, there are no successful organizations without the touch of the general public. Therefore a Public Information Officer is in high demand by Organizations that have an understanding of the role of the general public in the growth and advancement of industries. Here are some of the places a Public Information Officer can seek and find a job.
- Government Agencies: The Public Information Officer help in preparing press releases and organizing conferences. They put information in order before sending them out to the public to ensure that the integrity of their agency or organization is intact and void of scandals due to misinformation. Public Information Officers have an understanding of the masses’ ways of reasoning and as such is in a better position to relate properly to them
- Health sector: When there is a need to get vaccinations, Public Information Officers are employed to help convince the public of the need to get vaccinated and keep their health at the best
- The music industries, movie industries, schools, and so on
Public Information Officer Salary Scale
The general average salary for a career in Public Information Management is $54,769 per year. However, those of them working for the local or state government may be paid a higher salary. Also, other factors may affect salary scale and they include years of work experience and qualifications. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there will be an increase in the employment of these professionals by 9% from the year 2019 to 2029, and this is a good rapid growth rate when compared to that of other professions within the same range of time. The BLS opines that the increase may result from the increasing number of companies and organizations that have an interest in public relations and community outreaches.