Public Information Specialist Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for a public information specialist job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a public information specialist. Feel free to use our public information specialist job description template to produce your own public information specialist job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a public information specialist.
Who is a Public Information Specialist?
A public information specialist is a government employee who works with the media to inform the public about important issues and events. They are frequently called upon to provide an agency’s perspective on issues, whether they are political decisions or emergency situations.
A public information specialist manages marketing materials, books, press releases, press kits, and other materials for a company or government organization.
Public information specialists must have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations, marketing, or communications.
A public information specialist, also known as a public relations specialist, is responsible for a variety of tasks.
A public information specialist is an expert in professional communication, including public speaking and interpersonal skills. They have strong organizational skills, are dependable and well-organized, are knowledgeable about current technology, and pay close attention to detail.
Public Information Specialist Job Description
What is a public information specialist job description? A public information specialist job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a public information specialist in an organization. Below are the public information specialist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a public information specialist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of a public information specialist include:
- Utilizing a variety of communication methods and tools to educate the public on the company’s programs.
- Establishing effective methods and strategies for communicating with the media.
- Collaborating with marketing and executive management to maintain a consistent public image.
- Coordinating the handling of media inquiries, scheduling interviews, and media events, and developing strong relationships with the local media, which includes newspapers, radio stations, television stations, and tribal newspapers.
- Keeping up with political, tribal, and technological developments so that they can respond quickly to media inquiries.
- Purchasing the advertising time or space required to promote the company’s agenda or product.
- Pursuing information on current topics of interest to both internal and external audiences.
- Locating, identifying, and providing users with access to publications such as books, articles, digital media, and other sources of information.
- Interviewing and hiring new employees for technical and administrative positions in the department, such as executive positions such as secretaries.
- Providing reporters with high-level technical information.
- Maintaining a thorough understanding of news sources and key environmental reporters.
- Creating one-pagers, press releases, articles, web content, and other materials required for public communication.
- Collaborating with other public relations employees to ensure that all departments communicate effectively with one another.
- Producing reports on public perception of current issues.
- Ensuring speeches are written or delivered with public relations goals in mind.
- Planning or conducting market or public opinion research to evaluate products or determine viability, then reporting findings to clients or management.
- Managing and preserving the organization’s consistency in public communication
Qualifications of a public information specialist include:
- Bachelor’s degree in communication, journalism, or related field.
- Prior experience in public relations
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Familiarity with the media, particularly social media.
- A meticulous and well-organized work ethic.
- Demonstrated ability to manage time and prioritize tasks.
- Exceptional interpersonal and public speaking skills.
To be successful, public information specialists must possess the following skills:
Public information specialists are frequently required to conduct research as part of their jobs. They may conduct research on specific subjects for press releases, social media posts, or other public information. They may also lookup subjects for interviews or other media appearances. As part of their work in crisis situations, public relations specialists may conduct topical research.
Creative thinking is essential for the success of a public information campaign. Because each public information situation is different, you should be able to use a variety of strategies and tactics to handle each one.
Writing is another important skill for a public information specialist to have. Writing press releases, social media posts, and other documents that detail your company’s or organization’s operations is part of your job description. Strong writing skills can help you interact with coworkers and members of the public who are perplexed by certain subjects.
- Organization Skills:
Public information specialists manage public relations campaigns and events. Because of their excellent organizational skills, they can conceptualize, plan, and carry out public relations activities for a company or client. These skills are required for organizing public relations campaigns and events, taking notes on important information, and following up with key stakeholders for activities related to campaign launch events and other events. They make an effort to delegate tasks and collaborate with other department members or higher-ups. Furthermore, they meet critical deadlines for their campaigns and events.
- Leadership Skill:
Public information specialists should be strong leaders because they can motivate their teams to work together. You may need to run meetings with representatives from other divisions or organizations, so being a strong leader can help in this situation as well. Leadership skills include effective task delegation, motivating others to action, and providing assistance when needed.
- Public Speaking:
Because public information specialists frequently present to the general public, public speaking skills are essential. Public information specialists may be called upon to deliver speeches about urgent situations or natural disasters, as well as to explain difficult concepts in simple terms. They use their public speaking skills when communicating with other members of the media, law enforcement officials, and other public figures.
- Brand management:
A public information specialist’s job frequently entails increasing brand recognition for your company. You should be able to capitalize on your brand’s advantages and present them in an appealing manner to the general public.
- Social Media Skills:
On the internet, Public information specialists use social media to reach out to the public. They may use social media to respond to inquiries, disseminate knowledge, and provide current-event updates. Public information specialists should be familiar with the most popular social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Time Management:
Public information specialists are frequently tasked with a variety of tasks, including time management. They may also be required to attend meetings, write and submit reports, answer phones and emails, and perform other duties. They can complete tasks and projects on time if they manage their time effectively.
Public information specialists never work alone. Most of the time, you will be working as part of a team with researchers, marketers, and other people in similar positions. You must be able to collaborate well with others under pressure in order to run the most successful campaign possible.
- Competence in Interpersonal Relationships:
Public information specialists frequently work with a diverse group of people, including members of the media, emergency response teams, and other government employees. Empathy and active listening are interpersonal skills that can help you communicate effectively with others in your organization. It may also be necessary to defuse tense situations or provide emotional support to those affected by natural disasters or other emergencies.
- Critical Thinking:
Public information specialists are frequently required to make quick decisions in response to a situation. They must be able to think critically and make decisions in order to choose the best course of action. In a situation where a reporter calls with a question about a sensitive subject, the public information specialist must be able to consider how to respond to the inquiry in a genuine and non-harmful manner.
Public information specialists frequently interact with the general public, the media, and other stakeholders. They must be able to clearly communicate both orally and in writing. They must also be able to communicate with other members of their organization’s staff, such as law enforcement, emergency response teams, and other public servants.
A public information specialist must be quick to adapt to changing circumstances. In one public relations campaign, for example, introducing a new product could be your primary responsibility. In another case, it could be to declare a change in the company’s direction. You must be adaptable to be equally effective in both roles.
How to Become a Public Information Specialist
People who are interested in this career path should take the following steps:
- Completing your Education
Before you can work as a public information specialist, you must typically complete an academic program. This is because earning a bachelor’s degree allows candidates to expand their knowledge of advanced concepts in their chosen field while also developing their skills and expertise. Speaking with community groups and individuals is an important part of a public information officer’s job. As a result, the majority of applicants choose to major in communications or public relations in order to gain experience in fields that may be most relevant to their future employment. You can also major in journalism, marketing, or a closely related field to improve your language and interpersonal skills, which are especially important for public information officers.
- Obtain an Internship
Getting some internship or work experience can help you learn valuable skills and gain an understanding of the position’s challenges and rewards. Consider applying for an internship or an entry-level position at a public relations firm or a company’s public relations division. An internship exposes you to the public relations industry while also providing you with valuable on-the-job training, knowledge, and skills. Build relationships and a network with other industry professionals through your internships because they can be useful when looking for opportunities to advance in your career.
- Consider getting a Certification
Even though certification is optional for the majority of public information specialist jobs, it can demonstrate your professional competence, expertise, and up-to-date skills, which can help you stand out from other applicants. Many professional public information associations offer certifications that you can pursue whether or not you are a member of the organization. If you are unsure which certificate to choose, consider contacting a public information association that interests you for advice on how to get started.
- Maintain and update your Portfolio
Make a new CV for each job application, including all relevant information about yourself, such as your education, work history, and accomplishments. Include a personalized cover letter so that the hiring manager can learn more about you as a candidate. Your portfolio is a collection of your work, from completing your academic program to landing your most recent job. Maintaining and updating your portfolio as you complete projects and other commitments helps to accurately represent your expertise to a potential employer.
- Specialize in different industries and join a group
To improve your professional image, join a professional organization such as the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) or the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Conducting research on your target sector will help you determine which professional association will help you advance your career the most. Joining a professional organization can provide you with benefits such as career development training, networking events such as conferences, professional credibility, job recommendations, awards, and recognition.
- Find Relevant Opportunities
Look for relevant job openings both online and offline. You can also use your network and connections from previous employment or internships to find the best opportunities. There are numerous types of public relations positions, so when searching for job openings online, make sure the qualifications match your interests and skills.
Personalize your CV and cover letter for each job application to help you stand out from the crowd. Consider requesting a recommendation letter from a professor at your school, a senior, or a mentor from your previous position to strengthen your job application.
Where to Work as a Public Information Specialist
Public information specialists frequently work for regional, national, and local organizations that interact with the public on a regular basis. This includes the police, fire, parks, and recreation departments.
Public information specialists typically work 40-hour weeks. However, because one of their responsibilities as employees is to quickly evaluate and formulate responses to public events, they may be required to work irregular hours in order to deal with these circumstances. Their job may also require them to travel to different parts of their community to give speeches, conduct interviews, or respond to media inquiries.
Public Information Specialist Salary Scale
According to payscale.com, an entry-level public information specialist with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total salary of $46,205, which includes tips, bonuses, and overtime pay. A public information specialist in their mid-career with 5 to 9 years of experience earns an annual salary of $50,000 on average. A public information specialist with 10 to 19 years of experience earns an average annual salary of $65,000. Workers in their late careers (20 years or more) earn an average salary of $68,784.