Public Relations (PR) is widely considered as the management of information between a client (company, brand or organisation) and its public. The role of a PR account executive is to manage this relationship and gain exposure for a client with their intended audiences through news items, without advertising.
Working within a wider team, usually including a marketing team, a PR account executive aims to influence public opinion or behaviour, on behalf of clients. This is achieved by generating positive news coverage, achieving product placement (without payment) in broadcast, print and new media, and placing spokespeople as commentators, a PR account executive works to proactively promote the profile of their clients. The client pays the PR account executive to maintain this relationship between the brand, company or organisation and the general public, and the PR account executive must ongoing liaise with the client to update and report back on achieved press coverage.
The popular British TV series 'Absolutely Fabulous' featured Jennifer Saunders Edina Monsoon as a comical PR agent aspiring to be forever young and 'hip'!
Responsibilities & Skills
Often varying on a day-to-day basis, the general responsibilities of a PR account executive include:
- liaising on a daily (or weekly) basis with clients and the media, often via telephone and email
- relationship building and networking with colleagues, clients and the media
- monitoring the media, including newspapers, magazines, journals, broadcasts, newswires and blogs, for opportunities for clients
- working as part of an account team to develop client proposals and implement the PR activity
- researching, writing and distributing press releases to targeted media
- promoting news stories and features to the media, known as 'selling in'
- collating, analysing and evaluating media coverage
- Excellent interpersonal skills, plus good presentation skills and confidence
- Brilliant written communication skills
- Creativity and imagination
- Business awareness and a good knowledge of current affairs