What does a Public Affairs Specialist do?

Learn all about Public Affairs Specialist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Public Affairs Specialist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A public affairs specialist is responsible for communicating with the public on behalf of an organization. They develop and implement strategies to build relationships with the media and the public, and work to promote a positive image of the organization. Public affairs specialists typically have a background in communications, journalism, or marketing.

Public Affairs Specialist job duties include:

  • Develop and execute communication plans to support organizational goals
  • Write speeches, press releases, and other content for external audiences
  • Manage social media accounts and create engaging content
  • Plan and execute events such as press conferences, media briefings, and stakeholder meetings
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key media contacts
  • Monitor news coverage and analyze media trends
  • Conduct research and develop position statements on issues of importance to the organization
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the organization to external audiences
  • Provide advice and counsel to senior leaders on communications-related matters

Public Affairs Specialist Job Requirements

A Public Affairs Specialist typically needs a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, or a related field. Some employers may prefer candidates who have a master's degree. Many Public Affairs Specialists complete internships while in college to gain experience in the field. Certification is not required to work as a Public Affairs Specialist, but it may give job seekers an advantage when competing for jobs. The Certified in Public Relations (CPR) credential is offered by the Universal Accreditation Board and requires passing an exam. To maintain the CPR credential, professionals must complete continuing education credits every three years.

Public Affairs Specialist Skills

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Research
  • Public speaking
  • Media relations
  • Crisis management
  • Event planning
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing
  • Social media
  • Graphic design

Related: Top Public Affairs Specialist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Public Affairs Specialist

A public affairs specialist is a professional who helps to shape and deliver an organization's message to the public. They are responsible for managing the media relations, developing and executing communication plans, and writing press releases. In order to become a public affairs specialist, one must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, be able to think strategically, and have a strong understanding of the media landscape.

There are a few different ways to become a public affairs specialist. One option is to earn a degree in public relations, communications, or journalism. Another option is to get a job in the communications department of an organization and work your way up. Many public affairs specialists also have experience working in the media, either as journalists or in other roles such as public relations.

No matter what route you take to becoming a public affairs specialist, it is important to stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices. There are many professional organizations that offer resources and networking opportunities for public affairs specialists. These organizations can be a great way to learn about new job openings, get advice from more experienced professionals, and stay connected with others in the field.

Related: Public Affairs Specialist Resume Example

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