Characteristics and Work Dissatisfaction of Public Relations Managers

  • The average of the public relations managers surveyed was 38.2 years of age
  • The fast majority were college graduates (93.75%). This level of education appeared to be the minimum requirement for obtaining this post. Only (6.25%) of public relations managers were able to advance to this position without a college degree and only 15% have a postgraduate degree (MA, MSc, MBA, DEA, and Ph.D). There was some diversity in the type of college degree earned, as a variety of undergraduate fields appeared in the public relations managers’ educational background. The under-graduate non-business major was much more likely than the business major to pursue a graduate degree immediately after college rather than starting work and getting a degree later.
  • Public relations management is seldom an entry-level position for the recent graduate. Even the youngest, those between 24-29, are older than most graduating seniors and only 7% commenced their working careers in public relations, usually at the assistant level. The first position in the public relations managers’ career was quite varied. The most frequently cited position is in journalism, marketing or advertising and the value of advertising or communications experience was emphasized. 
  • Since public relations managers do not generally start in that position, they are definitely experienced people. Typical public relations manager will have spent at least one to four years in a variety of job acquiring experience for the position. The analysis indicated that 41% began in journalism or advertising agencies. 36% in marketing, 2% in production, 1% began in finance, 5% in personnel management and 15% in other jobs. However, 70% of the respondents stated that they expected to remain in the same company.
  • Public relations managers in product firms rated their firms in a less favourable way than their counterparts in service firms. Some 57% of public relations managers in service firms rated their firms as a good place to work, compared to 33,2% in product firms. 

    When asked about work dissatisfaction, both product and service firms stated the following : 
    • To much time spent on day-to-day matters and not enough on planning and research for new opportunities
    • Public relations managers not sufficiently entrepreneurial
    • Not enough authority over the marketing department
    • Poor communication with different departments
    • Poor understanding of the public relations manager’s role
    • In experienced public relations managers and
    • Authority responsibility mismatch

(The survey was conducted by George G. Panigyrakis of 288 senior public relations managers in six European countries : UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Greece and reported in the Journal of Promotion Management, Volume 7)

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