Requirements vary according to an employer and a specific position. Many companies look favorably on a bachelor's degree in a field like literature, journalism, sociology, psychology or philosophy. A marketing emphasis and courses in accounting, finance, business law, economics, mathematics and statistics are also advantageous. In highly technical fields (computer and electronics manufacturing) a bachelor's degree in science or engineering, combined with a master's degree in business administration, is required.
A public relations experience is also an advantage for those, who are looking for a career in this industry, and a public relations training is strongly required. The public relations training gives basic knowledge of advertising, business administration, political science, creative and technical writing, public affairs and public speaking. Together with the public relations training, computer skills (being familiar with word processing and database applications at a minimum) are also vital. However, only the public relations training is not enough. A use of the Internet is increasingly common in public relations; thus, strong Internet skills are imperative. Markets with large Spanish-speaking populations are constantly developing around the country. That is the reason why foreign language skills (especially Spanish) are also for people, working in this field.
As a rule, a progress to managerial positions in public relations comes through a promotion of an experienced staff or related professional personnel. Before being promoted, many managers worked as public relations specialists. Large firms have more management positions; hence, there are more opportunities for the promotion, while small firms have fewer management positions; thus, the promotion to management may occur rather slowly.
Employees, who participate in management training programs, can improve their chances. Along with these programs, many large firms offer continuing education opportunities, either in-house or at nearby colleges and universities. They also encourage their employees to participate in seminars and conferences, which are often put on by professional organizations.
Some firms present certification programs that can give these managers an important professional qualification. A certification is a sign of competence and achievement in the field and in a competitive job market - this can be especially valuable.
All in all, not only the public relations training is obligatory; a person, seeking to become a public relations manager needs to possess certain characteristics and abilities. He is to be mature, creative, decisive, flexible, highly motivated and resilient under stress. A public relations manager needs tact, good judgment and an outstanding ability to create and maintain effective personal relationships with supervisory and professional staff members and client firms. Moreover, he should be able to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, with other managers, staff and the public.