Public relations (PR) is the management of information between an organisation and its public. PR account executives gain exposure for an organisation or individual with their intended audiences through news items, without advertising. A PR account executive works within a wider team and aims to influence public opinion or behaviour, on behalf of organisations. 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. They liaise on a daily basis with the client to update and report on the success of the publicity.

Public relations account executive

Public relations account executive typical work activities

The work of a public relations (PR) account executive is likely to vary from day to day, depending on the area of PR being specialised in and the portfolio each executive deals with. PR agencies often specialise in specific industry sectors, such as consumer, business-to-business (B2B), financial and healthcare. The pace of work and the depth of detail needed may vary depending on the type of media being targeted and the deadlines it demands. Tasks typically involve:

  • liaising on a daily 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;
  • preparing regular client reports and attending client meetings;
  • 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;
  • event management, including press conferences and promotional events;
  • attending and promoting client events to the media;
  • assisting with the production of client publications, such as in-house magazines;
  • commissioning market research;
  • coordinating studio or location photography;
  • undertaking research for new business proposals and presenting to potential new clients;
  • placing and devising colour separations, competitions and advertorials for clients;
  • managing the PR aspect of a possible crisis situation.