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Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.

Duties

Public relations managers typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Identify main client groups and audiences and determine the best way to reach them
  • Designate an appropriate spokesperson or information source for media inquiries
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Develop their organization's or client’s corporate image and identity
  • Assist and inform an organization’s executives and spokespeople
  • Devise advertising and promotion programs
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Fundraising managers typically do the following:

  • Manage progress towards achieving an organization’s fundraising goals
  • Develop and carry out fundraising strategies
  • Identify and contact potential donors
  • Create and plan different events that can generate donations
  • Meet face-to-face with highly important donors
  • Apply for grants
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Public relations managers review press releases and sponsor corporate events to help maintain and improve the image of their organization or client.

Public relations managers help to clarify their organization’s point of view to its main audience through media releases and interviews. They observe social, economic, and political trends that might ultimately affect their organization, and they recommend ways to enhance the firm's image based on those trends. For example, in response to a growing concern about the environment, the public relations manager for an oil company may create a campaign to publicize its efforts to develop cleaner fuels.

In large organizations, public relations managers often supervise a staff of public relations specialists. They also work with advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to ensure that advertising campaigns are compatible with the image the company or client is trying to portray. For example, if a firm decides to emphasize its appeal to a certain group, such as young people, the public relations manager needs to make sure that current advertisements are well received by that group.

In addition, public relations managers may handle internal communications, such as company newsletters, and may help financial managers produce an organization’s reports. They may also help the organization’s top executives by drafting speeches, arranging interviews, and maintaining other forms of public contact.

Public relations managers must be able to work well with many types of specialists to report the facts accurately. In some cases, the information they write has legal consequences. As a result, they must work with the company's or client's lawyers to be sure that the information they release is both legally accurate and clear to the public.

Fundraising managers oversee campaigns and events intended to bring in donations for their organization. Many organizations that employ fundraisers rely heavily on the donations they gather in order to run their operations.

Fundraising managers usually decide which fundraising techniques are necessary in a certain situation. Common techniques may include annual campaigns, capital campaigns, planned giving, or major gifts.

Those who work on annual campaigns focus heavily on contacting donors who have given in the past, and request that they give again. Finding new contacts for future donations is also a component of a successful annual campaign.

Capital campaigns are different; they are generally used to raise money over a shorter time period and for a specific project, such as the construction of a new building at a university.

Fundraisers who spend most of their time on planned giving must have specialized training in taxes regarding gifts of stocks, bonds, charitable annuities, and real estate bequests in a will.

Major gifts are a feature of many different campaigns and are generally requested personally given the large value of the potential donation.

Work Environment: 

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Public relations and fundraising managers held about 62,100 jobs in 2012.

The industries that employed the most public relations and fundraising managers in 2012 were as follows:

Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 24%
Educational services; state, local, and private 17
Health care and social assistance 9
Advertising, public relations, and related services 8
Management of companies and enterprises 8

Public relations and fundraising managers usually work in offices during regular business hours. However, many must travel to deliver speeches and attend meetings and community activities.

They work in high-stress environments, often managing and organizing several events at the same time.

Work Schedules

Most public relations and fundraising managers work full time, which often includes long hours. About 2 in 5 managers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012.

Education and Training: 

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Public relations and fundraising managers need at least a bachelor’s degree and some positions may require a master’s degree. Many years of related work experience are also necessary.

Education

For public relations and fundraising management positions, a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, English, fundraising, or journalism is generally required. However, some employers prefer a master’s degree, particularly in public relations, journalism, fundraising, or nonprofit management.

Courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, and creative and technical writing can be helpful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not mandatory, public relations managers can get certified through the Public Relations Society of America. Candidates qualify based on years of experience and must pass an exam to become certified.

The Accredited Business Communicator credential is also available from the International Association of Business Communicators.

The Certified Fund Raising Executive program, offered by CFRE International, is voluntary, but fundraisers who pursue certification demonstrate a level of professional competency to prospective employers. To qualify, candidates are required to have 5 years of work experience in fundraising and have 80 hours of continuing education through conference attendance and classroom instruction. To keep their certification valid, fundraisers must apply for renewal every 3 years.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Public relations and fundraising managers must have several years of experience in a related or entry-level position, such public relations specialist or fundraiser.

Lower level management positions may require only a few years of experience, whereas directors are more likely to need 5 to 10 years of related work experience.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Managers deal with the public regularly; therefore, they must be friendly enough to build rapport and receive cooperation from their media contacts and donors.

Leadership skills. Public relations and fundraising managers often lead large teams of specialists or fundraisers and must be able to guide their activities.

Organizational skills. Public relations and fundraising managers are often in charge of running several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Managers sometimes must explain how the company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.

Speaking skills. Public relations and fundraising managers regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to explain the organization’s position clearly.

Writing skills. Managers must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them succinctly in order to keep the attention of busy readers or listeners.

Pay: 

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The median annual wage for public relations and fundraising managers was $95,450 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $51,630, and the top 10 percent earned more than $180,480.

In May 2012, the median annual wages for public relations and fundraising managers in the top five industries in which these managers worked were as follows:

Advertising, public relations, and related services $119,500
Management of companies and enterprises 111,030
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional,
and similar organizations
93,580
Educational services; state, local, and private 87,730
Health care and social assistance 78,590

Most public relations and fundraising managers work full time, which often includes long hours. About 2 in 5 managers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012.

Job Outlook: 

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Employment of public relations and fundraising managers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

As online social media increases the speed at which news travels, public relations managers will be needed to address good and bad news for their organization or client.

Organizations continue to emphasize community outreach and customer relations as a way to enhance their reputation and visibility. Public opinion can change quickly, particularly as news spreads rapidly through the Internet. Consequently, managers will be needed to coordinate and help respond to news developments in order to maintain their organization’s reputation.

Fundraising managers are expected to become increasingly important for organizations (such as colleges and universities) that depend heavily on donations, as state funding for these institutions has fallen. More nonprofit organizations are focusing on cultivating an online presence and are increasingly using social media for fundraising activities.

Social media has created a new avenue for fundraising managers to connect with potential donors and to spread their organization’s message.

Job Prospects

Competition for public relations and fundraising manager jobs is expected to be very strong.

Competition for jobs for public relations managers should be toughest at businesses that have large media exposure and also at the most prestigious public relations firms.

Job prospects for fundraising managers should be best for those with a master’s degree in philanthropic studies or fundraising. These degree programs lead to experience in the industry, giving graduates an advantage over those who do not have such experience.

For More Information: 

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For more information about public relations and fundraising managers, including professional certification in public relations, visit

CFRE International

Public Relations Society of America

International Association of Business Communicators

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2014–2015 Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh.

Comments

Guest (not verified) says...

I would like to deal with different people, idea, and culture, that's why I mostly focused on that

Guest (not verified) says...

This looks very interesting

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