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What skills does a PR Manager need?

The CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) defines public relations (PR) as reputation; the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.

Increasingly, businesses are recognising not only the need to incorporate PR into their marketing strategy – but also the benefits it can have as a standalone role both internally and externally.

We explore the role of a PR Manager, how they can positively impact a business and what specialist skills are needed in this role.

What does a PR Manager do?

Like most roles in Marketing, there is no ‘typical day’ for a PR Manager. Depending on the company you work with and the activities they will be promoting, it can be a very varied role.

You will more than likely be dealing with both online and offline media. Depending on the size of the business, you could be the sole person putting together copy for press releases, articles, interviews, blogs, and case studies. It will also be up to you to showcase your business through the correct channels (websites, magazines, social media, partner communication, etc.) and in a strategic manner. You could also find yourself dealing with the press and advertising on a regular basis.

Part of your role as PR Manager may be to organise press or product launches. You may also be managing relationships with key stakeholders and maintaining regular communication, from general updates to crisis comms.

What skills are needed to be a PR Manager?

Drive and enthusiasm

It may sound obvious, but PR in particular is best suited to somebody who believes in the value of what they are doing and has the confidence to deliver it well. The industry can be challenging and very fast-paced, so you really need to love what you do in order to do it well. Passion and drive are two of the first things your future employer will look for when hiring their PR Manager.


One of the biggest elements of PR is to be a strong communicator through multiple channels; whether you are dealing with the press, putting together content for an article, or a piece as part of a bigger campaign for a business. We often see candidates beginning their journey in PR through communications and this leads to valuable experience that you can draw upon when it comes to progressing your career.

Relationship building

A crucial part of being a PR Manager is managing your relationships. Either internally, generating content from your co-workers, or external relationships with clients and the media. It is essential that you ensure the business message is delivered consistently and in the correct way.

Proactive attitude

It will be your responsibility to go and find opportunities to showcase your business, formulate a strategy and see it through from planning to launch. So, you’ll need to be self-motivated and committed to each project.


PR Managers will almost always have prior copywriting experience. Whether copywriting was the primary component of your previous job or just part of it; it almost goes without saying that you’ll have a keen eye for good content and creation. In the current marketing climate, “content is king” so you’ll have to be on top of your game. There is a difference between writing copy and writing copy that will really make your message and business initiatives stand out. As the PR Manager, it will be up to you to recognise that difference.

How PR sits within a business

PR roles are traditionally agency-based, as most companies will seek it out as just one of their marketing needs.

However, larger businesses may have the need for PR to be a standalone, in-house role by also focusing on the internal PR function. It is just as important for a business to build its reputation internally, before focusing externally.

When working for an SME, PR duties will often be part of a broader marketing or communications role.

How much does a PR Manager earn?

As of 2019, depending on your level of experience, you will be looking at a salary of between £30k – £35k at an agency. If you are working in-house, this may increase to £40k, depending on the size of your team.

The next role up is Senior Account Manager, before becoming an Account Director. If you’re leading a PR function for a large business, salaries can reach an impressive £50k – £80k. This can then lead to a broader Head of Communications position.

Work with Distinct

At Distinct, we match candidates to their ideal job opportunities across the UK. We are always looking to speak to professionals in the sector; from account executives to senior copywriters and directors. Contact us today to learn how we can support you to take the next step in your PR career.


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