Public Relations Specialist

Public Relations Specialist

public relationsConsidered pursuing a career in the Public Relations field? This interview will take you through the ups and downs you can expect, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more.

My exact title is executive director. I work in the human services field. I work for a non-profit agency so I actually wear a number of hats. One of my job responsibilities in public relations. I have been in this position now for 15 years.

I do just about everything. That is how I would describe it! I am in charge of attending events, organizing fund raising, getting donations from businesses, and also organizing our annual banquet. We get the majority of our donations at this event, so it is a big deal. It means staying in contact with different businesses and community leaders through out the year and creating a positive alliance with the businesses and leaders.

I would say that my job satisfaction is about an 8. I love what I do, but dealing with the different things I have to deal with can sometimes be discouraging. I work in a college town for a Crisis Pregnancy Center. That in itself can be challenging. Once, we had the entire Women's Center staff at the University come down and protest in front of our center claiming that we were anti-woman. That was definitely a public relations crisis! I went out to talk with the director of the center and we did smooth things over after a number of meetings. It is things like that which can really dampen my enthusiasm because it is quite stressful.

This job moves my heart definitely. I love reaching out to the college community in order to help women who are really vulnerable and really need support and assistance.

It is somewhat unique I think that I am working in the field that I am working in currently. My husband and I were unable to have children, but we fostered a lot of kids over the years. We did adopt three of the children that we fostered. In other words, I have not experienced a crisis pregnancy or any pregnancy for that matter.

I got started in this field because I began volunteering for the center. I worked on the phone lines and talked with women who would call in seeking advice or just looking for someone to talk to about their problems. I have a degree in psychology and they were happy to have me man the phone lines. I did that for several years and then this job opened up. I applied for the job and was hired.

I have had a lot of strange things happen. Really, I can't go into details about most of them because of client confidentiality. I think probably the strangest thing I had happen which angered me quite a bit was when I was invited by this one group to pick up donations that they had collected for some of the women that come to the center. The idea was to provide maternity clothes for people who had no way to provide them for themselves. They were so proud of their efforts! When I got there, I found that they had collected extremely used clothing that was stained and ripped. Some of the items were missing buttons and zippers. I was so angry, but I really couldn't risk upsetting this group, so I smiled and held up a stained shirt so they could take a picture for their community newsletter. I brought the bags home and promptly pitched them in the dumpster. I can't imagine handing out clothing like that to women who are already struggling. I wonder why on earth they thought that such items were acceptable? Anyway, that was strange all right.

There are a lot of things that make me proud. We helped out one new mother and she asked me to attend the birth of her baby. That really made me proud! It was an amazing experience.

Frankly, dealing with our board of trustees makes me want to pull out my hair, but it is part of my job to deal with them so I do!

I work in a not for profit agency. I also work part time because the agency wants to keep its bills under control. I earn about $25,000 per year. I'm lucky that my husband has a great job and that money is not a concern. I am primarily doing this because I really believe that the work that this center does is very important. I am not here for the money! I guess that much is obvious though.

In five years, if I could write my own ticket, I would still be doing what I am doing now. However, I would be working full time and my salary would be much larger! I'm just being honest!

This is a true career story as told to DiversityJobs and is one of many interviews with publicists and event planners, among other careers.