Turning a Career in Public Relations into a Home-Based Business

by WorkFromHome on November 18, 2011

For many decades, public relations has been a traditional office-based career that required its professions to travel to the office each day and put in their 8 hours between 9am and 5pm. But the career has changed dramatically since the dawn of the internet age, and so has the way it is performed. In modern times, many public relations professionals have given up the office and the typical workday in favor of being a “virtual public relations officer” who works from home and decides who they’ll work for, how much they’ll charge, and what they’ll earn on an annual basis.

Furthermore, these home-based public relations job opportunities are great ways for people new to the field to teach themselves and get in on an exciting occupation that is only expected to grow over the next several years. Accord to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, public relations is easily one of the three fastest-growing occupations in America. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why anyone in search of a lucrative home-based career would choose a virtual public relations opportunity.

The Basics of Public Relations: What it Involves

The professional public relations officers out there already know what’s expected of them in a professional capacity; but because public relations as a field is growing so quickly, many people are looking to learn more about the field and quickly jump into it themselves. Essentially, public relations careers involve five specific skills and experiences:

  • Coordinating promotional events planning activities
  • Engaging in event planning
  • Managing media contacts
  • Producing company newsletters and updates
  • Writing and distributing press release documents

If this sounds like a set of skills you already have — or can easily develop — then becoming a virtual public relations professional is a solid and well-salaried way to earn a primary income from a home office environment.

How to Pursue a Career in Virtual Public Relations

If you’ve determined that you have what it takes to be responsible for the way a company is perceived by its employees and the public at large, then there are three essential steps to take in order to prepare yourself for this career and eventually land a job as a virtual public relations officer working from home.

  1. Get Trained and Be Knowledgeable
    The public relations professional who attended a college or university and specialized in their trade has largely already completed this step in the process. Their degree enables them to essentially dive right into this burgeoning field. But for those who are new to public relations and are pursuing the career as an amateur, it’s time to start reading up on what makes a good public relations campaign, and what makes a successful public relations professional. Resources that will assist with this process can come in the form of books (available online or through public libraries) as well as online instructional websites, blogs, and discussion forums. Be thorough and learn the ins and outs of each of the above five skills that any company is likely to require from a virtual public relations employee.
  2. Work on Your Portfolio
    You are only as good as your work, and any reputable company will want to see what you’ve done in your career as a public relations profession before they hire you to complete their public relations strategy from home. Those with internships and a college education can easily compile their portfolio from academic samples and other media, while amateurs will want to start freelancing online and slowly develop a solid portfolio of successful campaigns and examples of their hard work and self-taught sensibilities. The portfolio is perhaps the most important aspect of getting hired in a virtual public relations capacity.
  3. Become a Specialist in One Area
    If you particularly enjoy events planning and coordination, specialize in just that area. If you prefer to write press releases instead, make that your primary area of focus and work. It is often said that a jack of all trades is a master of none, and virtual public relations employers are looking to hire a master of one specific trade rather than someone who is merely mediocre at the broader public relations occupation. Specialize in the area that you enjoy most, and apply for positions in that specialty, and you’ll likely encounter greater and more consistent career success from home.

Remember to Take Every Opportunity

People often consider a virtual public relations job to be only that which works full time for a salary rather than for a freelance income. But freelancing within the public relations field is a great source of extra income and an excellent way for newcomers to build their portfolio and gain valuable work experience that will only help their career prospects. Never turn down an opportunity to hone your craft, specialize in your favorite area, and boost your resumé with potential future employers.

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