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Public relations is a broad and essential field in almost all of the sectors of the economy. Before we can suggest areas of work, first lets understand the nature of public relations work in ghana.

 Nature of the Work

An organization's reputation, profitability, and even its continued existence can depend on the degree to which its targeted 'publics' support its goals and policies. Public relations specialists—also referred to as communications specialists and media specialists, among other titles—serve as advocates for businesses, nonprofit associations, universities, hospitals, and other organizations, and build and maintain positive relationships with the public. As managers recognize the importance of good public relations to the success of their organizations, they increasingly rely on public relations specialists for advice on the strategy and policy of such programs.

Public relations specialists handle organizational functions such as media, community, consumer, industry, and governmental relations; political campaigns; interest-group representation; conflict mediation; and employee and investor relations. They do more than 'tell the organization's story.' They must understand the attitudes and concerns of community, consumer, employee, and public interest groups and establish and maintain cooperative relationships with them and with representatives from print and broadcast journalism.

Public relations specialists draft press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material. Many radio or television special reports, newspaper stories, and magazine articles start at the desks of public relations specialists. Sometimes the subject is an organization and its policies toward its employees or its role in the community. Often the subject is a public issue, such as health, energy, or the environment, and what an organization does to advance that issue.

Public relations specialists also arrange and conduct programs to keep up contact between organization representatives and the public. For example, they set up speaking engagements and often prepare speeches for company officials. These media specialists represent employers at community projects; make film, slide, or other visual presentations at meetings and school assemblies; and plan conventions. In addition, they are responsible for preparing annual reports and writing proposals for various projects.

In government, public relations specialists—who may be called press secretaries, information officers, public affairs specialists, or communication specialists—keep the public informed about the activities of agencies and officials. For example, public affairs specialists in a  Department of State keep the public informed of travel advisories and of Ghana's positions on foreign issues. A press secretary for a member of Paliament keeps constituents aware of the representative's accomplishments.

In large organizations, the key public relations executive, who often is a vice president, may develop overall plans and policies with other executives. In addition, public relations departments employ public relations specialists to write, research, prepare materials, maintain contacts, and respond to inquiries.

People who handle publicity for an individual or who direct public relations for a small organization may deal with all aspects of the job. They contact people, plan and research, and prepare materials for distribution. They also may handle advertising or sales promotion work to support marketing efforts.

Now that you know the nature, you will realize that A PR person can work anywhere.
Most notable areas include;
Advertising and related services    
Management of companies and enterprises    
Business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations    
Local government    
Colleges, universities, and professional schools
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Public Relations (usually referred to as PR) involves: communicating a message to one or more of the different target audiences an organisation wishes to influence in a positive way.

You may be involved in: answering enquiries from individuals, journalists and organisations; preparing press releases, articles etc.; organising press briefings, conferences, exhibitions, receptions, tours; writing and editing in-house journals; creating and maintaining useful contacts; planning and initiating PR campaigns. A lot of junior PR posts consist mainly of writing so evidence of writing for the student newspaper, doing the publicity for a student society, proofreading or blogging on your CV will enhance your chances.

To succeed in PR, you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, to be hard-working and able to deal with a number of different tasks at one time, creative, determined, persuasive and persistent. You need to be versatile and adaptable with a good eye for a story and the ability to craft content. You need to be interested in business and understand that agencies need to make profits!

Competition for entry-level posts is fierce so you need to do lots of research into what PR involves and try to gain unpaid work experience. Many people enter PR after experience in journalism, advertising or marketing.
PROFILE: Public Relations Executive

INVOLVES: 'The deliberate, planned & sustained effort to establish & maintain goodwill & mutual understanding between an organisation & its publics' (Institute of Public Relations).
All aspects of media & public relations for clients, including: writing & distributing news releases for national & trade media. Writing & implementing programmes e.g. corporate brochures & videos, exhibition stands, slide presentation; media monitoring. Answering enquiries from individuals, journalists & organisations. Preparing press releases, articles etc., organising press briefings, conferences, exhibitions, receptions, tours. Creating & maintaining useful contacts. Planning & initiating PR campaigns.
EMPLOYERS: Industrial & commercial organisations, local & central government, charities, educational institutions, specialist PR consultancies, advertising agencies. There are three types of PR: In-house: working within a large organisation to promote them - called 'Corporate PR'; Agency: working independently for a number of clients - most usual form and Freelance/Consultancy.
RELATED JOBS: PR is the 3rd side of the marketing & advertising triangle. All aim to promote clients through the media but employ very different means - although roles can be somewhat merged. Journalism is also closely related, & often a route in.
SATISFACTIONS: 'Opening a paper & seeing a substantial piece about your client that you've generated. Very varied work.
NEGATIVES: "Very much 'piggy-in-the-middle' syndrome. Sandwiched between client & media - often get a hard time from both! Lots of stress & tight deadlines."
SKILLS: spoken & written communication, persuading, organising, cooperating. Personal Qualities Required: determination, excellent interpersonal skills, flexibility, persistence, ability to take risks.
ADVANCEMENT: Typical levels: graduate trainee, assistant account executive, account executive, senior account executive, account director, associate director
DEGREE: Any degree acceptable, although writing skills vital so many have degrees in English & history. Other useful subjects include business, law, politics, economics, science & languages.
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