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How do I Become a Media Relations Specialist?

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  • Written By: Klaus Strasser
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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The media is an ever-important part of contemporary society, and for this reason, many companies typically need media relations specialists to get their message out to the world. Media relations specialists usually work with private companies in their external communication department. To become a media relations specialist there are many things you may do to help realize your goal, such as earning a bachelor's degree in a communications field or working as an intern for a public relations company.

In general, a media relations specialist speaks to journalists and other members of the media about the company the specialist represents, presenting clearly and effectively the company’s side of the story. This could mean advertising and promoting a product, or providing information to the media about a business deal. A media relations specialist sometimes may have to perform damage control, such as in cases where a company is being investigated by the media for allegations of fraud or corruption.

Usually, to become a media relations specialist, you need a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. This can include a degree in areas such as journalism, writing, or management. Having a degree could help you acquire some of the basic knowledge and skills required to become a media relations specialist. Enrolling at an accredited institution with a good history of producing media relations specialists could help you in securing a job, since many companies may look at graduates of these schools when hiring future workers.

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Journalism degrees are common for media relations specialists, because it can help build a familiarity with how the media functions. This should enable the media relations specialist to understand what to expect from journalists, such as the kind of questions they may ask or what kind of information interests them. This can aid in communicating an effective message to the media. Writing degrees can provide media relations specialists with the experience to prepare different forms of copy, such company press releases.

To become a media relations specialist, an internship position with a public relations company also could help you gain some experience. While you are studying, internships usually are a good way for you to familiarize yourself with the demands of the profession. Sometimes, it also might assist you in securing a job with the company upon graduation, as the company already will be familiar with the quality of your work.

Many media relation specialists have taken courses in rhetoric or public speaking, as well. These courses could help you learn how to speak clearly and convincingly to an audience. Rhetorical training also could help in answering questions from the media, and by providing useful tips and strategies to effectively communicate the company's message.

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