Public affairs officers implement and manage public relations for their organization. Officers in large organizations typically work in a department with others officers and a supervisor; however, many work alone serving their company and/or clients. Public affairs officers have a number of responsibilities, including analyzing their clients'/company's needs, as well as designing and implementing a public relations policy. They may also be in charge of interacting with media organizations and/or the general public, writing and editing materials for publication, and organizing and attending events, among other duties.
Public affairs officers are employed by a number of institutions including government agencies, large and small corporations, non-profit organizations, universities, and individuals (such as politicians and celebrities). They typically work full time in an office setting, although travel may regularly be required to attend events, press conferences, and meetings. Although public affairs officers typically work during regular business hours, additional and/or alternative hours may be needed, such as to attend events and respond to emerging public affairs-related situations.
Public affairs officer positions generally require at least a bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, public relations, or another relevant field. Officers must possess excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills. They must pay excellent attention to detail and have good proofreading and editing skills. Also, officers are required to be well informed of relevant news and events inside and outside of their organization.
Public Affairs Officer Tasks
Facilitate media relations and determine information needs of both internal and external audiences.
Plan and execute communication strategies to achieve desired objectives.
Advise senior leaders on public affairs issues and assist them in making decisions about disseminating information to the media.
Evaluate media strategies and their effectiveness.