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PR Manager: Company Spokesperson
  • Lee Ji-eun Social Desk Editor
  • 승인 2007.06.09 21:01
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  Ms Kim Hee jin  
 
Recently, Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-yeon was charged with beating up bar employees who got into a barroom brawl with his second son, a Yale student. As reports of the incident were publicized, people levelled criticism against Hanwha Group and Mr. Kim. That is because Hanwha's public-relations team issued a press release entitled "The Human Side of Chairman Kim Seung-youn" to support the chairman. It caused people to become negative and distrustful of Hanwha Group.
These days consumers don't purchase products only for their quality and quantity, a company's positive image can be critical as well. More and more companies are managing their image to double marketing efficiency. Making this image is called PR (public relations), and it requires a PR manager.
The post interviewed Kim Hee-jin, a PR manager in Communications Korea, a PR consulting agency.

The Post: What does PR manager do?
Ms. Kim: He or she manages public information of an organization to create and maintain a positive image, including publicizing successes, downplaying failures, announcing changes and many other activities that require his expertise. Commercial advertising is directed at the public to sell more products and services. In contrast, a PR manager collects public-opinion data and then uses it to improve a company's image through advertisements.
PR managers generally belong to PR agencies or marketing departments of companies; we formulate strategy for selling products through proper advertising. PR managers play an important role in protecting and improving a company's image. We monitor social, economic, and political issues that could affect the company, looking for ways to enhance its image based on such trends. We also take care of the interests of top clients by evaluating their advertising and promotion plans.
We often specialize in a specific area, like crisis management, or a specific industry, such as engineering. But our role has expanded, so now we get diverse assignments. Some PR managers do not have a specific area, while others specialize in crisis management, marketing PR, media relations, and company events or promotions. As a result, PR managers should be able to use all available media resources in their effort to maintain a diverse target group's support.
The Post: What abilities are required?
Ms. Kim: PR managers have to be excellent in oral and written communication; we also must be able to connect with a wide variety of audiences. And PR managers must have the ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships, not only with their clients but with media representatives, as well. This is because the media inform the consumer. We have to manage a PR team and so that it can achieve performance goals.

The Post: Is there any qualification needed?
Ms. Kim:Some employers prefer a B.A. or M.A. in public relations or journalism, because these curriculums include courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, political science, and creative and technical writing. But since the PR field is diverse, there are no specific qualifications. If you want to be a PR manager, it is helpful to get a part-time job or internship in a PR company. This hands-on experience will help you determine whether you are suited for PR.

The Post: Is there a future in PR?
Ms. Kim: For ambitious people joining PR agencies, ‘the sky is the limit’. It's not simply promoting products as in the past, but it's about also publicizing the company image on government organization. Therefore, demand for PR managers is increasing rapidly, and competition for jobs intense. These jobs are highly coveted because PR is considered a profession.
Manager salaries would vary depending on the type and size of an organization, location, level of responsibility and one's experience and area of specialization. Salaries compare favorably with salaries in industries like advertising and marketing, which are known to pay very well.

Lee Ji-eun Social Desk Editor  yukiilo@dongguk.edu

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