In The Public Eye

Occupation: Public relations representative
Job description: Design and execute public relations and promotions campaigns for individuals, organizations, products and special events. Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Salary range:
$18,000-$22,000 for entry-level positions. Salaries for seasoned professionals range from $75,000 to $150,000.
Training: A college degree is essential, and a basic grounding in liberal arts is recommended. Internships that provide hands-on public relations experience, with consulting firms, corporate departments or nonprofit organizations, are invaluable. Co-curricular activities — frelance writing community organization work, political campaigning and public speaking — are also viewed favorably.

Senior account executive Zabrina Horton manages the public relations activities for Equal Sweetener, Covergirl Cosmetics and several local political campaigns at Roy Communications in Atlanta. The 31-year-old was first exposed to public relations at California State University at Long Beach, where she received a B.S. in marketing. There, she served as the publicity officer for the Black Business Students Association. Later, Horton obtained a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University in Miami. In May 1996 she joined Roy Communications.

Horton advises anyone wanting to follow in her footsteps to “take advantage of seminars and other types of opportunities to learn about the industry. Also, schedule an informational interview with a public relations professional to obtain firsthand advice.”

For more information about this career, contact The Public Relations Society of America, 33 Irving Pl., New York, NY 10003-2376; 212-995-2230; www.prsa.org.

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