Press Secretary - The Career

Non-profits and organizations dedicated to causes thrive on publicity. As word gets out about what an organization represents, it drives others to check it out, and maybe even support that cause.

For these organizations, press secretaries are key to spreading an organization's message. Working with reporters and other members of the media, press secretaries help answer questions, suggest stories, and act as an organization's public representative.

What do they do?

Press secretaries are communication experts, able to quickly and accurately respond to interview requests or questions posed by reporters. They are quick thinkers, able to dictate an organization's branding and message through any answers they give out.

Location and Opportunity

According to Indeed.com, several areas are in need of press secretaries. Some of these include:

  • Washington, DC
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Fayetteville, NC
  • Arlington, VA
  • New York, NY

While good oral communication skills are needed of any effective press secretary, they must also maintain excellent writing and organizational skills throughout the media outreach process. As organizations update messaging or offer new services, press secretaries design or edit press releases they send out over large mailing lists they've developed over time.

A press secretary must maintain working relationships with multiple members of the media, and become familiar with helping reporters find new stories. They also frequently meet with reporters as they write stories to ensure an organization's message is reflected accurately.

As they work with the media, press secretaries stay in frequent contact with other outreach specialists and organizational leaders, including:

Qualifications

Any press secretary must have experience working with members of the media, and understand their job requirements. Reporters can only craft helpful stories and create buzz if you're able to quickly and accurately respond to their interview requests, questions, and requests for informational packets.

Usually, press secretaries earn bachelor's degrees in communications, marketing, or journalism. This gives them written and oral communication skills needed to effectively get across an organization's message.

Become a Press Secretary

Various organizations hire press secretaries, but all typically pay their secretaries well depending on their overall level of responsibility. Life as a press secretary can sometimes be stressful, and moves very quickly, and the pay reflects these realities. The average salary of a press secretary in August 2012 was $62,000, though some earn far higher wages.

If you're interested in learning more about interacting with the press on a daily basis, contact schools offering degrees in marketing and communications.

Top