“What’s in a name?”
Shakespeare was quoted as posing that question in mentioning a rose in his classic and popular play Romeo and Juliet. However, when it comes to public relations professionals who fulfill many responsibilities, there are volumes of titles being used to define what they do. Critics, on the other hand, who don’t understand the real and credible work of PR professionals have often taken to bestowing PR professionals with titles like “flack” and “spin doctors.”
In the public relations world, there are probably enough titles to start a small dictionary. This is because there are numerous responsibilities. In large organizations, the title narrowly and correctly defines the job of the PR person while I small ones, the title barely scratches the surface in attempting to describe the diverse work of the individual. The titles vary by industries within the PR field as well as within companies and nonprofits.
At PR agencies, for example, it’s common to have the word “account” preceding the following titles: account specialist, account manager, account supervisor, and account director. You can then add an assistant account executive and senior account executive to that list.
In companies that focus a lot in communications, you can find an even larger assortment of titles including, but not limited to, communications representative, communications specialist, corporate communications specialist, communications coordinator, internal communications specialist, external communications specialist, director of communications, director of external communications, director of strategic communications, and director of internal communications.
Large corporations also have an encyclopedic list of titles: brand ambassador, chapter relations representative, chapter relations manager, content strategist, content manager, copywriter, director of media relations, director of public affairs, director of public relations, editor, event coordinator, event manager, lobbyist, manager of digital and social media, managing editor, program coordinator, public affairs specialist, public affairs manager, public affairs director, publicist, relationship manager, relationship director, social media specialist, social media manager, social media analyst, technical writer, vice president of public relations, vice president of public affairs, and vice president of communications.
These are other job titles that could fit in all of the above sectors: relationship specialist, PR analyst, PR mentor, senior PR associate, junior PR associate, PR trainer, development PR manager, assistant PR administrator, chief public PR officer, general PR manager, chief PR executive, PR branch manager, assistant PR manager, SEO manager, SEO specialist, content writer and ghostwriter.
The nonprofit sector also has some of its own labels which include development director and/or specialist, fundraising manager and/or specialist, and major gifts officer.
If this isn’t enough to offer up, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Labor Handbook. There are even more job titles. These job titles may be useful is in conducting a job search if you’re seeking employment in the public relations field.