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Health Care Public Relations

   

Individuals that specialize in health care public relations are in charge of handling the internal and external communications for a health care facility. They interact with physicians, nurses, managers, administrators, and patients, and therefore must have excellent communication skills. Some of their responsibilities include writing for internal publications such as newsletters, handling calls from the media, as well as writing and creating various material that promote the services offered at that facility. Public relations specialists may also be called upon to prepare marketing plans that highlight various aspects of an organization. The most important function of this position is handling all communications with the public. They may organize events between the organization and the public, or they might prefer to correspond by publishing press releases. Public relations specialists must be highly organized and be prepared to deal with a variety of situations. They usually work 40-hours a week, but this can vary due to deadlines or an unforeseen crisis involving the health care organization. Individuals interested in health care public relations should be detailed oriented, be able to cope with high levels of stress, and be able to handle a heavy workload.


Work Environment:

These public relations specialists work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), psychiatric facilities, and community health centers. They may supervise several public relations assistants that help with daily operations.

High School Preparation:

Students interested in a career as a health care public relations specialist should take high school courses in algebra, biology, computer skills, data processing, psychology, English, health, government, history, literature, foreign language, anatomy, sociology, and health occupations/medical professions education.


College Requirements:

Individuals interested in public relations must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. The majority of health care public relations positions require a bachelor’s degree combined with experience in public relations as an intern. Employers usually prefer a degree in communications, journalism, English, public relations, advertising, or a related field. Individuals can become accredited through the Public Relations Society of America or the International Association of Business Communications.

Students interested in public relations should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Employment opportunities for health care public relations specialists should grow faster than the average for all occupations though 2012. There is an expected increase of 21%-35% in the number of jobs that will become available over this period of time. The demand for good public relations personnel will increase because of the need to keep the public informed about a variety of issues that could affect their daily lives. Competition will be the greatest for entry-level public relations jobs because the number of qualified applicants is expected to exceed the number of job openings.
 

 

Salary:

 

Average Annual Salary

$36,400

 

Salary Range

$26,600-$47,900

 

Professional Organizations:

 

Public Relations Society of America

33 Maiden Lane,

11th Fl.
New York, NY

10038-5150
Phone: (212) 460-1400
Fax: (212) 995-0757

www.prsa.org

 

Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development
American Hospital Association
One North Franklin
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 422-3888
Fax (312) 422-4579

www.shsmd.org

International Association of Business Communicators
1 Hallidie Plaza,

Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94102

Phone: (800) 776-4222
www.iabc.com

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