How to Become a Media Specialist

Media relations are an essential part to a variety of companies and organizations and it is intended to provide information regarding the entity to the public. Media specialists are highly trained professionals that work for organizations to maintain positive media relations.

What does a media specialist do?

Media specialists communicate the mission of organizations to the public. They communicate all types of news regarding an entity and strive to portray the organization in the best possible light. They understand the concerns of the organization as well as the community and work to prove that the organization has the best interests of the community in mind. Media specialists are often responsible for media and press releases, conflict mediation, political campaigns, and employee relations. They often speak to journalists and other media professionals regarding the organization.

What kind of training does a media specialist need?

Media specialists typically need some type of formal postsecondary education. Many media specialists have a bachelor degree in media relations, communications, journalism, or other related field. Most media specialists complete internships while pursuing their education to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. Some employers provide formal training programs to new media specialists. New specialists often start out working with experienced employees. They begin completing simple duties and move on to more advanced tasks as they gain the necessary skills and experience. Media specialists complete additional training and continuing education as needed throughout their career to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a media specialist?

Employment of media specialists is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 24% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and expansion of the global business field will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be good with strong competition. Media specialists with specialized knowledge and international experience will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will result from the need to replace media specialists that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do media specialists make?

As of March 2010, media specialists with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $29,744 and $43,354. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average annual salaries between $34,281 and $52,402 (2).

A career as a media specialist is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in media relations for a variety of organizations. Media specialists must have a solid understanding of the concepts and procedures related to media functions. Creativity, self-confidence, good problem solving, detail orientation, and good judgment are necessary characteristics. Media specialists must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to interact with a variety of people. They must be quick on their feet and be able to make effective decisions. They must also be able to work as part of a team.

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