Moving into PR

Hi All,
I have a few years experience in the marketing and consumer behavior field and I am looking to move into the PR sector, specifically in the NYC area where I live. I think I have a lot of transferable skills and I really believe I could do well and enjoy it. Does anyone have an idea of what kind of salary I could expect with my background making the pivot to PR? Thanks!



+1 to all of Michelle's advice. Starting off in marketing or PR in a big city like New York will mean you'll have to scrape by with a lower range salary, but it can be very rewarding and over time you'll be able to make much more. 

I made it off of a sub-$45k salary and I'd definitely do it again.

Hi Hudson! 

Good question and I agree with you that there are a ton of transferrable skills. It's also a great time in your career to make that transition. So I gather you have 2-4 years experience in marketing. You have a few ways to make your pivot into PR. The first is to start in PR at a PR agency (or an integrated marketing/PR agency). You'd be looking at titles like "PR coordinator," "assistant account executive," and "account executive." Important to check the recent stats on salary estimate sites, but those roles will earn you between ~$40-60k (~$60k for "account executive," a slightly more senior / step up from "assistant account executive" or "PR coordinator"). 

FYI: Glassdoor says a PR coordinator in NYC makes ~$42k (source: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/new-york-city-public-relations-coordinator-salary-SRCH_IL.0,13_IM615_KO14,42.htm). 

The other way to go about it is to look for "PR coordinator," "PR specialist," or "marketing coordinator" roles at companies and startups that interest you. These roles are going to be harder to come by and more competitive, and also you're expected to already have all of the foundational experience in PR when you take a role like this. You will make more money starting in PR "in-house" at a company -- i.e., working on the company's PR team -- but it's a stretch to get one of these roles without prior agency experience and frankly, you're going to want to soak up all of the skills and experiences that come from working at a PR agency so you're a strong and competitive PR professional by the time you decide to transition into an "in-house" PR role. Does that make sense? I've done both and can answer more of your questions if you'd like.

The third route in that I didn't cover as much is looking for political campaigns that need media interns or PR coordinators... that's another way to get some incredible experience and  campaign managers are less likely to be stuck on the fact that you haven't had PR agency experience and your marketing/consumer behavior experience might be highly valued to a campaign that's trying to influence voter behavior and execute community-level outreach programs where an understanding of consumer behavior, how to write and execute surveys, and how to measure/read the data is super important. That might be a very interesting route in for you actually and I can say that most of the major tech companies (and startups across the board, really) look highly on PR candidates that have had former political campaign experience because tech companies increasingly face policy and regulatory blockers that PR can help creatively alleviate. 

I love my career choice in PR. I've held roles at agencies, in-house at startups, I've worked on political campaigns, and now I have my own consultancy. It's an exciting, not for the faint-at-heart career, and the salary trajectory is extremely good if you do well, work hard, and deliver results in every role, build relationships with the press and with senior execs at companies (who you'll have access to over time), and keep your eye on where things are going in the industry and be ready to make moves to other roles when opportunities present. 

Let me know if you have other questions!  

Thanks Michelle! This is very helpful. I was thinking along the same lines as starting in an agency and there a few in NYC that seem pretty good. I've also tried writing my resume to reflect the skills that they are looking for in job posts. I'm hoping that experience can first get me an in-road and then prehaps some salary negotiation power. Glad to hear your experience in PR has gone so well! I'm interested in tech, real estate, and luxury lifestyle industries...are there any firms you would recommend that are good for those?

Hey man -

Unfortunately, I don't know too many firms, but we do have Huttle Jobs, which might be able to help. Huttle Jobs is our jobs board that updates daily with new jobs sorted by interests. This one might be good for you: http://huttle.co/jobs/l-New%20York%2C%20NY-q-English%2C%20Communication%2C%20PR

Hope this helps!