Public Relations Specialist | Kids Work!

What is a Public Relations Specialist?

Public relations specialists plan and produce programs that promote a positive image of the hospital to the community. They provide two-way information to the media. They pitch stories to the press as well as provide patient information to reporters who are covering a related story. Excellent oral and written skills are required to effectively communicate information to the public and media. A public relations specialist must also be able to deal with various types of people in all kinds of situations.

Real People Profile

Name: Tammie Epps
Workplace: Palmetto Health Richland
Education: Bachelor of Arts in mass communications, 
Winthrop University
Favorite Subject(s)
in School:
Journalism, Literature, Sociology
First Real Job: Richland Memorial Hospital Foundation, Development Assistant
Dream Job: Vice President of Public Relations/Media Relations
Interests: Listening to and singing gospel music, volunteering, reading

Real People Q&A

Advice for students interested in my job: 
Learn to write well and become a student of the news media. You have to know how people report the news, what they report on and what the best way to get the information to them is in order to do an effiective job.

What subjects in school will students need to do my job? 
English, journalism

What I like most about my job? 
I get to help people in a time of crisis. Families who come here when their family members have been severely injured in an automobile accident, or a woman's having a set of quads, I get to do all of those things. Just to get to help people who are in need of help.

What is the biggest challenge in my job? 
The biggest challenge goes along with what I like most. Our priority is to protect our patients and to protect their confidentiality, and their well-being. Sometimes when you're dealing with the news media, they feel they have a right to know certain things, then, you have to balance that. Find the balance between the things you can tell them, there are all kinds of national guidelines, and we use those, but trying to figure out what things you can tell them and protecting our patients, which is our first priority.

How do you get a job like mine? 
I think the way you get a job like mine is to participate in the language arts and take those classes. I am a journalism major so my degree is in journalism. To begin in middle school, you would work on your annual and school newspaper, and make sure you take lots of languages. Also, study the news media. That's a major part of what we do. Every day, I read the newspaper to find out what's going on in the world. I watch three different newscasts to figure out what kind of news stories they are doing so that I can know what's being covered in the media as well.

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