As the marketplace becomes increasingly saturated with similar products and services, it’s important for an organization to stand out. A large part of this responsibility is left to marketing professionals, but public relations and corporate communications departments also help improve the reputation and visibility of a company. Heading these departments are vice presidents of corporate communications. Sometimes referred to as the vice president of public relations, this PR professional oversees the creation of media strategies in response to the public’s perception of the company. Salaries typically reflect this high profile position.
PR Salary Overview
Public relations managers averaged $105,690 a year in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Being a national average, higher salaries in certain industries, such as wireless telecommunications, online shopping and apparel, can skew this figure. A better representation of earnings is often median wage. For this occupation, half of public relations managers earned $93,310 a year or less.
A survey conducted by The Creative Group, a national recruiter for interactive, design and marketing talent, found that vice presidents of public relations at the corporate level earned $115,750 to $190,500 a year. The Public Relations Society of America reports similar earnings, estimating the average salary for a vice president of corporate communications at $145,700 a year, as of 2011. Senior vice presidents, on the other hand, earned closer to $163,200 a year, on average.
As with any career, location affects salaries, and corporate communications is no exception. In cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, vice presidents of corporate communications averaged $143,400 a year, according to the Public Relations Society of America. Those working in cities such as Boston, Dallas and San Francisco often garner higher paychecks, averaging $155,200 a year. Senior vice presidents, of course, earn more. In New York City, for example, a senior VP can expect a salary of $156,700 a year. If this same VP were to relocate to Boston, her earnings would likely increase to $174,500 a year.
From 2010 to 2020, public relations managers are expected to experience a 21 percent employment growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is much faster than the projected growth for all occupations – 14 percent within this same time frame. Public relations and corporate communications departments are responsible for the image of a company. And since public opinion is directly related to earnings, organizations need VPs, directors and managers to respond to any change in this opinion.
2018 Salary Information for Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
Public relations and fundraising managers earned a median annual salary of $114,800 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, public relations and fundraising managers earned a 10th percentile salary of $78,710, meaning 90 percent earned more than this amount. The 90th percentile salary is $151,970, meaning 10 percent earn more. In 2018, 81,200 people were employed in the U.S. as public relations and fundraising managers.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook – Public Relations Managers and Specialists
- PRSA Job Center: Salaries for Corporate Communicators
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
- Career Trend: Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.