What does a Public Affairs Specialist do?

Public affairs specialists work in government agencies or private companies to promote services and inform the public by creating informative materials. They work with media and communication groups on current issues or crises. They develop news articles by conducting interviews with appropriate people or experts and gathering information from relevant sources. When working in crisis communication, they deal with media during emergencies or problematic incidents. They train peers and appropriate staff members with skills and tips for speaking to the press and inform them of protocols while presenting possible interview scenarios.

Public affairs specialists act as spokespeople and develop and maintain relationships with beat reporters and other media members. They provide content and write articles for internal and external outreach, including email blasts, social media, and outreach to relevant past and present members, including alumni. Public affairs specialists need a bachelor's degree in communication, journalism, business, or related fields.

What responsibilities are common for Public Affairs Specialist jobs?
  • Responsible for regulatory project timelines and management of global submissions.
  • Lead the resolution of regulatory and/or quality issues and non-compliances.
  • Interact with various levels of management, external agencies, and companies.
  • Help define and implement strategic regulatory CMC activities across programs.
  • Promote and ensure a safe, positive public image within the neighboring community.
  • Develop and maintain working relationships with local and national vendors.
  • At all times work as an effective manager, supervisor and leader.
  • Assist in drafting legislation, finding sponsors, and proposing amendments.
  • Maintain documentation and a historical record for projects and provide management with updated product status.
  • Provide regulatory information and guidance for proposed product claims/labeling.
  • Prepare written regulatory strategies for new product development and sustaining projects.
  • Prepare reports and analyze data to assist management with monitoring team goals.
  • Track, analyze and support organizational response to federal legislative developments and policy proposals.
  • Train all employees on safety procedures and promote safety awareness.
  • Coordinate regulatory meetings, agendas, meeting minutes and action items.
What are the typical qualifications for Public Affairs Specialist jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in business, engineering, life sciences, political science or science, or equivalent experience.
  • Is a professional at all times with a demonstrated record for problem solving and multitasking with a positive attitude.
  • Demonstrated leadership in times of need and crisis alongside attention to detail.
  • Work with confidence and composure and utilize critical thinking and training skills when needed.
  • Comfortable writing up incidents and reports and making judgment calls based upon findings.
  • Experience writing up risk assessments and disseminating information based upon findings.
  • A collaborator and advocate.
  • Can follow writing and editing protocols to compose newsletters and updates.
  • Experience with applicable software and systems such as ISO R Language, and CISA.
Work/Life Balance
3.7 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Public Affairs Specialist Salaries

Average Base Pay

$87,155 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Not enough salaries reported to show distribution
Median: $87K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Public Affairs Specialist Career Path

Learn how to become a Public Affairs Specialist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Public Affairs Specialist

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Public Affairs Specialist Insights

Read what Public Affairs Specialist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Corporate Affairs Manager
Jun 6, 2022

“Career development is not taken seriously and this is now reflected in the turnover rates.”

Cancer Research UKCancer Research UK
Public Affairs Intern
Jul 14, 2021

“Good name to have on your CV even if they didn’t pay interns at that time.”

National Association of Chemical Distributors
Government Affairs Coordinator
Apr 13, 2023

“The members of the association that you represent are such amazing people and I enjoyed every second I got to spend with them.”

Rafoll Group
External Affairs
Mar 25, 2022

“Good and friendly environment to work”

Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Sept 29, 2021

“It’s a contract job and starting pay may not be as good as a permanent job”

Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Dec 5, 2022

“The global team are really good and easy to work with.”

External Affairs
Jan 26, 2021

“People are sharp and nice.”

West 4th StrategyWest 4th Strategy
Public Affairs Specialist
Dec 17, 2020

“I highly recommend West 4th Strategy to anyone looking to work with passionate and honest people.”

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Public Affairs Specialist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of public affairs specialists

The typical day of a public affairs specialist includes creating and managing a brand's reputation. A public affairs specialist may be in charge of publishing press releases, creating advertising programs, responding to media requests, and creating a plan to increase the public's awareness of the brand.

The best part about being a public affairs specialist is that they're in demand as businesses attempt to manage their reputations in a fast-paced digital world. Working conditions for public affairs specialists are versatile and entertaining with the opportunity to work with some of the largest companies in the world. Becoming a public affairs specialist often requires good networking and communication skills.

The average salary for public affairs specialists is $87,155 per year in the United States. Highly skilled public affairs specialists who have access to resources and possess good written and verbal communication skills may earn even more, sometimes up to $142,485 per year.

Working as a public affairs specialist can be stressful at times, especially when a business is dealing with negative publicity. One of the challenges of being a public affairs specialist is that they may have to occasionally work nontraditional hours to respond to certain media crises.

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