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Public Relations Cover Letter Example

Use this Public Relations cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast – no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Public Relations positions in 2022. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes.
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Public Relations Cover Letter Example
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Public relations job seekers may have a professional edge putting their best foot forward, using their natural powers of persuasion to create a standout cover letter. 

Resume.io is the place for advice on how to do just that. Our resources include more than 180 occupation-specific writing guides and corresponding cover letter examples .

This writing guide, along with public relations cover letter samples will discuss: 

  • What a public relations specialist does
  • Public relations pay and job outlook
  • Why a cover letter is essential in public relations
  • Best format for a structuring a cover letter
  • Job-winning tips for each cover letter section: header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion
  • Using your persuasive abilities to advantage in a public relations cover letter
  • Layout and design considerations
  • Common cover letter mistakes to avoid

What does a public relations professional do?

Public relations (PR) professionals are specialists in crafting a favorable public image for a company, organization or government entity. They manage contacts with the media, promoting a positive narrative, and sometimes “put out fires” by addressing negatives that may arise.

Unlike advertising specialists, PR people do not buy ads, but instead promote clients’ interests by influencing the media to provide favorable coverage. 

They are sometimes called media specialists or communications specialists. In politics and government, they serve as press secretaries, and they may represent celebrities or other public figures as publicists.

PR specialists write press releases and speeches, respond to press calls, prepare information for the media, and organize news conferences and other public events. They keep their fingers on the pulse of public opinion and evaluate an organization’s overall advertising and marketing efforts to make sure they are in line with its desired image. 

Public relations salary and job outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public relations specialists earned a median annual salary of $62,810 in 2020, although the top 10 percent earned more than $118,210.

Statistical insight

How much do public relations specialists make?

These were the median annual wages for PR specialists in the U.S. in the top industries where they worked in 202-:

  • Business, professional, labor, political and similar organizations $68,610
  • Government $67,590
  • Advertising, public relations and related services $64,880
  • State, local and private educational services $59,360

Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm#tab-5

According to another source, Glassdoor.com, public relations salaries average $48,519 in the United States. According to Payscale.com, the average base salary in public relations is $50,999. And Salary.com says the median annual salary for a public relations specialist in the U.S. is $56,243, in a range typically falling between $45,779 and $75,961.

Statistical insight

What is the job outlook in public relations?

Public relations jobs are expected to grow 11% from 2020 through 2030, compared to a projected growth of 8% for all occupations, according to the BLS. The increasing popularity of social media and other online sources present both new opportunities and potential problems for an organization’s public image, and savvy PR professionals will be needed to provide 21st-century solutions. 

Why a cover letter is essential in public relations

Every publicist needs a winning pitch, and for a public relations specialist seeking a job, a cover letter is a crucial part of a job application. 

You need a resume too, of course, but that’s not enough. A resume provides a mission-critical overview of your employment history, education and skill set — and a cover letter will typically address many of these same issues. But a cover letter allows you to introduce yourself to a hiring manager, to establish a personal connection, to talk about your aspirations related to the specific company you’re targeting. 

A cover letter is a golden opportunity to showcase your personality, passion and likability in a way that a resume simply can’t. And especially in the field of public relations, it’s an opportunity not to be squandered. You are an expert in promotion and publicity, so you need to need to promote yourself in a personal way.

Surveys of hiring managers have found that the failure to include a cover letter with a resume is one of the leading reasons a job candidate is rejected. A few employers sometimes request that you send a resume only. But unless you’re specifically told not to, always include a cover letter with a resume.

Best format for a public relations cover letter example

The best format for a public relations cover letter is based on a traditional structure with the following cover letter elements: 

  • Header
  • Cover letter greeting
  • Cover letter introduction
  • Cover letter middle part (body)
  • Cover letter ending (conclusion)
  • Sign-off/signature line

The application letter should be one page only, 400 to 500 words maximum, and have enough white space between paragraphs to make reading easy and convenient.

Below is a public relations cover letter example that you can customize for the position and hiring organization.

Adaptable public relations cover letter example:

Dear Mrs Kickstead,

After seven years of organizing 30+ international test drives and 100+ press events, I have come to realize that the secret of great automotive PR lies in letting others experience the drive themselves. I can create evocative images with words, but there is nothing like gliding down a picturesque Scottish Highland road in the summer with the top down.        

Managing the PR campaigns for Toyoton with the Yardman agency for four years was the most enjoyable part of my 10-year public relations career, and I would love to continue the award-winning work that I was doing on their electric car range for Jeslar. We increased brand awareness of each model by 18% after every campaign — taking over nine points of market share from our main rivals.

Crisis PR was no small part of the role.I managed the fallout of a factory fire, political issues, family ownership disputes and a commercial strategy that was initially far from the mark. With electric vehicles it is important to project where you are taking your customers instead of where you are right now (especially when your main battery supplier lets you down).  I won “Crisis PR Campaign of the Year” for that one.

I have also helped to manage the changing public perceptions of petrol and diesel cars in an increasingly environmentally aware world. Sometimes PR serves a broader purpose, and electric cars are a mode of transportation that I feel hugely passionate about.

I have curated a portfolio of articles, press clippings and social media posts that I feel would be a good fit for the role at Jeslar. Your position of market leadership is testament to your unrivaled manufacturing expertise, and it is vital that you have an ability to communicate your journey to your customers. I hope that an interview might offer me the chance of explaining how I can contribute to your PR objectives.

Sincerely,

Simon Tan

Copied!

Let’s look at what each of the cover letter elements should contain, alongside corresponding excerpts from our sample public relations cover letter..

Cover letter header

Once known as a letterhead, this is the attractively designed space in the top section contains your name, occupation, address, phone number and email. 

It may contain an accent color, creative use of typography and white space, and perhaps your photo. So in addition to containing your critical contact info, it’s an important design element on the page, since there will be nothing below it but solid paragraphs of black text. It should be pleasing to the eye, giving your resume a distinctive look that shows you put some thought into it.

Take a moment to review Resume.io’s cover letter examples and templates , which feature a variety of header designs. If you find one you like, click to download it, replace the text with your own information, and the hardest part of designing your cover letter is done. Now all you have to do is write it. 

Expert tip

Make your resume and cover letter a matching set

Resumes and cover letters are meant to go together, so you need to give them a matching style. Use the same fonts, font sizes and formatting choices in your resume and cover letter, and the headers on the both of them should be very similar if not identical.

Goal of the cover letter header: Visually stand out from other job applicants by making your name and contact information prominent.

Cover letter greeting

This is the line at the top of the letter that says “Dear Mr. X” or “Dear Ms. Z.” Do everything in your power to address your cover letter to a specific person. It shows professionalism and attention to detail if you’ve gone to the trouble of finding out who’s doing the hiring for the position you want. If you’re responding to a job listing that doesn’t mention a name, it may be worth calling the company to inquire.

Unless you happen to know the person you’re writing to, stick to the formality of using a last name. Although words like “Greetings” or “Hello” may be acceptable at times instead of “Dear,” it’s a bit risky to be too informal in a letter where you’re asking for a job.

Goal of the cover letter greeting: Start off on a professional note by  making a direct personal connection with the hiring manager.

Here’s the greeting from our public relations cover letter sample.

Adaptable cover letter sample greeting

Dear Mrs Kickstead,

Copied!

Cover letter introduction

The opening paragraph of your letter should hook the reader by alluding to something that makes you sound like a promising job candidate. If you have years of successful experience in public relations, look no further than this angle. 

Or you may be new to the field — perhaps you’re just graduating from college, but if you have a relevant degree from a good school, this can be your opener too. 

Use strong, compelling language that will get people’s attention, and avoid clichés like “Please consider this letter my application for….”

Go to Resume.io to review some good cover letter examples for an event manager , marketing manager or social media manager . Here’s a good cover letter sample for the intro of a public relations professional application:

Goal of the cover letter introduction: Capture the recruiter’s interest with just enough highlights to motivate further reading.

Here’s an introduction idea from our sample public relations cover letter.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

After seven years of organizing 30+ international test drives and 100+ press events, I have come to realize that the secret of great automotive PR lies in letting others experience the drive themselves. I can create evocative images with words, but there is nothing like gliding down a picturesque Scottish Highland road in the summer with the top down.        

Copied!

Cover letter body

The middle part of your cover letter — the central two or three paragraphs — is the heart of your case as the best person for the job. 

Highlight your most impressive past work experience, mentioning not only where you worked but what you accomplished there. Be specific, using facts and figures wherever possible, such as dollar figures or percent increases. 

Anyone working in public relations long enough has probably had to put out a fire or two. Relate an anecdote about a problem you once faced, the action you took, and the satisfactory result you achieved.

You may also choose to mention your education and any special training in your field.

And ideally, you should mention the name of the hiring organization, and say something about what you hope to bring to its table. For example, if you’re aware that this employer is seeking to expand in a competitive new direction, you might say something about a public relations strategy that would help smooth the way. 

At the very least, mentioning the company by name shows you are not mass-mailing the same generic letter to multiple employers. This, by the way, is a major faux pas; every cover letter should be unique and tailored to each prospective employer.

Goal of the cover letter body: Draw relevant connections between your public relations background and potential benefits to the hiring organization.

Our public relations cover letter sample illustrates what you might include in the middle part.

Adaptable cover letter body text example

After seven years of organizing 30+ international test drives and 100+ press events, I have come to realize that the secret of great automotive PR lies in letting others experience the drive themselves. I can create evocative images with words, but there is nothing like gliding down a picturesque Scottish Highland road in the summer with the top down.        

Managing the PR campaigns for Toyoton with the Yardman agency for four years was the most enjoyable part of my 10-year public relations career, and I would love to continue the award-winning work that I was doing on their electric car range for Jeslar. We increased brand awareness of each model by 18% after every campaign — taking over nine points of market share from our main rivals.

Crisis PR was no small part of the role.I managed the fallout of a factory fire, political issues, family ownership disputes and a commercial strategy that was initially far from the mark. With electric vehicles it is important to project where you are taking your customers instead of where you are right now (especially when your main battery supplier lets you down).  I won “Crisis PR Campaign of the Year” for that one.

I have also helped to manage the changing public perceptions of petrol and diesel cars in an increasingly environmentally aware world. Sometimes PR serves a broader purpose, and electric cars are a mode of transportation that I feel hugely passionate about.

Copied!

Cover letter closing

The ending of your cover letter can have a vital impact. Your final paragraph can be used to summarize what you’ve said already, to thank readers for their time, or perhaps to work in one last nugget of information about your skills. But whatever else the concluding paragraph contains, it must include some kind of call to action.

This might be as simple as saying you look forward to hearing back. You might say you would be delighted to visit the company headquarters and meet with the principals. Or you might express your willingness to join a Zoom call at any time to discuss your qualifications further. 

If you want to be a bit more assertive, you could even say something like, “Would you mind if I call you in a week or two to discuss these possibilities further?” 

The idea is to get the hiring manager to do something as a result of your cover letter — at least send an email in reply — and not just lay it aside and forget about it.

Aim of the cover letter closing: End on an upbeat, self-assured note with a call to action prompting the recruiter to respond.

Below is the closing section of our public relations cover letter example.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion sample

I have curated a portfolio of articles, press clippings and social media posts that I feel would be a good fit for the role at Jeslar. Your position of market leadership is testament to your unrivaled manufacturing expertise, and it is vital that you have an ability to communicate your journey to your customers. I hope that an interview might offer me the chance of explaining how I can contribute to your PR objectives.

Copied!

Sign-off/signature line

When it comes to the sign-off of your cover letter, keep it simple like in this cover letter example: 

Adaptable sign-off example

Sincerely,

Simon Tan

Copied!

If you like, you can choose some closing words other than the traditional “Sincerely,” such as “Best regards,” but avoid anything that sounds too casual. 

If you’re planning on printing this cover letter to send by snail mail or deliver in person, you do need an actual signature above your typed name. But this is not necessary in electronic correspondence, although you can add a scanned version of your signature if you like.

How to write a persuasive public relations cover letter

A cover letter is an exercise in persuasion, and as a public relations professional, persuasion is precisely your field. You are an expert in portraying organizations in a positive light, so you need to do the same for your greatest asset — yourself.

Just as a good salesman is focused on the needs of the customer, you need to focus on the needs of the company you’re targeting. You’re not writing to convince the company that you deserve a job — you’re writing to convince the company that it needs you. 

Perhaps the company needs you to resolve an image problem it may have. Perhaps it’s a little-known organization that needs you to drum up attention. Or perhaps the company is already well known and has a good reputation, but it wants to compete with the best of the best, and it needs to take its publicity to the next level. 

In all of these cases, the focus should be on what the company needs, not what you need. Your contribution should help make the company stronger, more efficient and ultimately more profitable. Hiring you should earn the company more money than it will cost.

So put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re writing to, and write the letter that person would want to receive. 

Pay close attention to your tone of voice. It should exude confidence born of competence, but it should never cross a line into arrogance or self-importance. You have to write a letter that makes you sound likable. Nobody wants to work with somebody they don’t like. 

Public relations cover letter design and layout

Your letter should look as good as it reads, demonstrating the same feel for design and presentation that you would use on actual clients in a public relations job. Here are some tips to clean design and layout:

  • Font: Use a legible, “normal-looking” font — nothing wacky or avant-garde. Review our guidance on best fonts to use in cover letters.
  • Font size: Keep the font to a minimum of 10 points and a maximum of 12. Avoid shrinking the font size to force a wordy letter onto one page, when what you really need to do is trim your text.
  • Align text left: While the text in a book may look fine justified from margin to margin, letters look more natural if aligned left, leaving a little space at the end of each line.
  • Margins: Use a 1-inch margin on the top, bottom, left and right.
  • Paragraphs: Avoid long, blocky paragraphs. Leave a space between paragraphs, and don’t indent them.
  • Balance: Strive for a balanced, centered look and feel with an appropriate amount of evenly distributed white space. For example, your letter should not have a bunch of text at the top and very little at the bottom, nor should there be gaping white spaces trapped inside the letter.
  • Save as a PDF: Unless the employer requests some other file type, send your cover letter as a PDF, either in an email attachment or uploaded to the employer’s job-application system. A PDF will preserve your formatting so that your text doesn’t jump around (or worse, turn to garble) when opened on someone else’s computer.
  • Use a professional cover letter template. You can sidestep all these errors by using a professional designed template from our extensive array of cover letter examples.

Cover letter mistakes to avoid

Here are some common cover letter mistakes you need to avoid:

  • Typos and other errors: You simply can’t afford typos, misspellings, grammatical errors or bad punctuation in a one-page letter seeking a position in public relations. You need a “perfect pitch,” so if writing is not your long suit, find an editor to review your letter.
  • Cover letter clichés: Write in fresh, original language that the recruiter hasn’t read a thousand times before. Many cover letters start with “I’m writing this letter to….” This is “junk ink” — they already know you’re writing this letter. And please don’t call yourself a “self-starter” or a “team player” who “thinks outside the box.”
  • Mass mailings: A cover letter is not a one-size-fits-all document. Tailor each letter to each employer, and let the hiring manager know you’re doing so by addressing that company’s needs.
  • Irrelevant information: If you have room in a one-page letter to gab about your hobbies and interests outside work, then you’re missing an opportunity to use the precious space here to highlight skills that are relevant to the job you’re seeking.

Key takeaways for a public relations cover letter

  1. Public relations professionals are specialists in shaping a positive public image for any organization. They make good money and face a strong job outlook, but they need a standout job-application package to compete for the best jobs.
  2. In applying for a public relations job, a cover letter is a crucial companion to a resume because it enables you to showcase your personality, passion and enthusiasm.
  3. Use an attractive header, a proper greeting and a thoughtful introduction, body and conclusion to cover all the bases you need to cover, with nothing extraneous.
  4. Follow the rules for attractive design so that your cover letter looks as good as it reads.
  5. Focus on the needs of the employer, not your own, and strike a tone that hiring managers will find persuasive.

Best of luck in your job search!

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