Public Relations specialists sometimes serve as the public face of their companies, in place of CEOs or other C-suite personnel. Even when they aren't the representatives of their firms, they determine how that public face is perceived, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More specifically, they craft the messaging that corporate individuals follow when they speak to the media. The successful delivery of that message can help guide public response to whatever sustainability effort an organization is launching, or plans to launch. As such, communication skills across multiple media channels are a must.
Reputation management can be another major duty of PR specialists. In cases where their organizations previously have been criticized for actions that were either detrimental to their customers and/or the environment or did not take sustainability principles into account, the PR department will try to improve customer sentiment. For example, a mediation-focused outreach strategy in the wake of an oil spill would be most effective if it acknowledged what happened and clearly laid out the business's response plans. Additionally, it would benefit a PR specialist to clarify measures the organization will undertake to eliminate or mitigate this issue's recurrence.
BLS data indicates that PR specialists should expect a median salary of about $59,300 a year, with an expected rate of job growth at 9 percent between 2016 and 2026—slightly higher than the U.S. national average across all professions during the same time span. However, the more specialized nature of an environmental PR strategist's work could create greater demand for those with this skill set. The BLS’s projected growth rate for environmental and sustainability specialist jobs—11 percent for the same period—supports that possibility.