The New Career Trajectory for a Washington, DC Public Relations Manager and Salary Trends

by Susan Mullin

You’ve finally made it after years of cranking out press releases, generating social media campaigns, and taking marching orders from higher-ups. You’re a PR Manager. But what comes next? Can you continue to grow your career after accepting a management role? This is a question that plagues many public relations pros when they step into a leadership position. The short answer? Yes. But you have to continue to keep hold of the reins and guide your career in the direction you want it to go when it comes to public relations manager jobs in Washington.

PR managers can command high salaries in the capital region. According to, PR managers in Washington, DC make a median annual rate of $111,294. The range is anywhere from $90,000 to $127,000 not including bonuses, profit sharing and other benefits in addition to base pay.  However, there are PR managers that earn less than that range, and far more than that range.

Consider specialization

Throughout your career, you’ve come to realize what your strengths are, where your weaknesses lie and your own personal preferences. To continue to grow your career in the future, think about areas in which you could specialize. It might be a specific subject area like analytics or strategy development. Or it could be a specific industry like lifestyle brands or professional services. It could even be a target audience like women under 30.  Specialization is good for your career because subject matter experts can command higher salaries and receive more responsibility within the organization.

Get active in public relations professional organizations

Many PR professionals are active public speakers. Why? Public speaking helps you develop a brand as an expert, allows you to make new networking connections and can open the door to new career opportunities.  Get active in local and national PR organizations and volunteer to speak at luncheons, seminars and events. As you perfect your presentation skills, you can branch out and start speaking to other groups.

Open yourself to new possibilities

If there isn’t much room for advancement beyond PR manager at your current company, polish up your resume, get your professional website in order and start looking at what’s out there in the market. A great way to see what’s available based on your skills and experience is to work with a professional PR recruiter. A recruiter can help you understand your market value and identify where to take your career next. More importantly, they have an inside line on job opportunities that are never made public, and they can connect you to opportunities that you may not know about if you only search on your own.

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Posted in , Professional Development