According to Smith (2013), public relations practitioners can be placed in two groups based on responsibilities: communication managers and communication technicians. Communication managers assist in the strategic planning of an organization’s communication efforts. The broad term “communication manager” includes several similar public relations positions: expert consultant, problem-solving facilitator, and communication liaison. Expert consultants develop a specific communication plan to help achieve organizational goals. Problem-solving facilitators provide crisis management to an organization during an obstacle. Liaisons speak on behalf of the brand and facilitate communication between the organization and its key publics.
Before entering a managerial role, most public relation practitioners begin their career as a communication technician. This can refer to a variety of entry-level positions, including public relations specialist, communication assistant, and junior account executive. Communication technicians write press releases, pitches, feature articles, and other communication materials and assist in event planning. Together, communication managers and technicians play a vital role in relationship building and the management of a brand.
This article from PRSA provides tips to those beginning a career in public relations.