Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

How to Become a Spin Doctor

A "spin doctor" is an informal term for someone who works in public relations and helps to manage and maintain the positive image of a company or an individual such as a politician or celebrity. Being a liaison between the public and a business entity is a sensitive, demanding position.

Becoming a high-profile public relations professional typically requires becoming educated, gaining entry-level work and being progressively promoted. When hiring someone, public relations firms look for a range of particular experiences and qualifications.

Gain an appropriate college degree. Many schools have degrees in public relations or public affairs. Degrees in business, communications, political science or law are also appropriate.

Participate in related academic activities, such as student government, activist organisations, communications or media clubs, and campus newspapers.

Build a community of peers. This typically starts at the college level. Maintain a network of people pursuing a career or already established in the public relations field. Having peers will provide you resources, connections and a support system when looking for work and during the beginning stages of a career.

Apply for an internship at a public relations firm. Research potential firms and find out what areas they specialise in, such as politics, technology, non-profit organisations or the entertainment industry. Apply to firms you would potentially want to work for.

Take the Accreditation in Public Relations exam. The Universal Accreditation Board oversees the examination process. Being accredited is not mandatory to gaining employment, but has many advantages. The exam may also be taken after being employed, after more experience is gained.

Join the Public Relations Society of America, a national organisation with chapters throughout the country. Being a member provides many resources, including a list of employers seeking applicants, a place to post resumes, tips from professionals and opportunities for networking and keeping up on current events in the public relations industry.

Seek jobs through the PRSA, college career placement offices, connections made while interning and common newspaper and online classifieds.

Work your way up to being a primary public liaison, or "spin doctor," for a business or individual. Make colleagues and employers aware and seek adult education classes or company-offered training to continue upward movement on a promotional track.