Press officer

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Police spokesman during a demonstration

A press officer takes over the contact to the press and other media for a company or other organization (e.g. state authorities, associations) , which is referred to as media work . The press officer is often the main contact for journalists . In clubs and non-profit organizations , press and media work is often done on a voluntary basis. Since they also represent the organization or institution to other media (television, radio, internet), they are also called media spokespersons . Usually they are chosen, but they can also be determined.


The most important task of a spokesman, his own employer in the medial public display positive. This is done by supplying the relevant editorial offices with press releases and statements or by holding press conferences and other events (e.g. award ceremonies). According to the press laws of the federal states , the public administration is also obliged to provide information and information to the press.

The press officer is usually also responsible for interviews . If failures become known that are linked to one's own employer, the press officer must answer journalists' questions on his behalf.

One of the internal tasks of a press officer is to write brochures and speeches . Another part of the work of the press spokesman is the compilation, analysis and objective evaluation of internal and external issues and the creation of reports, strategy papers and recommendations for action - not infrequently against internal organizational resistance.

The media evaluation and media response analysis are fundamental activities of the press spokesman as well as the early recognition of media crises and the advice of executives on all issues and processes with high public profile. Reputation management as image cultivation has the highest priority within the field of responsibility of a press officer,


In many Western countries, the press officer is an established profession with a large number of professional representatives. Often there is a professional association of its own, which represents the common external image and quality assurance and offers training courses and conferences.

In Germany there are several scientific journals, including pressesprecher ( ISSN  1612 to 7668 ) and PR magazine . There is also a press officer of the year elected by journalists. The evaluation is based on the criteria of professional handling, journalistic skills and level of information. The Federal Association of Communicators has been promoting young press spokespersons since 2007 by honoring outstanding theses and remarkable dissertations.

Training and teaching

Public relations is now taught at universities and technical colleges, and training is also possible in PR traineeships in companies or agencies. In July 2010, there were eleven PR master’s courses in Germany , three of them at universities, five at universities of applied sciences and three part-time programs. At many universities, public relations is part of the bachelor's degree in communications and media studies. In some cases, PR can be chosen as a study or specialization focus.

Due to the growing relevance of activities that can be subsumed under the term public relations , the professionalization of the field of activity is also advancing. As a result, the demands on future PR specialists also increase. In the 1980s, for example, just 41% of PR specialists were recruited from academics, this proportion rose to 79% in the mid-1990s and was already 83% in 2012.

In addition to a degree in a course with an explicit PR-reference and a subsequent internship or trainee program, there are also numerous entry and qualification paths to choose from, especially for university graduates, but also for career changers from other professional fields. Different degrees and certificates can be acquired, which are issued after the corresponding courses and exams. The most important institutions that offer and issue such courses and certificates were brought into being on the initiative of various larger PR associations. One of the most important contacts for this is the Akademie für Kommunikationmanagement e. V. , as well as the testing and certification organization of the German communications industry (PZOK), which was founded by the three major communications associations, the Federal Association of Communicators , the German Public Relations Society and the Society of Public Relations Agencies . Furthermore, since 2005, the degree in Public Relations can be obtained from the Cologne Chamber of Commerce .

Qualification opportunities are also offered in compact seminars (e.g. by the German Institute for Public Relations e.V. ), full- time courses (e.g. at the Journalist Academy ), part-time courses (e.g. via the German Press Academy ), and part-time courses (e.g. at the Leipzig School of Media ) or offered as a distance learning course at various certified distance learning universities and schools.


  • Günter Bentele / Lars Groskurth / René Seidenglanz: Profession press officer. Measurement of a profession. Helios Media, Berlin ISBN 9783981002430 .
  • Klaus Commer: A bit of an information center, a bit of an advertising department: the Federal Conference of Press Spokespersons from September 25 to 27, 2002 at the University of Karlsruhe . Karlsruhe University Library 2002
  • Viola Falkenberg: The small AZ of press work. Manual and lexicon of the 100 most important technical terms with work steps and mnemonics , Bremen 2011, ISBN 978-3-937822-45-7
  • Heinz-Dietrich Fischer (Ed.): Government Spokesman - Between Information and Secrecy. Science and politics, Cologne 1981, ISBN 3-8046-8581-1
  • Hans-Peter Förster: Second job: press officer: crash course for successful press work . 3rd, exp. Luchterhand, Neuwied 2001, ISBN 3-472-04413-6
  • Judith Regenold: Influence on the image of the town hall through public relations with special consideration of the role of press officers . Diploma thesis, University of Applied Sciences Kehl 1999
  • Ludger Reuber: Politics in the media circus. Verlag der Universitätsbuchhandlung Blazek und Bergmann, Frankfurt am Main 2000, ISBN 3-9806536-6-8 (The author was Norbert Blüms press spokesman for 16 years)
  • Jürgen Roos: Local press spokespersons in Baden-Württemberg: On the role of local press spokespersons in the communication space “local public” and the differences in their professionalism . Master's thesis, University of Stuttgart 1998

Web links

Commons : Spokespersons  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files
Wiktionary: Press spokesman  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Press officer. Retrieved July 16, 2020 .
  2. cf. news aktuell (2010): PR trend monitor flash survey. Education and training in communication and PR , p. 20.
  3. Comparison of three studies in: PR training in Germany
  4. ibid.