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Public Relations: What Can I Do With This Degree?

Account Management

  • Issues management
  • Counseling
  • Employee or member relations
  • Media relations
  • Research

Employers

  • Public relations firms (Representing various private and public organizations, and institutions, individuals, and events.)
  • PR departments in large corporations

Information & Strategies

  • Strengthen verbal communication skills by taking speech communication courses.
  • Enhance writing skills through additional coursework in business and marketing.
  • Acquire an internship with a PR firm.
  • Be prepared to start at the bottom and work up to higher positions.
  • Consider a master's degree in PR for higher level positions, especially at the executive level.
  • Learn to work well with teams. 

Media

  • Reporting
  • Advertising sales
  • Writing and editing

Employers

  • Newspapers
  • Online news providers
  • Television
  • Radio

Information & Strategies

  • Develop the ability to work under the pressure of deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Get a summer job or internship with a newspaper, TV, or radio station.
  • Work with college newspaper staff or radio station.
  • Develop strong computer skills and learn applications related to web page design.
  • Obtain experience in the area of sales.
  • Get involved with national and campus professional associations. 

Public Affairs

  • Government relations
  • Risk and crisis communication
  • Campaign marketing and fundraising
  • World affairs and diplomacy
  • Media relations

Employers

  • Government agencies (local, state,& federal)
  • Chambers of commerce, tourism councils, foreign embassies
  • Campaign committees, coalitions, initiatives, and networks

Information & Strategies

  • Secure federal internships in a field of interest.
  • Develop strong research and writing skills.
  • Get experience with student government or political campaigns.
  • Consider graduate programs in public policy/affairs.
  • Develop foreign language skills.
  • Enhance language skills and cultural understanding through study-abroad programs.
  • Gain experience by volunteering with organizations that provide assistance to various cultural groups.

Business and Industry

  • Advertising sales
  • Sales
  • Training and development
  • Human resources
  • Customer service
  • Management
  • Direct Marketing: Direct marketers work with the customer through mail, magazines, radio, or TV to get an immediate response by telephone, mail, or fax.

Employers

  • Public and private corporations
  • Consulting firms
  • Marketing companies
  • Internet marketers
  • Sport and athletic organizations
  • Retail stores

Information & Strategies

  • Take general business and computer courses.
  • Consider earning a graduate degree in business.
  • Gain experience in organizational development or marketing.
  • Become current with business and industry literature and news.
  • Obtain sales and marketing experience.
  • Work within college sports administration and marketing.

Nonprofit and Education

  • Public relations
  • Fundraising
  • Promotion
  • Event planning
  • Service marketing
  • Advertising sales
  • Administration
  • Community affairs

Employers

  • Museums
  • Charities and foundations (i.e. within the areas of environment, arts, multicultural initiatives, religion, and health)
  • Hospitals and healthcare providers
  • Colleges and universities
  • Social service agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Professional associations

Information & Strategies

  • Get experience through volunteering for nonprofit agencies, museums, and charities.
  • Obtain internships with nonprofit organizations.
  • Gain experience planning events for campus organizations.
  • Consider additional degrees such as MPH (master of public health).
  • Get sales experience.

General Information

  • Develop excellent communication skills, verbal and written.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm and energy for the field.
  • Obtain part-time, summer job, internship, or volunteer experience within an area of interest. Public relations is a competitive field and related experience is essential to break into the industry.
  • Be prepared to start at the bottom and work up to positions of greater responsibility. Expect to complete administrative tasks in entry-level jobs.
  • Participate in co-curricular activities and related organizations to develop skills. Join on-campus and national professional associations related to public relations.
  • Obtain additional or advanced degrees to enhance knowledge of specific area of interests. For instance, a master's degree in public policy (MPP) will increase employability in government and nonprofit agencies.
  • Take PR campaign class seriously as it is a good learning experience.
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