Is a Public Relations Degree Right for You?
Public relations professionals are always in demand, as companies desire to put their best foot forward to the media and the public. While PR work can be challenging, it's also exciting, with many facets and avenues to explore and maximize.
If you're looking to start a career or make a career change to public relations, you'll need to know what to expect from the curriculum, as well as how you can get into public relations training.
What to Expect from Public Relations Degree Programs
If you want a career in public relations, the best way to get there is with a public relations degree. These programs will cover topics like:
- Marketing and communications design and production
- Media writing
- Ethics and media law
- Advertising principles
- Public relations campaign planning
You may also be required to take courses in other areas, such as statistics, marketing and psychology.
Along with academic training, most programs require students to do an internship. Public relations internships give students a chance to practice the skills they've learned in a real-world environment, while also to get the feel of what it's like to work as a PR professional.
If you've already completed a degree in a related field, or you have experience working in PR, you may be able to count this towards your PR degree, depending on the institution you're attending.
Careers in Public Relations
Public relations professionals are needed in many industries, with companies who value their brand and who want to maximize their positive exposure. Typical roles for PR professionals include managing media and government relations, protecting and strengthening investor and partner relations, preparing press releases and identifying advertising opportunities, setting up speaking engagements and preparing speeches, and much more.
Because the media, the public and the needs and goals of companies are always changing, public relations is a field that requires ongoing learning. If you're already in a public relations career, you may want to look into refresher courses or professional development training in PR. Keeping your skills up to date will help you stay on top of your competition.
Salaries for public relations professionals average around $50,000 a year, but may run higher depending on the position and level of experience.