Disseminating information between an individual or company and the public in a professional manner is basically what public relations is all about. Public relations not only informs the public but also prospective customers, company investors and partners, employees and stakeholders as well about the company’s new products, leadership changes, political decisions, social events, and corporate responsibility projects.
Admittedly, public relations is far more exciting than most professions but it also requires a lot of hard work, patience, interpersonal skills, credibility, sociability, and communication skills. Everybody needs good public relations, especially when dealing with controversies. Businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits are only some of those who require good public relations personnel.
A PR degree program prepares you to engage with stakeholders, streamline information flow of an organization internally and externally, contribute to decision making for the enhancement of the individual or company image, and gain the trust and respect of the consumer public. It is usually a Bachelor of Arts degree but some universities and colleges have it as part of a bachelor’s of commerce degree.
Specific disciplines are often engaged in after the practitioner graduates with a PR degree such as financial PR, food-centric relations, crisis communication, consumer PR, corporate communication, government relations, and media relations. A PR degree can be complemented by a minor in marketing or advertising and may include internship or a capstone project for training purposes.
Employment Opportunities for a Public Relations Degree Holder?
What does a public relations degree holder do? A public relations professional can work in a variety of industries as well as organizations to provide consultancy to executives in top management or decision makers such as CEOs, COOs, and CFOs to create, develop, manage, and sustain a certain professional image acceptable to the general public and/or target audiences and markets.
As such, PR practitioners work closely and frequently with media personnel like journalists, marketing managers, communications officers, advertising managers, company spokespersons, event organizers, and entertainment performers. PR degree holders learn to plan, develop, and implement strategic and communication plans and monitor their effectiveness as well as give feedback for changes and improvements.
Some of the courses in a PR degree program may include account management, speech writing, advertising copywriting, psychology of consumer behavior, market segmentation, radio program production, development of a PR campaign, laws on mass media, press release writing, web content writing, TV production, basic statistics, interpersonal skills, and digital marketing.
Best Schools Where You Can Obtain Your PR Degree
Some of the best schools offering Public Relations as a major include New York University, the University of Texas-Austin, Auburn University, University of Southern California, Duquesne University (Pittsburgh), and South University (Columbia, South Carolina). Other good schools that offer master’s degrees in PR include Georgetown University, the University of San Francisco, Purdue University, and Montana State University (Billings).
If you are interested in obtaining a PR degree online, the top-ranked schools that offer it include: Walden University (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Arizona State University (Phoenix), the University of North Dakota (Urban), Regis University (Denver, Colorado), the City University of New York (CUNY), and the University of Massachusetts campuses of Dartmouth, Boston, Amherst, Lowell, and Worcester.