Public relations is the field in which people organize and monitor the way information is distributed between a person or group to the targeted audience. Its main purpose is to help the public reach the same understanding as a person or organization. Public relations is the study of finding ways to gain publicity–whether it be in or through the news, at conferences, etc.–to promote and preserve the image of a person or an organization. What can you do with a public relations degree? This article answers that question and also provides you with even more useful information about public relations.
Public Relations Degree Programs
If you are interested in pursuing a career in public relations, it would be a wise decision to begin searching for public relations degree programs during your junior year and begin applying to them early in your senior year in high school. Consult your guidance counselor for advice on classes you can take in high school to prepare you for higher education in public relations.
Franklin University offers online and on-campus undergraduate students opportunities to earn an Associate of Science in Public Relations, a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, and a Subsequent Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. Graduate students may choose to earn a Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Marketing and Communication, and more. The undergraduate public relations degree programs require students to take multiple courses in subjects like communications, management, media research and writing, and more to receive well-rounded educations and the knowledge necessary to succeed in the world of public relations.
Students at DePaul University can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising and a Master of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising. Students earning a bachelors degree in public relations from DePaul often focus on topics like advertising and marketing techniques, political communication, event planning, and more in order to gain a well-rounded education in public relations. Graduate students study these topics more closely and may choose to specialize in a particular topic in order to advance in that field within public relations. DePaul University also offers students a multitude of internship opportunities to better help students build their knowledge and experience even further in public relations in order to help them advance their careers.
Quinnipiac University’s School of Communications in Hamden, CT, offers students both a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a Master of Science in Public Relations. In addition to the basics of public relations and advertising, the programs also place a strong emphasis on writing, as it plays a large part of the communication process in the field of public relations. The bachelors program encourages students to complete a variety of science and humanities courses to expand their general knowledge and learn ways to apply knowledge they gain from those courses to their future in public relations. The public relations programs at Quinnipiac produce highly educated students who find jobs in both public and private organizations around the country with the help of exceptional educational experiences and internships.
Careers in Public Relations
While you are in the process of earning your public relations degree, you should look in to career options to get a better idea of your goals after graduation. Deciding to pursue a specific career path while you’re still in college can help you better form your education around that particular career.
Entry Level Careers in Public Relations
Upon earning an associates degree or bachelors degree in public relations, many career opportunities will present themselves to you. You may find that you qualify for one or more of the positions described here.
A communications coordinator serves an organization by promoting and maintaining the image of the organization through social media and publications. A communications coordinator also creates and manages an organization’s community calendar among other responsibilities. Communications coordinators often have bachelor degrees in communications, marketing, or public relations. Many companies prefer candidates with a year or two experience in the field, but it is not always necessary. Communications coordinators possess outstanding written and verbal communication skills for communicating with fellow employees and the public, and they are highly organized individuals with the ability to meet short deadlines.
Communications coordinators may earn an annual salary of $30,000 or higher, based on education and experience levels.
Public Relations Coordinator
A public relations coordinator usually works for a public or private organization, arranging and directing various community events to promote the image of that organization and demonstrate how the organization is helping the community as a whole. Depending on the size of the organization, the public relations coordinator may also handle the compilation of press releases and is in charge of gaining media attention for the press releases. A public relations coordinator typically possesses a bachelors degree in public relations and has excellent written and verbal communication skills and are very organized in order to best arrange promotional events.
Public relations coordinators may earn around $36,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.
Sports Information Director
A sports information director often works for a school or specific sports team, documenting and releasing accomplishments by team members or the team as a whole. He or she updates media on these accomplishments, making sure the school or team gets proper recognition, whether at community, state, or national levels. A sports information director typically possesses a bachelors degree in public relations or communications with background knowledge in sports and journalism.
Sports information directors may earn over $38,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.
Advanced Careers in Public Relations
With years of experience and bachelors degree or after earning your masters degree in public relations, you will be able to pursue even more career paths. Just two of these career paths are described below.
A marketing specialist often works closely with the rest of the marketing and communications teams to best devise marketing plans and assist in their implementations. He or she also contributes to newsletters and other creative updates for the company in order to promote the goods and/or services offered by the company. A marketing specialist is also required to stay up-to-date with marketing and advertising trends in order to create ideas that are most appealing to the targeted audience of the company. He or she typically possesses a bachelors degree in anything from marketing to public relations, and companies often require at least one year of experience within a related field. Marketing specialists have excellent communication and problem solving skills and are particularly creative individuals.
Marketing specialists may earn over $49,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.
Chief Communications Officer
A chief communications officer may work for a private or public company or organization, devising communications strategies to stay close with media sources and works closely with departments responsible for the development of internal and external publications, including but not limited to press releases and newsletters. A chief communications officer may also develop website content to boost search engine results for a company or organization among other responsibilities. He or she usually has a bachelors degree, or more preferably a masters degree, in communications, human resources, public relations, or another related field and possesses excellent written and verbal communication skills and outstanding organizational skills and creativity. Years of experience required by employers may vary from company to company.
Chief communications officers may earn over $100,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.
Companies that Hire People with Public Relations Degrees
Once you graduate from a reputable college or university with a public relations degree, you have the privilege of jumping into the job market head first. You may be lucky enough to land a job with the company where you completed your internship. If not, then consider researching public relations jobs at the companies listed below.
Ropes & Gray – law firm with headquarters in Boston, MA; hires positions for senior public relations specialists, public relations managers, professional development assistants, etc.
Kellen Communications – locations in New York, NY and Atlanta, GA; hires positions for public relations associate account executives, account supervisors, etc.
PPG Industries – locations around the world; hires positions for communications specialists, marketing communications specialists, brand managers, etc.
Hydro-Gear – hires positions for HR specialists, production supervisors, etc.
Public relations specialists are possibly some of the most important people within an organization. Without experts in public relations, an organization would have a significantly more difficult time getting off the ground, becoming known within the community. If you are interested in jobs similar to marketing and advertising in order to help organizations become recognized within a community, then you should consider pursuing a degree and career in public relations.