A public relations degree prepares you for careers as public relations specialists, media coordinators, technical writers, or communications specialists. That means there are lots you can do with a public relations degree.
This article on ‘What can you do with a public relations degree?’ will provide all the necessary information you need to know. Furthermore, this information ranges from Online Public Relations Degree, PR Jobs, Salary and a lot more.
Navigate through the table of contents below to get an overview of all we have wrapped in this post for you.
Table of Contents Hide
- What Is Public Relations (PR)?
- Public Relations Education and Degree Programs
- Job Prospects for Public Relations Degree-Holders (Career)
- Salary Outlook with a Public Relations Degree
- Job Tips For A Public Relation Career
- Frequently Asked Questions
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What Is Public Relations (PR)?
Public Relations is the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person. According to the World Assembly of Public Relations Associations, the field is:
“the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public interest.”
All businesses, or even many influential people, need a public relations team. However, Public relations differ from advertising and marketing in that they increase or create visibility for the chosen audience through public interest culture and the dissemination of information in ways that do not require payment.
Common responsibilities include writing press releases, working with the press, arranging interviews, writing speeches, acting as spokespersons, and managing many forms of communication within an organization, including crisis management and internal communications. Because of the wide variety of companies that have public relations branches, PR holders have plenty of options to enter the industries in the best way that suits their interests and needs.
Public Relations Skills
Perhaps the most significant change to the field of marketing in recent years has been how companies use social media to connect with its audience. These changes are reflected in the type of skills and specializations public relations specialists are expected to hold. The following skills are in the highest demand for new employees in PR jobs:
- Write clear and consistent communication for the media
- Interact effectively with different media outlets and their audiences
- Evaluate public opinion through social media
- Internal corporate communications
- Respond quickly to crisis and negative news
- Develop awareness and partner programs with relevant individuals and communities
- Work collaboratively to identify social media content, topics, and flow of information
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Public Relations Education and Degree Programs
Typically, Public relations practitioners have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations, marketing, or English. Also, many senior practitioners have graduate degrees. According to a 2015 survey, 40% of chief communications officers at Fortune 500 companies had master’s degrees.
Earlier in 2013, a survey of the 21,000 members of the Public Relations Society of America found that 18% held the Accreditation in Public Relations.
Notwithstanding, a PR degree will equip you with the strong communication and advocacy/promotional skills needed to manage the reputation of important clients and influence media opinion.
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Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations
Students can usually choose specializations at this level. Course topics include marketing, advertising, project management, consumer behaviour, communication ethics, motivation, media research. The required general education courses include:
- Media communication and crisis.
- Rhetoric and social influence.
- Natural Sciences
Master’s Degree In Public Relations Programs
Master’s programs are generally offered as a Master of Arts and may be available in an accelerated format. The program may also be available as a master’s degree in professional studies. Common topics of the course include:
- Public relations budgeting and practices
- Metrics and analytics
- Public affairs research
- International communications
- Digital marketing strategies
Online Public Relations Degree
Here are some universities and colleges that offer online public relations degree and also in the traditional classroom setting:
- California Baptist University
- Drexel University Online
- Bellevue University
- Geneva College
- Arizona State University (ASU)
California Baptist University
The university’s Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations requires 48 major units in addition to general course requirements. The school offers courses like Public Relations Issues and Crisis Management, Business Literacy for Public Relations Professionals, and Principles of International Public Relations.
Drexel University Online
Drexel University Online offers a B.S. in communication with a concentration in public relations. The unique format of the curriculum prepares you to contextualize your studies in public relations with other topics such as journalism, media and society, new technologies in communication and public relations. Unlike the two-semester system, the program is organized in four quarters of 10 weeks each year.
The online Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from Bellevue University prepares students for careers in public relations. In the course on the virtual public relations experience, students participate in a virtual work environment to develop skills that develop effective leaders in organizations. Courses are offered entirely online or in class.
One of the advantages of the Geneva College online program is that students have 24/7 access to their McCartney Library. If there was a word to describe the nature of Geneva’s public relations degree online, it would be “convenience”.
Also, the program is offered in a 16-month format with two courses of eight weeks at a time. Excellent teachers bring personalized attention and support to their students.
Arizona State University (ASU)
The Bachelor of Science in Online Communication provides students with the tools they need to succeed in a career in public relations.
The courses of the program last about seven and a half weeks. Also, there is a total of 40 online courses for the major and the undergraduate program is eligible for the fast track process. With the degree, graduates will be equipped to be public relations specialists.
Job Prospects for Public Relations Degree-Holders (Career)
Many public relations graduates start out as public relations specialists before taking on senior positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the public relations specialist is expected to see a 9% increase in employment by 2026.
The constant need for public relations professionals is as a result of the growing reliance on social and online networks to shape public perception. Perhaps the most significant change in public relations is the 24/7 connection that the public can have with an organization via the Internet.
This means that not only must public relations managers take into account the images of an organization through traditional means of information and press releases, but also through unsolicited online public engagement online.
While most public relations graduates start their careers as public relations specialists, some may also engage in marketing or social networking. The way a public relations professional begins his career is largely due to the additional specializations they have obtained for their degree or the additional certifications they possess.
After gaining experience and obtaining a master’s degree in public relations, many public relations specialists move up the ranks of the company to positions such as public relations managers, communication managers or public relations directors.
In addition to the explanation above, some jobs directly related to a public relation degree include:
- Public relations officer
- Social media manager
- Advertising account executive
- Event manager
- Marketing executive
- Pay per click specialist (PPC specialist)
- Public affairs consultant
- Sales promotion account executive
Also, a degree in public relations would be useful in the following jobs:
- Charity fundraiser
- Media researcher
- Personal assistant
- Policy officer
- Politician’s assistant
1. Public Relations Specialist
Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They also prepare press releases and develop social media programs to shape the public perception of their organization and increase awareness of their work and their objectives.
2. Public Relations and Fundraising Manager
A public relations manager is responsible for planning and directing the creation of materials that maintain or boost the image of the client or employer. On the other hand, fundraising managers are responsible for coordinating campaigns that bring in donations to various types of organizations.
3. Advertising Sales Agents
They sell advertising to individuals and businesses. Also, these agents are responsible for contacting potential clients, making sales pitches and maintaining accounts for clients: $50,300.
4. Advertising, Promotions And Marketing Managers
They plan promotions and programs to increase interest in a variety of products and services. Typically, they often work closely with sales agents, art directors and finance professionals: $127,500.
5. Corporate Communications Manager
The corporate communication manager is in charge of management of the communication efforts of a company. Also, he/she must review and approve statements by the organization and develop partnerships with other organizations to further the objectives of the company: $77,300.
6. Market Research Analysts
Market Research Analyst study the conditions of the market to determine what the possible sales of a new product or service could be. Also, they assist companies in learning the type of products that people want and the price they are able to pay: $62,500.
7. PPC specialists
Pay per click (PPC) is the term used to describe paid advertising on the Internet, usually via Google AdWords or Bing Ads. Advertisers pay a fee each time they click on one of their ads. PPC specialists use their experience to indicate how to optimize the results of a PPC campaign.
8. Event Managers
Event managers plan and organise promotional, business and social events. They’re responsible for running a range of events, ensuring the target audience is engaged and the message of the event is marketed properly. Events play a huge part in the success of a brand or an organisation.
Event planners plan and organize promotional, commercial and social events. They are responsible for the execution of various events, ensuring that the target audience is involved and that the message of the event is properly marketed. Events play an important role in the success of a brand or organization.
Salary Outlook with a Public Relations Degree
Earning a degree in public relations offers professionals the opportunity to excel in many desirable careers and earn a good salary. With solid public relations skills, it is possible to work as the public face of many organizations in industries that vary from private to public to nonprofits.
Public relations professionals are frequently the cornerstones of these organizations and how they relate to the public.
The salary level you can earn with a PR degree will depend on several factors:
- If you have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in public relations
- The type of public relations career path you choose
- Your years of experience in public relations
- The industry in which you work
Getting a degree in Public Relations gives professionals the opportunity to excel in many interesting careers and earn a good salary. Furthermore, with strong public relations skills, it is possible to play the role of public face of many organizations in sectors of activity ranging from the private sector to the public sector and non-profit organizations.
Public relations professionals are often the cornerstones of these organizations and their relationship with the public.
Level of Public Relations Degree
The first important factor for your salary level with a degree in public relations is the degree level. Furthermore, research has shown over time that obtaining a master’s degree can generate a higher salary for most of your career.
Also, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS, more educations brings about a higher earning. For instance, as at 2013, the median salary for workers with a master’s degree was $68,000 and $56,000 for those with a bachelor’s degree.
Payscale.com also reports that the average salary for public relations professionals with a bachelor’s degree is as follows for these jobs:
- Marketing coordinator: $40,300
- Marketing manager: $54,800
- Account coordinator: $33,500
- Marketing specialist: $46,800
However, for a master’s degree, these are the average salaries according to Payscale.com:
- Marketing manager: $61,000
- Communications manager: $77,400
- Marketing coordinator: $44,400
- Public relations manager: $58,300
- Marketing communications manager: $60,200
In addition, Salary.com reports that the average salary for a public relations manager with a bachelor’s degree is $101,000, and with a master’s degree it is $105,000.
Below are the median annual wages for the following PR options according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2019 report:
Public Relations Specialist: $60,000
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers: $114,800
Sales Managers: $124,220
Top Executives: $104,980
Job Tips For A Public Relation Career
Getting a public relations degree is a good first step to pursuing a public relations career. But you can also make your career thrive with these pointers:
You do not have to know everything about public relations when you first start in the field. But when you get a job in the field, the company will want to see that you are enthusiastic, ready to learn, and smart. Furthermore, this means that you should have a dynamic personality and be able to communicate effectively.
These traits will always help you, but they are really important when you do not have a lot of experience and knowledge. However, if your boss can not imagine making a phone call with a reporter or speaking effectively to a client, it can be difficult to succeed in this career.
Get an internship
Many people hiring public relations professionals say that, in general, they will choose people with relevant internship experience. The school will teach you a lot, but nothing is more important in PR than professional experience. To succeed in public relations, you must be able to multitask and think of your feet. Having experience in these areas of internship experience means a lot.
Other Degrees Can Work
Having a degree in PR is important, but it is possible to succeed in public relations with a degree in marketing, a degree in English, or even an economic education.
Prepare For The Interview
If you want to get a PR position, you should come to the interview ready. Do homework about the company you are interviewing for so that you can ask smart and intelligent questions. Also, you will be able to sell your strengths to the interviewer.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How much money can you make with a public relations degree?
As of 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that all public relations and fundraising managers made a median salary of $114,800 per year.
What is a career in public relations?
According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), job descriptions can include responsibilities such as media relations, marketing communications, social media, community relations, special events, crisis management, research, and employee communications.
Is Public Relations in demand?
Employment of public relations specialists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The need for organizations to maintain their public image will continue to drive employment growth.
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