Can I Become A PR Specialist With A Degree In Communications?
"It seems like one of the biggest buzz words this year when it comes to careers is “PR specialist.” That’s a job I never heard of until I started trying to figure out what I should major in next year when I start college. It looks like it’s a really fast-growing field, and like it pays pretty well. Are there a lot of PR jobs out there? Can you tell me more about what they’re like, and what I’d be doing every day? Finally, how do I get a degree in PR? My school doesn’t offer a PR major, but it looks like the most similar degree is communication. Is that the same degree or a different one? Can I get a PR job if I choose that as my major?"
asked by Judy from Denver, CO
Public relations (PR) is indeed one of the fastest growing fields out there right now. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2010 and 2020, we can expect employment in that field to grow at a rate of 23%. That’s quite fast when compared to the average for other occupations.
How many new PR jobs will that equal? It should add up to around 58,200. There is going to be a lot of competition for those jobs, so that’s something to keep in mind if you want to go into this field. It is probably one of the better opportunities in the field of communication right now.
So yes, you can major in communication and get a job as a PR specialist. It’s a very common prospect. In fact, if you research your school’s communication program, I’m guessing you will find they have a concentration designed specifically to get you set on the right track toward becoming a PR specialist.
As a PR specialist, here’s what you’ll do each day. Your job will be to cultivate the reputation of your employer, which might be a company, government agency, nonprofit group, research firm, or something else altogether.
You’ll build relationships with journalists and bloggers, produce pamphlets, brochures, press releases, web documents, presentations and more to help to spread the word and explain your company and its products to the public.
Since everybody needs to advertise and inform others as to what it is they can offer, there is probably always going to be a strong need for experts in this field. In that sense, PR is strongly connected to marketing and advertising.
If you study communication with a PR concentration in college, you will learn how to produce these materials. You’ll also probably be trained in writing and making sales pitches.
You may have a chance to get an internship in PR, which would give you hands-on experience in the field. You may want to ask for an opportunity to “shadow” a PR worker in the meantime so you can decide whether this is something you’d like to do for a living. It’s best not to wait until your senior year internship to figure these things out.
Career Spotlight: Public Relations Specialist
Members of the general public largely derive their perception of a company or organization from the media. What they sometimes don’t see is that the information they get is often designed so as to b[...]