With a bachelor of science in public relations, you’ll gain the skills necessary to thrive as a brand reputation manager. With the advent of the internet, social media, instantaneous news cycles, and portable video devices had come a significant need for individuals to react in a positive way to negative press and feedback. In a public relations program, you’ll learn how to manage brand reputations.
What is a Degree in Public Relations?
The field of public relations is designed to help small business, corporations, brands, non-profits, and government agencies maintain a positive impression of their products, offerings, and services. While studying for a bachelor’s degree in public relations, you’ll learn how to execute tasks related to these responsibilities. You’ll learn how to market your organization through press releases, how to improve brand and company perception among the public, and how to respond to negative press in a positive way.
In a public relations degree program, you’ll learn how to engage and respond to comments and news about your organization, both online and offline. You’ll learn how to get news about your organization covered by local and national news organizations; how to handle feedback—both positive and negative—on social media sites and other digital properties; and how to build a brand reputation that instills favorability, loyalty, and preference among the public, including existing, potential, and new customers.
What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Public Relations?
- Introduction to Mass Communications
- Multimedia Communication
- Law of Public Communication
- Advertising Communications
- Principles of Public Relations
- Public Relations Writing
- Fundamentals of Media Graphics
- Current Issues in Communications
What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Public Relations?
In modern society, a negative social media post, a video uploaded to YouTube portraying a company in a negative light, or a forum rant about a company can be detrimental because it’s public and instantly available for all to see. For these reasons, public relations is more important than ever for modern businesses. As such, the demand for talented public relations professionals to manage brand, company, and product reputations is higher than ever, and expected to be sustained in the coming decade.
How Long does it take?
A bachelors in Public Relations will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.
Online Public Relations Degree
Public relations is a useful degree that is highly demanded in the job market. It is a common choice for working students who are looking for flexible online programs. Students are required to complete around 125 credit hours to earn their degree. Many programs may also require practical experience in the form of internship or graduation projects.
*All salary and growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at BLS.gov for a Brand Manager
What Can You Do With a Public Relations Degree?
Public relations refers to the work related to managing the information between an individual, business or organization and the public. This usually includes internal control actions and processes within the organization or business. Unlike marketing, Public relations is mainly concerned with topics of public interests and news items which typically does not require direct payment. This may include publishing an article or news featuring a product or a client. The ultimate goal of public relations is to maintain a positive public view of an organization, leadership, products or political decisions. In many cases, public relations is needed to solve a situation related to its public image which is known as crisis management.
What does a public relations student learn?
Public relations students learn how to use media tools to effectively deal with the public. They also need to understand the group psychology in addition to marketing knowledge. Social media is currently the most important and powerful tool to manage public relations and workers in this field must master the skills to use these tools. The following list shows courses that are commonly offered in public relations degree programs:
- Brand journalism and content creation: this course presents the principals and skills needed to write stories in journalism-style that promote a product or organization without explicitly reading like marketing.
- Crisis communication: this is one of the most important tasks of public relations. Public anger towards an unacceptable tweet or opinion from a leadership or an ethical scandal is commonly a crisis that should be handled effectively and within reasonable time. Such situations can easily terminate successful companies and organizations.
- Events: this course is focused on the successful organization of events as an important method to maintain good public image including meetings, conventions, galas and ceremonies.
- Internal communication: maintaining good public image for organization starts from its employees. You should learn how to communicate professionally with the employees of an organization to keep them updated and knowledgeable regarding the organization policy for public relations.
- Media relations: the course presents the proper way to deal with the media to promote positive stories about your organization.
- Reputation management: reputation usually refers to the building of a stable image of the company or organization following long-term plans.
- Social media: this is probably the most important tool in this field these days. Social media is highly dynamic and requires careful, effective and timely handling of the public opinions and responses. Social media managers deal with social media websites, influencers, campaigns and trends.
- Speech writing: as a public relations manager, you should know how to write a speech that can deliver your vision and defend your organization. You should also learn how to handle surprises that may arise during these speeches.
Now I have the public relations degree…where can I work after graduating?
Public relations is vital for all companies and organizations including political parties. Its importance increased with the spread of the social media that made the formation of collective public opinions a common and relatively easy task. The following list presents career options available for public relations degree graduates:
- Publicist: this job title refers to the public relations consultants who can work individually or through agencies to assist individuals, companies and organizations to improve and maintain their public image.
- Copywriter: the role of this job is to develop content for the publicity of an organization as journal articles, social media posts or online blogs.
- Social media manager: this is a specialized job focusing on managing the content related to the company or organization on social networks. Almost all companies currently run their pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Spokesperson: if you enjoy delivering speeches to the public, then you should consider this job. it is usually personally and financially rewarding and it prepares you to reach leading positions.
Should I choose a public relations degree?
Working in public relations is not only financially rewarding but it will also help you develop a number of skills that are useful for your life in general:
- Communication skills: working in public relations requires having excellent spoken and written communication skills and the ability to deal with people based on their background, culture and personality.
- IT skills: Managing public relations relies intensively on the use of software programs and online platforms.
- Creativity: Creative and innovative ideas can open great opportunities to build a good image of your organization.
- Organization skills and time management: public relations is a dynamic and intense field that requires timely response to the public. You should always be able to effectively use your time and plan your priorities to fulfill the requirements of your job.
- Awareness of different media agendas: sometimes the media background and agenda affects their attitude towards your organization and you should be completely aware of their agenda to deal correctly with them.
Best Jobs for Public Relations Degrees
With a public relations bachelor’s degree, you can enter a career as a public relations professional for a variety of different types of organizations across a variety of industries. Additionally, you’ll gain skills that allow you to succeed in many other roles as well. You may be able to find work as a social media manager, marketing manager, or human resources specialist, or even as a journalist or TV news reporter.
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