Image is everything, but it’s hard work to create, maintain, and tailor those images for the needs of the individual, business, or organization public relations professionals work for. Those in the field of public relations (PR) manage the media surrounding their clients, utilizing speeches, press releases, special affairs,and photo ops to promote the image of their clients. Those who apply to the major will learn how to craft speeches, how to create a media campaign, how to effectively communicate, and all about the power of image.
This major focuses heavily on communication and writing, both of which are the primary skills for a PR career. Courses can include: advertising, speech writing, media campaign management, journalism, marketing, public affairs, mass and internal communications, and special event management. Students of the PR major will compile a portfolio of their work, including press release samples and presentations, as well as likely complete an internship. Those drawn to PR tend to be great communicators and writers, interested in playing a behind-the-scenes role, are sociable, quick-thinkers, and enjoy employing strategy.
In a world filled with multiple mediums of communication, there’s no shortage of need for image management. After graduation, students of the major can pursue a number of career paths related to PR, including: special events coordinator, media relations manager, marketing communications specialist, fundraiser, direct marketing spokesperson, or media planner to name a few. An image is an important commodity for people and organizations wishing to be in the spotlight.
Public Relations fun fact: Bill Gates once said, "If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I'd spend it on PR!"
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The average starting salary for a graduate with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations/Image Management is $40,675