Public Relations Degree Options - Video
There are two main degree options in Public Relations: a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations or a Bachelor of Art in Public Relations. Each of these degree options will give a student the skills needed to be competitive in the areas of media relations, public relations and general communications.
Description of Degree
A bachelor's degree program in Public Relations focuses on training students to become information specialists for a variety of organizations and industries. Public Relations professionals work to secure their organization's message to the public. To do this, they utilize a variety of communication tactics and techniques. A bachelor's degree program in PR will focus on developing a student's skills in order to carry these communication tactics out. As a career in the field of Public Relations can be competitive, it is beneficial for those interested in the area to obtain a bachelor's degree if not continue on to an advanced degree program.
Skills Obtained and Typical Courses
Public Relations degree programs provide students with the skills needed to develop newsletters, press releases, media relations, communications plans and special events. It gives students the tools required to work in the industry, whether the focus is on advertising, creative writing, public speaking or business administration. Specific courses in a Public Relations degree program can include:
- Communication Research and Concepts
- Communication Law and Ethics
- Public Relations Writing
- Persuasion and Argumentation
- Organizational Communication
- and Mass Communication
Career Options and Occupational Outlook
Upon receiving a bachelor's degree in Public Relations, students may earn an entry-level position as a communications or public relations specialist. Other positions include a pr director or manager, media relations specialist or information specialist. Specific job duties for public relations professionals include drafting press releases, providing media relations, setting up public programming and events or preparing speeches for company spokespeople. Professionals in the field should have excellent communication and writing skills as they will be used frequently on the job. Public relations professionals can also specialize in certain communication areas, such as crisis management, labor relations or government relations.
Because the area of Public Relations is so broad, students generally learn basic skills and concepts during their degree program and then go on to gain additional skills once employed in the industry. With additional experience, whether through on-the-job training, internships or advanced schooling, public relations professionals have an opportunity to specialize in certain areas of the field. Specialization may be in non-profit communication, media relations, healthcare, government and legislation or other special-interest groups. Public Relations is an industry that is highly competitive and as such, it is advantageous to keep up on current trends and stay connected through professional Public Relations organizations. One such organization is the Public Relations Society of America which can offer networking, training and job listing opportunities.