As the media landscape continues to grow, there’s an ever-present need for professionals in the field of public relations, or “PR” management. Despite what most people think, there’s more to being a public relations expert than sitting behind a computer screen and making sure a company posts the right things on social media. A public relations degree is the first step in unlocking a world of potential job opportunities to do with relationships, marketing, and strategic planning.
Depending on how comprehensive a student’s public relations degree might be, their job opportunities could be potentially limitless. For instance, those who have a master’s degree are more likely to hold senior positions in the marketing and planning worlds including titles like director of investor relationships, marketing manager, and public relations manager.
What is Public Relations
Public relations is not direct advertising. In fact, it’s not really advertising. It’s more of a persuasion, or an art of story telling. The goal of public relations is to convince an audience, inside a targeted demography, to promote your idea, purchase your product, or support your position. The difference between public relations and advertising is that public relations is focused on creating positive publicity about a particular target. It is more about building and establishing a brand, trust and connection to that brand. Advertising is a more sniper approach where the goal is more direct. Public relations is entirely focused on the trust.
The public reacts very difficultly to newspaper articles than to a TV advertisement. This is because why are aware of what advertisements are (directly paid to be shown to them). This isn’t a great way of establishing a relationship. But when an audience is communicated an idea through a third party, such as newspapers or online activity, they are more likely to engage with the content. This is an indirect way of encouraging audience engagement and building a relationship with users. Another perfect example is press releases. Press releases do not directly encourage a user to take a specific action, instead it creates a positive image about a company which allows the consumer to decide how they feel about it. Again, PR is more about building relationships.
The Type of Jobs Graduates Can Get with a PR Degree
Experts in the world of public relations often find employment in a huge variety of different settings. After all, almost every business or organization with a social presence can benefit from the assistance of a PR professional. Public relations experts can work on a contract or freelance basis so that they can share their skills with multiple different brands at once, or they might spend their career devoted to protecting a company.
Often, the most common job titles relate to things like strategic planner jobs, media relations specialists, and public relations specialists. These professionals are responsible for planning and scheduling marketing efforts on the behalf of companies to help them improve or preserve their reputation in the online and offline world.
Indeed, because much of a PR graduate’s expertise links to the world of writing and marketing many roles can extend to the world of advertising. For instance, a person with a PR degree might be able to get a job as a professional copywriter, or marketing communications professional. Currently, the best pay scales are reserved for those who hold titles as public relations specialists and public relations manager, but social media managers are in a lucrative position too.
The Growing Public Relations Environment
Those involved in the public relations sector are currently in a fantastic position for long-term growth. Though the space is highly competitive and requires a great deal of training and experience, it’s also a highly satisfying and exciting job for those who get involved. Whether graduates choose to become an event coordinator, marketing manager, or something else entirely, they’ll often find themselves using their strategic thinking skills, knowledge of digital marketing, and writing prowess.
While there are already plenty of jobs out there for those who want to make the most of their public relations skills, the market is still in a state of growth according to the Bureau of labor statistics. Between the years of 2014 and 2024, the number of careers available for public relations experts was prepped to see a growth of around 6% which is the average rate for most occupations. However, the growth rate is slightly higher for those with an eye for managerial positions.
Ronn Torossian is a public relations professional with over 20 years of experience