For people who want to get into public relations, there are many potential degree paths. While accountants generally have to study accounting and engineers better study engineering, public relations professionals can develop their requisite skill set by pursuing any number of paths. One of the most popular ways to get into public relations is with a marketing degree. This degree can give you one of the most important tools for any public relations wizard. It will teach you about brand management and messaging.
The Public Relations Skill Set
If you want to work in public relations, then you need to know the tools that these professionals possess. The vast majority of people in public relations will have what seems like an innate ability to sell and spin. They can sell you on their message, and they can spin news to make things seem better. Public relations professionals have an undeniable focus that keeps them on message at all times. In addition, they understand how to communicate for their audience. No matter who they are talking to, they use a type of language that’s authoritative and persuasive.
How a Marketing Degree Builds Public Relations Skills
Marketing degree programs prepare students with knowledge of messaging and brand management. As Gary Davis writes, this degree offers an education that’s just broad enough while still retaining a certain degree of specificity. Those specific skills teach you how to enhance a brand. You will learn which messages get through to consumers. In the public relations field, you are still managing a brand and getting out a message to consumers. The difference, of course, is that your product is a person, a cause, or a company, and your consumers are people who support the thing you are selling. When you learn core marketing skills, you can easily apply them to public relations.
Getting Your Foot in the Public Relations Door
Getting into public relations is all about landing a substantial internship. This is the best way to learn the ropes and make positive connections in the industry. Whether you are working public relations for a team, an agency, or some business, you will usually have to prove your stripes at the bottom of the ladder. A marketing degree is something that will be very valuable in landing an internship. With a marketing degree in hand, companies will find multiple uses for you in an internship setting. You can offer them more than just your ability to manage a message. You can also offer your assistance in marketing their products. Because a marketing degree will help you land that key internship, it will help you get the public relations job you have been coveting.
You should know that most colleges do not offer a public relations major. This means that almost all people are coming into public relations with some other degree. While many will have a communications degree, some will study brand management and consumer messaging in a solid marketing program. If you are serious about breaking into this industry, then you can do a lot worse than a marketing focus while you’re in college.