1. What does a public relations professional do?
Public relations professionals communicate messages and establish effective two-way relationships with internal and external target audiences. They strategically shape messages in order to influence these audiences.
2. What will I be studying in the public relations concentration?
Students majoring in Strategic Communication with a concentration in public relations learn theories of communication related to the practice of public relations and skills of writing, speaking and critical thinking, which are basic foundations for becoming a PR professional. Students also study various other responsibilities of public relations professionals such as:
- Why and how to properly communicate messages
- Develop and execute strategic communication campaigns
- Design and present messages to inform and persuade target audiences.
3. What types of careers will I be able to pursue with a major in Strategic Communication with a public relations concentration?
A Strategic Communication major with a public relations concentration opens the door to many job opportunities in the public and private sector, in for-profit and non-profit organizations. Every company or organization needs help communicating with their target audiences. For example, if you are interested in sports, you could work for in Communications for the Philadelphia Eagles. If you are passionate about a specific cause, you could work for an organization such as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
4. Is public relations really anything like it’s portrayed on TV shows such as “Sex in the City” and “Entourage”?
These portrayals represent only a small percentage of PR professionals. The rest are working hard behind the scenes. They write press releases, speeches, and media advisories for their clients, and they book television and radio appearances. Public relations practitioners also pitch their message to local and national journalists to feature a segment or article about their client. Publicity and media relations are only two types of public relations. Students can choose to work within internal, crisis, or political communication departments as well.
5. What are the course and GPA requirements for the concentration?
For this concentration, students must take four department core courses: Public Speaking (STRC 1111), Communicating Leadership (STRC 1112), Introduction to Communication Theory (STRC 2111), and Strategies and Tactics of Persuasion (STRC 2112). Once these classes are completed, students take concentration-specific courses in Introduction to Public Relations (STRC 2496), News Writing and Media Relations (STRC 2551), Media Information Gathering and Evaluation (STRC 2552), Fundamentals of PR Writing (STRC 3543), Advanced PR Writing (STRC 3596), and Public Relations Management and Problems (STRC 4859), as well as two electives in the department. To graduate with a major in Strategic Communication, students must complete 124 credit hours and maintain a 2.0 GPA.