Online Public Relations Schools
Read about the types of online public relations programs available, the classes you'd take as a PR student and how to choose a program that fits your career goals. Find out some schools that offer online PR programs.
What You Need to Know
Online public relations schools make it easy and convenient for aspiring public relations professionals to learn more about the craft. Students explore a variety of topics that will help them in their PR careers. Public relations professionals often work to improve the reputation or create a favorable image for a business, organization or individual. The U.S. Bureau of Labor of Statistics (BLS) states that the median annual salary for public relations specialists in 2017 was $59,300.
|Degrees||Bachelor's degree, master's degree|
|Certificates||Undergraduate and graduate certificates are available|
|Courses||Media relations, advertising, journalism, mass communications and more|
|Schools||Look for schools that offer hands-on PR opportunities and help students build portfolios|
What Types of Public Relations Programs are Available Online?
You can find online public relations programs available as undergraduate and graduate certificate programs and bachelor's and master's degree programs; online continuing education courses are also available. The degree program may be offered in public relations only or in public relations along with another discipline, such as marketing or investor relations. Some programs are offered in an accelerated format, meaning that you'll be able to complete your studies much faster than you normally would. You'll also find that some programs are self-paced, or asynchronous. Others may require you to log in at a particular time during the day and interact online with professors and classmates.
What Should I Look for When Choosing a School?
As an aspiring public relations professional, you'll need plenty of hands-on experience before getting your first job. Look for programs that offer courses in portfolio development. You'll need a well-put-together portfolio of projects that showcase your skills.
You'll also want to look at any admissions requirements prior to applying. Some programs assume that you've had prior training or work experience in the field. These programs may not be designed to give you formal training in the field, but may simply update or enhance the skills you already possess.
Here's a short list of some online public relations schools:
- West Virginia University
- University of Denver
- Northeastern University
- Southern New Hampshire University
- New York University
- Ball State University
What Classes Will I Take?
The classes you'll take will depend on a number of things. If you enroll in a program that focuses solely on online public relations strategies, you're likely to take classes in social media and search engine marketing. Generalized programs may include course topics such as journalism, mass communication and ethics. You might also study strategic, international and business communications. These topics could be explored as well:
- Web analytics
- Online promotion
- E-mail campaign planning
- Public relations research and campaigns
- Media relations
- Crisis management
What About Areas of Specialization?
Some programs allow you to specialize in an area such as communications, health promotion, sports management, social work or business administration. In such programs, you'll take courses relevant to that specialty area. Depending on the program, you may be required to take general education courses as well.