What Education Is Needed for a Career in Public Relations Writing?

Students seeking a career in public relations writing should consider earning a bachelor's degree, preferably in communications, although some schools might tie public relations to the journalism program. A master's degree with an emphasis in public relations is another possibility. Schools offering Public Relations degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education

Preparation for a public relations (PR) writing career should be three-tiered. A student should earn the bachelor's or master's degree in the field. In addition, public relations internships or related work study or summer jobs will provide practical experience, and membership in public relations professional organizations can help build a reputation and a network. For additional opportunities for advancement, public relations professionals may wish to continue their education by earning a master's degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Important Information About this Field of Study

Degree Fields Public relations, communications
Prerequisites A high school diploma or its equivalent and acceptable standardized test scores for most bachelor's programs
Online Availability Some communications degree programs are available online
Possible Careers Public relations specialist, public relations and fundraising manager, editor

Coursework

Most private and state colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in communications with an emphasis on public relations. Students learn the techniques for writing an effective press release, which gives basic information and also emphasizes the importance of the product or program. This type of writing differs from straight journalism which only highlights the facts. Students will also learn the importance of following up on the publication and/or broadcast of this information.

Other courses will highlight management and organization techniques, as well as desktop publishing and public relations theory. Liberal studies courses will round out the degree requirements. These classes will expose students to political science, business administration, the social sciences, and psychology.

Internships

Perhaps the best way to gain practical experience in public relations writing is to obtain internships while in college. Some of the best opportunities will come from interning for non-profit organizations, which are frequently in need of free labor, but any position which gives interns the chance to write press releases, be involved in planning events, and work on information campaigns, publications, or websites will be beneficial to a PR student.

Professional Organizations

A third tier in the preparation for a career in public relations writing is to obtain membership in a professional public relations organization. There are many professional organizations for students. One such group is The Public Relations Student Society of America, a branch of the Public Relations Society of America. Its purpose is to form a beneficial relationship between students and PR professionals. The society offers its members networking opportunities and discounts on professional development conferences, as well as cutting-edge information on trends and best practices in the field of public relations writing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Regent University

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  • American University

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  • Maryville University

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  • Saint Leo University

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  • Independence University

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  • Seton Hall University

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