So you’ve taken Communications in a Global Age…possibly Media Writing, maybe Digital Media Convergence and/or Public Relations and Civic Responsibility. Now what? Here at Elon University, students major in Strategic Communications, which encompasses more than Public Relations. According to the School of Communication’s webpage, “Strategic Communications uses public relations, advertising and social media to connect organizations to their publics.” For those of you who have decided to major in Strategic Communications, here are some possible careers you could go into with your degree.
1) Work for an Agency
If you see yourself working in a fast-paced environment, then working at a Public Relations Agency might be the job for you! While working at an agency, it is likely that you will be working with more than one client. These clients may be in politics, entertainment, finance, consumer and business products, or provide services. Some agencies focus mainly on one industry, while other agencies work with clients in all types of industries. Responsibilities may include crafting press releases, designing campaigns, crisis management, social media management and more. But the main objective will always be to make the client looks its very best.
At an agency, you could expect to gain experience in some, if not all, of the following:
- Brand Management
- Customer Service
- Design and Production
- Direct Marketing
- Event Planning
- Governmental Relations
- Media Planning/Buying
- Media Relations
- Media Writing and Editing
- Risk and Crisis Management
- Sales Management
Working at a Public Relations agency could be a great start to launching your career after obtaining a PR or Strategic Communications degree.
2) Work for a Private Company
If working for an agency is not what you had in mind, consider working for a private company. Most companies hire its own internal staff rather than an external agency to take care of its communications needs. By working for a private company, you have the chance to work with just one specific industry—maybe even one that interests you. Ever wonder what you might do with that Finance minor? You could work for an investment bank’s communications department… Responsibilities will likely be the same as the ones listed above and the main objective will still be to make the company you work for look its very best. Working at a private company could be a step toward your goal of becoming a public relations professional!
3) Working for an Individual
Another option for what you might do with a Public Relations degree would be working for an individual person—a celebrity, politician etc. Responsibilities would include generating and managing publicity about the individual. You would likely write press releases, manage campaigns and more. So what’s the main objective? You guessed it—ensuring that the individual maintains the very best image! Working for an individual is somewhat different than the first two options, but still an ideal option of what to do with a PR or Strategic Communications degree.
4) Start your own PR Agency
Dream of being your own boss? Starting a Public Relations agency is another path you could take with a PR or Strategic Communications degree! By starting your own agency, you will get to choose who you work with—both the staff and the clients. Responsibilities will definitely be many of the ones listed above—crafting press releases, designing campaigns etc.—but there will also be a handful of administration duties that will need to be fulfilled. While starting your own PR agency sounds like a great idea, it will take lots of hard work and determination, and there are a lot of risks involved with this option. That being said, I recommend that you get some experience at an established PR agency before taking this route.
These are just a few options of what you could do with a Public Relations or Strategic Communications degree, but there are many other paths you could take. You could even get a job related to advertising and/or marketing. No matter what path you decide to take, be prepared to work hard to obtain your dream job!