The Public Relations Path

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Do you like the idea of a studying marketing, but are terrified of math? Or do you think the concept is interesting, but want to do more than just work with products? Then you might want to consider a major in public relations.

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Although the practice of public relations dates back to the 20th century, the public relations career path is still unfamiliar to a large number of people. Sometimes public relations practitioners are portrayed as spin doctors or publicity spokespeople, while others believe that PR and marketing go hand in hand. But the fact of the matter is, public relations encompasses so much more.

The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as, “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

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With a degree in public relations, there are a variety of career paths available to pursue. If you want to do PR work for one specific company, this is typically referred to as “in house” public relations. This means that you are working solely for one company, and are constantly trying to find ways to help them build a better relationship with their publics.

Another career option as a public relations major is to work for a large PR firm, like Ketchum or Edelman. These firms have numerous clients and varying levels of positions. A PR boutique firm, or a public relations boutique, also gives you the option of working with multiple companies – without working for a large firm. Boutique firms are usually smaller, but still serve all types of businesses.

Truthfully, a major public relations provides an almost endless number of career choices. As a public relations major, you really are not limited to only working in PR. Since public relations is in the College of Liberal Arts, it is closely related to majors like journalism or media relations. This expands the career options even more. Some examples of career paths for PR majors that do not necessarily involve PR are the following: publicist, copywriter, journalist and spokesperson.

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In addition to a number of career choices, public relations is also a continuously growing field. Forbes recently published an article with various facts and statistics on the growth in the field of public relations. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, public relations professionals filled about 240,000 jobs in 2014 – but that number was expected to increase 6% by 2024. To read more of the Forbes article with statistics on public relations, click here.

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Overall, there are various reasons to consider public relations as a major. From the abundance of career choices to the continuous growth documented by Labor Statistics, public relations is a promising field. Studying public relations at Auburn University as been more interesting and informative than I ever could have imagined. Now that my four years here are coming to an end, I feel more confident than ever that I have chosen the right career for me. I cannot wait to see where the public relations path takes me.


My Spring Break Plan

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It’s that time of the semester – spring break is here! Whether it’s your first spring break in college or your last, there are endless ways to ensure that your time off is enjoyed to the fullest. The best way to guarantee a good time is to plan. What are your goals? How will you reach them?

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In public relations, planning is everything. Whether tackling a problem or arranging a campaign, the planning process is the first step. The PR plan is fairly simple. There are numerous steps to assure that nothing is overlooked. First, decide on the main goal. From there, the plan highlights the plans objectives, strategies, tactics and the evaluation of the goal. All of these parts work together to provide a system that ensures all ends are tied.

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The main goal of my spring break is to have an enjoyable week with family and friends – all while embracing the warm weather. Even though our winter in Auburn wasn’t very harsh this year, I am definitely ready for Miami’s warmth. Spending time with my family and friends is important to me because I often go long lengths without seeing them since I am so far from home.

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Once the main goal has been established, the objectives should be set. My spring break has three objectives, and they are as follows:

To devote time to spend with each member of the family.

To organize outdoor activities throughout the break.

To execute plans with friends I have not yet seen.

These objectives are a crucial part in the implementation of my spring break plan. Objectives help move the main goal forward and work toward the formation of the bigger picture.

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In addition to setting objectives, strategies are another critical part of the public relations plan. Strategies focus on the actions aimed at achieving the previously designed goals and objectives.

In order to reach my goals for spring break, I determined three necessary strategies. My first strategy is to plan a family dinner. By planning a family dinner, I get to see all of my family at once. I get to spend quality time with them, and I also get the chance to make plans for later in the week. My second strategy is to stay on top of the weather. By continuously checking the weather, I can assure that I get to spend quality time outside. For example, if the weather says rain in the afternoon, I can plan a morning activity or vice versa. Lastly, but most important, I will create an agenda. By creating an agenda and tentative schedule before spring break, I will ensure that I make time for all of my plans.

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Tactics are the activities that carry out each strategy. Tactics are necessary to that the ultimate goal of the plan can be achieved. Although the tactics of my spring break plan are fairly simple, they are essential in the execution of the public relations plan. They are the following:

Start a family group chat to make plans for dinner on March 12.

Make sure to contact friends at least two days before tentative plans.

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There are many ways to measure the success of a public relations plan. In this particular case, I think the easiest way to measure the progress would be to determine my overall satisfaction with the week at the end of spring break. Maybe I could check my tan lines too!

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Spring break is a time for fun and sun – and my plan is to embrace it!