Public Relations

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Students on campus
What can I do with this major?
Area Employers Strategies

Account Management

  • Issues Management

  • Counseling

  • Employee or Member Relations

  • Media Relations

  • Research

Public relations firms: (Representing various private and public organizations and institutions, individuals, and events.)

PR departments in large corporations

Strengthen verbal communication skills by taking speech communication courses. Enhance writing skills through additional coursework in business and marketing. Acquire an internship with a PR firm. Be prepared to start at the bottom and work up to higher positions. Consider a master's degree in PR for higher level positions, especially at the executive level. Learn to work well with teams.


  • Reporting

  • Advertising

  • Sales

  • Writing and Editing


Online news providers



Develop the ability to work under the pressure of deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Get a summer job or internship with a newspaper, TV or radio station. Work with college newspaper staff or radio station. Develop strong computer skills and learn applications related to web page design. Obtain experience in the area of sales. Get involved with national and campus professional associations.

Public Affairs

  • Government Relations

  • Risk and Crisis Communication

  • Campaign Marketing and Fundraising

  • World Affairs and Diplomacy

  • Media Relations

Government agencies (local, state,& federal)

Chambers of commerce and tourism councils foreign embassies

Campaign committees, coalitions, initiatives, and networks

Secure federal internships in a field of interest. Develop strong research and writing skills. Get experience with student government or political campaigns.

Consider graduate programs in Public Policy/Affairs. Develop foreign language skills. Enhance language skills and cultural understanding through study abroad programs. Gain experience by volunteering with organizations that provide assistance to various cultural groups.

Business and Industry

  • Advertising Sales

  • Sales

  • Training and Development

  • Human Resources

  • Customer Service

  • Management

  • Direct Marketing -Direct marketers work with the customer through mail, magazines, radio, or TV to get an immediate response by telephone, mail, or fax.

Public and private corporations

Consulting firms

Marketing companies

Internet marketers

Sport and athletic organizations

Retail stores

Take general business and computer courses. Consider earning a graduate degree in business. Gain experience in organizational development or marketing. Become current with business and industry literature and news. Obtain sales and marketing experience. Work within college sports administration and marketing.

Nonprofit and Education

  • Public Relations

  • Fundraising

  • Promotion

  • Event Planning

  • Service Marketing

  • Advertising Sales

  • Administration

  • Community Affairs


Charities and foundations (i.e. within the areas of environment, arts, multicultural initiatives, religion, and health) 

Hospitals and healthcare providers

Colleges and universities

Social service agencies

Nonprofit organizations

Professional associations

Get experience through volunteering for non-profit agencies, museums, and charities. Obtain internships with non-profit organizations. Gain experience planning events for campus organizations. Consider additional degrees such as MPH (Master of Public Health) to enhance employability. Get sales experience.

Strategies for placement in Public Relations

  • Develop excellent communication skills, verbal and written.

  • Demonstrate enthusiasm and energy for the field.

  • Obtain part-time, summer job, internship, or volunteer experience within an area of interest. Public relations is a competitive field and related experience is essential to break into the industry.

  • Be prepared to start at the bottom and work up to positions of greater responsibility. Expect to complete administrative tasks in entry-level jobs.

  • Participate in co-curricular activities and related organizations to develop skills. Join on-campus and national professional associations related to public relations.

  • Obtain additional or advanced degrees to enhance knowledge of specific area of interests. For instance, a Master's degree in Public Policy (MPP) will increase employability in government and non-profit agencies.

  • Take PR campaign class seriously as it is a good learning experience.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section
504/ADA /ADEA Employer.


All About PR with Steven R. Van Hook
Public Relations Society of America
Careers In Advertising and Public Relations 
PR Week