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Bachelor Degree: Public Relations

There are many ways to begin a career in public relations. Contrary to popular belief, people who are 'talkative' may not necessarily do well in this field. You need much more than the ability to speak articulately in a language to succeed in public relations.

Apart from good language ability, you also need good written and communication skills, the ability to work with different groups of people with different needs and abilities, enthusiasm and initiative as well as the ability to work independently.

While a bachelor degree specializing in public relations is not a must for most organizations, people who want to be involved in such work should have a communications, law, business or language qualification.

Other than paper qualifications, bachelor degree graduates with some work experience in customer relations and client servicing will have an edge over others. Once you get the job, in order to advance your career, you need to keep abreast of the current news related to your industry, develop good working relations with the target news media, prepare good promotional materials and internal communications, represent the organization well to key groups as well as demonstrate self-confidence and enthusiasm for motivating people.

Public relations is fast paced and at times unpredictable. Depending on the type of organization you work for or represent, certain events may happen that will throw your schedule out of the window. As a new bachelor degree graduate, you need to know how to learn on the job and adapt quickly to your working environment. There is normally simple training given so you need to demonstrate a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm and to ask for things to do.

Public relations practitioners are required to do many things so you get to enjoy a lot of variety in your work. You will be meeting different people for different purposes and traveling extensively. However, you may need to work long or odd hours and perhaps even two to three weeks at a stretch when a deadline for a project draws near. When something goes wrong, you need to be able to think and act quickly to solve the problem. In public relations, damage control or crisis management is very much part and parcel of the work.

Public relations involves many activities; hence, in a public relations undergraduate course, students will be exposed to activities like promotion, publicity, public affairs, research, graphics, advertising and marketing communications as well as mass media communication, public speaking, organizational behavior, integrated marketing communications, corporate communications, media law and ethics, media writing skills as well as consumer behavior and branding. Public relations practitioners work in service industries like public relations firms or consultancies, advertising agencies, healthcare organizations, educational institutions and government agencies while some consultants are self-employed

Major employers for public relations practitioners include businesses, government agencies, universities, hospitals and other larger organizations that require their own in-house public relations department. There are also public relations agencies for consultancies that provide services to clients locally and internationally.

Michael Russell Your Independent Bachelor Degree guide.

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