8 College majors that set you up for PR success
June 11, 2015

When I’m facing retirement, I hope I’m still thinking about what else I want to be when I grow up. When I was in college and working through part-time jobs and internships, I never had a clear idea of the direction I wanted my career to take. I knew which skills I could market and recognized which ones I wanted to pursue, and I suspected this would be enough to get me started and keep me going. Metis gives me the chance to work with small teams and with clients in vastly different industries. When I see the array of skills each of my colleagues bring to the table, I understand why groups maximize their strength when they’re comprised of diverse members.

Which got me thinking – which college majors and previous work experience led each of our in-house pros to careers in marketing and public relations (PR), and how have these fields continued to shape our work? After collecting a survey from the team, below are some of the top results:

  • Advertising - Successful ads interest their audience without shoving the message down their throats. This focus on creativity fuels every one of our client programs.
  • Business – Real-world business issues encompass everything from financial budgeting to human resources or marketing initiatives, and part of our daily work involves helping companies find the balance that works best for them. Skills like crafting a business plan and applying takeaways from case studies are intrinsic to PR.
  • Communications – Identifying target audiences and reaching them with the right message is a major part of any PR pro’s work, but communications programs help provide insight to the “why” behind these tasks – and understanding that aspect is what separates spray-and-pray PR from results that move the needle for companies.
  • English – An English degree will teach you to crank out analytical papers by the handful every week, how to give and receive editorial feedback, and how to research. Discussion-based analysis classes train you to become an expert in defining your thoughts and communicating them to others, which applies to content creation, pitching and marketing strategy.
  • International relations – When you’ve studied international business, you’ve learned how to approach a scenario from multiple perspectives and simultaneously consider the histories and goals of each party involved. This is a key part of establishing relationships with clients, journalists and your PR colleagues.
  • Journalism – Academic training in journalism is a crash course in storytelling, and businesses will always need people with a sense for news value, storytelling and connecting with a target audience. Training in journalism will also help you identify what your target reporters need to collect sources and craft a story, which are daily elements of a PR pro’s job.
  • Political science – Understanding how a political campaign effectively educates the public is the heart of PR. Political science will also teach you to work with different stakeholders as you build and launch a campaign, which is experience you’ll draw from every time you create a media strategy for releasing news or launching a product.
  • PR – No surprise here. PR classes help you learn the basics of the field, why it matters, how social media plays a role and how to establish the basic working components of a successful program. However, while your degree will show you the ropes, you’ll learn elements like client service, multitasking and brainstorming on the job.

Want to turn your training into a PR career? Metis is hiring.

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