One of the most frequently asked questions by interns and people seeking to enter the PR industry is, “What was your college major?”
Many job seekers think that a Public Relations or Communications major is required, but I am here to tell you that this is just not so.
Budding history scholars and psychologists can easily leap into public relations, and so can many other areas of study.
Here are a few ways to turn the skills learned in other college majors into PR career gold.
Let me take a step back from what I said before: To make the leap into public relations, you must have good writing skills. Press releases, media alerts, pitches—you can’t communicate with the media if you don’t have a solid writing background, which is a given for an English major. Harness your writing, proofing and grammar skills, and you’ll be the go-to person for perfect copy. (Well, nothing’s perfect.)
History / Anthropology Majors
A little research goes a long way. Popular trends change daily, and clients want their PR team to stay on top of things. You can’t pitch without knowing whom you’re pitching. A history or anthropology major with a knack in research can easily add value to their agency and clients alike.
Finance makes the world and PR go ‘round. Regardless of the industry you are promoting, understanding the balance sheet will help you develop better strategies and tactics to help your clients grow.
Public relations involves constantly interacting with people on and offline, including reporters, clients and vendors. Having strong social skills and an intimate understanding of how people think puts you step ahead of the game.
Art / Graphic Design Majors
Many PR agencies have departments dedicated to in-house graphic design services. Art majors could easily cater their slick skills to the PR world for designing presentations, teasers, document templates and anything else required by a client or agency.
Forget Hollywood. With the rise of YouTube and the growing of video, there’s plenty of demand for visual wizards in the PR world. Video is a powerful medium that can be leveraged for presentations, pitches and campaign tactics.
Remember, PR dips into so many different areas and industries that your unique skills will never go to waste. Personally, I used my English major and publishing background to help me write and edit copy for clients and the media.
How have you used your college major to get PR gold? Let us know in the comments!