A perfect career for those skilled in reading, writing and speaking is public relations. The goal of public relations is presenting a positive image of an individual or organization while clearly communicating that message written and orally. Professionals use a variety of communication techniques to convey their message and all these can be studied in distance learning public relations degree programs. Both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are available through many colleges and universities.
Public Relations Bachelor’s Degree Online
An online Bachelor’s degree in public relations covers many challenges faced in this career. Among these are media relations, community relations, relationship building, crisis management and corporate communication. Public relations programs put a strong emphasis on various communication strategies. Several different types of Bachelor’s degrees are offered to students including:
- Bachelor of Science in Public Relations
- Bachelor of Arts in Communications with PR emphasis
- Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations
Whichever degree a student pursues he gains basic knowledge needed to begin a career in public relations for non-profit organizations, corporations and government agencies. These degrees emphasize public relations and communications as the two go together in this field. General education courses will also have to be completed such as english, math, public speaking, psychology and others. All degree requirements can be completed online. Students will need a computer with internet access and a webcam so as to be able to interact with other students and give class presentations.
Public Relations Courses
Bachelor’s degrees in Public Relations put a strong emphasis on writing and public speaking skills. In addition they cover communication methods and those specific to public relations. Some common public relations courses are:
- Introduction to Public Relations
- Legal Aspects of Public Relations
- Ethics in Public Relations
These courses cover developing press releases, problem-solving, case studies of the First Amendment and ethical dilemmas in public relations.
Public Relations Master’s Degree
A Master’s degree in Public Relations is for students wishing to advance to management levels. Students receive either a Master of Science in Public Relations or a Master of Arts in Communication with a focus on Public Relations. Classes teach about writing, public speaking and social media. Research is often emphasized so students develop abilities to create public relations campaigns and other promotional materials.
Online Master’s programs can be completed in two years with some schools offering accelerated formats for quicker completion. These degrees like many others are designed mostly for people already working in the field who seek advancement. Online programs offer flexibility and allow students to take as many or as few classes as they wish each semester.
Public Relations Common Master’s Courses
Master’s degree public relations courses cover writing, reading and research. Professionalism and ethics are also stressed as is an individual thesis project, which is a research project on a public relations topic of the student’s choosing. Some other common Master’s courses are:
- Public Relations Management
- Public Relations Case Studies
- Public Relations Campaigns
- Theory of Communications
These courses cover such topics as press releases, management styles and challenges, fund raising, volunteer recruitment and case studies of real-world situations.
Public Relations Careers
There will be much growth in this field over the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Demand for Public Relations Specialists will grow by 24% and by 13% for PR Managers. The average annual salary for Specialists is over $59,000 while for Managers it’s almost $105,000. For someone who loves to talk, write and solve problems public relations is the perfect choice.