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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Public Relations

Majors Overview April 28, 2014

One characteristic of advertising and public relations is promotions, which is usually used to publicize a particular event, product, individual, or company. The bachelor’s degree program in Public Relations or Communications is offered to those interested in promotions.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A) Degree Programs in Public Relations

The most direct way to train undergraduate students in the promotions field is with a BA program in Public Relations. This program will teach students the basics of writing, communication, journalism, and media. Students will build the educational groundwork needed for the promotion of brands, products, and ideas through commercials, Internet marketing campaigns, written advertisements, and more.

For the first weeks of the program, students will focus heavily on the basics of the English language and mass communication. Before they learn how to draft, write, and conceive press releases for theoretical clients, they will have to learn the fundamentals of writing and media coverage. Programs involving promotions and public relations also offer classes on developing and emerging social media and new media, which are quickly becoming the primary promotional tools in the industry. The majority of programs in the field require that an internship, at a public relations firm or similar agency, be completed prior to graduating.

Education Requirements

Universities and colleges that offer 4-year Public Relations and Promotions bachelor’s degree programs require students to have acceptable standardized test scores and a high school diploma. Students are usually required to take basic courses in English, humanities, and communication, before declaring public relations as a major.

Coursework

Coursework in a Public Relations and Promotions BA program includes promotions and communications classes, and includes subject areas such as:

•Media research techniques
•News editing and reporting
•Promotions
•Public relations writing
•Mass communication
•English composition
•Media ethics and law
•Organizational information
•Speech
•Principles of public relations
•Advanced public relations

Career Choices

Various career opportunities exist in the public relations and promotions field. Assistant or entry-level positions are among those often chosen by those who have graduated from an undergraduate program. Other available positions include:

•Advertising manager
•Public relations account executive
•Public relations manager
•Promotions manager
•Creative director

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 13% has been predicted for promotions and advertising management professionals during the decade between 2010 and 2020. In 2012, there were more than 28,000 of these professionals employed in the United States. In May 2012, they earned an average annual wage of $115,750 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Continued Education Choices

Schools offer numerous advanced degree programs in the field of promotions, advertising and public relations, including a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Advertising and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Public Relations. These 2-year programs often provide comprehensive knowledge about using market research to devise promotional strategies aimed at reaching consumers. The completion of a project or thesis paper is usually included. Schools offer some executive programs in marketing and public relations, advanced degrees that can be earned by industry professionals within 1-2 years to enhance their career prospects.

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