Public relations professionals with strong writing and analytical skills and trained in persuasive and strategic communications play an important role both within an organization and between the organization and its external environment.
|College||Journalism and Communications|
|Degree Type||Bachelor of Science in Public Relations|
Their responsibilities include anticipating, analyzing and interpreting public opinion; counseling management; developing programs that improve public understanding; and planning and implementing an organization’s efforts to influence or change public policy.
The University of Florida’s Department of Public Relations, a part of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications, is one of the nation’s best. UF’s teams competing in the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) Bateman Case Study Competition, a national competition that challenges teams of students to research, plan, implement, and evaluate a public relations campaign for an actual client, have won more competitions than any other university in the United States.
UF’s public relations students acquire knowledge and expertise in:
- Communication skills across multiple media platforms including writing, social media, information management, and video.
- Public policy, social psychology, political science, economics and the principles of management and ethics.
- Technical skills in opinion research, public-issue analysis, media relations, community engagement, publications, and audiovisual productions.
Public relations professionals work in a wide variety of organizations including public relations firms and consultancies, corporations, nonprofit agencies, government agencies, associations and foundations, sports teams, hospitals, political organizations, colleges, and religious institutions. Career opportunities include corporate relations, investor relations, social and interactive media, international relations, fundraising, reputation management, public affairs and government relations, media relations, community development, and employee relations. Some students who want a strong foundation in communications and analytical skills to prepare them for graduate study, law school, or to assist them in careers in sports, health, environment, sales, or politics, also choose public relations as a major.
Public relations students take a core of courses that includes principles of public relations, writing, research, strategy, international public relations, mass communication law, visual communication (Sight, Sound, Motion), and campaigns. In addition, students choose courses from a list of professional electives to tailor their major to their career interests in such areas as technical communications, public interest communication, or international public relations.
Students also gain expertise through internships and membership in the PRSSA chapter, one of the nation’s best. Its student-run public relations firm, Alpha PRoductions, retains more than 40 associates and seven to 10 full-time clients each year, making it one of the largest student-run public relations firms in the nation. Another immersion opportunity that attracts students’ interest and participation is The Agency, which a full-service firm directed by professionals, staffed by students, and inspired by faculty.
UF Alumni Spotlight
The UF Department of Public Relations connects to the industry through research, professional associations, and student involvement. The Department’s Advisory Council includes 27 professionals from organizations like Baptist Health South Florida, Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Disney Destinations, Exxon Mobile Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Line, Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and Wells Fargo. The Advisory Council works with the Department on issues of importance to the profession, students, and faculty. These professionals evaluate the Department’s program, counsel students on the profession and offer advice on resumes and portfolios, internships, and evolving job opportunities.