Unlike some other professions, there is no single 'right way' to get started in a public relations career. Some people begin in other professions and make the move across to public relations. Many good public relations professionals are, for example, ex-teachers, ex-journalists, ex-lawyers, or from many other fields.
Some people start in public relations by doing short courses and then building on that. Some people do a TAFE course, and then add to it later with a university course. Increasingly, however, the strongest and best recognised career path in public relations is among people who first complete a Bachelor’s degree in public relations and can start their careers with not only a good general skill base in public relations, but also a broader knowledge of where their profession fits into the wider worlds of business, government and other sectors.
That’s because the best public relations professionals have to be more than just ‘technicians’ who can write well or talk well – they must have strong capabilities in critical thinking and the ability to 'think outside the box' to see looming issues, creative possibilities and connections that many of their peers might not spot.
This is what puts them ahead of the game. In this way, they add real value to the organisations which employ them.
In this social networking and digital communication era of the early 21st century, new interactive approaches to communication are exploding and morphing into continuously shifting shapes and habits. The kind of professional communicator whose work is most strongly concerned with reputation, with building effective relationships, and with effective two-way communication is… you guessed it: the public relations professional.
A university graduate in public relations, with membership of a respected professional association, can get you on the fast-track to one of the great careers of the 21st century.
It’s not for everyone. But in you can handle it, the sky’s the limit.
Last Updated: Wed, Aug 26 2015