Why you should consider taking a public relations course in college

Maybe you’ve already decided upon your career path. You want to be a scientist, a doctor, an engineer, or something else altogether technical. Or maybe you’re still uncertain, but you do know that you plan to steer away from writing and communications courses. But, even though a public relations course might not be required for your degree course – or even make sense as an elective at first glance – you should take at least one course in this area to prepare you for entering the workforce.

At its essence, public relations is the act of persuading a group or public to think a certain way about a topic, product, company, or individual. So why does that matter to you? Because everything you do in life, whether it’s applying for a scholarship, interviewing for a job, or networking at university event, requires you to position yourself and your information in the best possible light.

A major focus in any PR course is audience analysis and message targeting. Consider this: you’ve seen an ad for a scholarship that would pay for the rest of your college education. It requires you to write fill out an application, write a letter, and submit a resume. This all sounds pretty simple, right? Of course it sounds that way – and it sounds that way to every other person who’ll be applying. How do you stand out from the crowd?

By applying basic public relations principles to present yourself in a way that helps the selection committee see why you – and you alone – are the most deserving candidate. Most applicants spend their time talking about why they want the scholarship – or job, or internship – but with a bit of public relations training under your belt, you won’t fall into that trap. You’ll be able to talk about your experiences and skills in a way that demonstrates how you will benefit the school or employer, which then makes the process simpler for the selection committee and narrows the focus down to your strengths and skills.

By taking a public relations course or two, you’ll rack up some elective hours while providing yourself a foundation that will allow you to stand out to everyone from friends to potential employers for the rest of your life.

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