Thursday, September 6, 2007

What? PR Degrees Are Unnecessary?

A recent forum discussion on, brought my attention to a disturbing item from the Princeton Review. According to the public relations career profile on the Princeton's Review's Web site, "though some colleges offer a degree in public relations, most industry professionals agree it's unnecessary."

Wait, say that again? Well, I guess I better throw away that diploma I just received a few weeks ago. Yeah, whatever.

I completely disagree with Princeton Review on this one (is it a coincidence that the initials for Princeton Review are PR?). This "summary" of public relations shows that maybe they don't have all their facts straight. Another line further validates this point:

"Any major that teaches you how to read and write intelligently will lay a good foundation for a career in public relations."

It gets worse:

"Or, as one PR person put it 'if you can write a thesis on Dante, you should be able to write a press release.'"

Who is this "PR person" they're quoting anyway?

Anyway, this goes back to something I harp on constantly: PR is the art of building relationships. Yes, writing is an important part of this field, but it's not all that PR people do. It doesn't matter how well you can write if you can't articulate a good phone pitch, presentation or speech. There's so much more to PR than writing!

My PR degree taught me things I would never have learned in any other course of study, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I feel sorry for the students who read this "summary" and pursue a different major only to find find that all the PR jobs they apply for after graduation require a PR degree.


Jeneralist. said...

I agree with you 100%!! I'm currently majoring in Public Relations..and what the Princeton Review had to say totally blew me away..

Jeneralist. said...

Likewise, I will add your blog to my list. I love finding new blogs to read, and seeing other people's perspective on things. Thanks for the comment.

---and I do agree with you that the lines between marketing and PR are fuzzy, but here at Ferris they really grill the marketing classes into you, and sometimes I tend to blend the two into one..oops :)