Anyone for PR?

13 Jun

One of my students poses an intriguing question. If anyone can become a PR student, does it follow that anyone can work in public relations?

I have my views, but thought it better to open this out for discussion. What do you think?

7 Responses to “Anyone for PR?”

  1. Jeremy Pepper 14/06/2005 at 5:05 am #

    Short answer: yep.
    Long answer: well, yep. That’s the prevailing thought, and one that I have had mentioned to me during my interview series. The barrier to entry in PR is low enough that people think all you need is a phone and a desk, which is why the professionals need to show their value.
    Someone characterized my city’s PR landscape as bored housewives that think that since they can chat on the phone, they can do PR.
    Another thing that we need to work on to differentiate between wannabes and real PR people is quality of writing. Right now, it’s pathetic.
    Oh, and my major was philosophy. At least it’s writing intensive.

  2. infOpinions? 14/06/2005 at 5:29 am #

    Good Question from PR Studies :: Can anyone do PR?

    Richard Bailey’s student asks an interesting question. Here’s my answer. What do you think?
    One of my students poses an intriguing question. If anyone can become a PR student, does it follow that anyone can work in public relations?
    Very interestin…

  3. Blake 14/06/2005 at 4:58 pm #

    Initially yes. As Jeremy said – the barrier to entry in PR is low. A PR degree is a major plus when interviewing for an entry level/ intern position. It shows that you already have a genuine interest in the field – as you have dedicated the last four years of college learning the basics. While a degree will help you get your foot in the door, it is really up to that paticular person whether or not they have what it takes to continue to work in PR – and work in it well.

  4. Philip Young 14/06/2005 at 5:25 pm #

    It is worth bearing in mind that NOT just anyone can become a PR student – universities have entry requirements, PR practice doesn’t… As a university lecturer I am currently embroiled in marking – prompting me to a follow-on question: Will my best students make the best PRs? By and large I think the answer will prove to be yes, but I can see a bright future for a couple who won’t set the academic world abaze.
    What I do believe quite strongly is that almost every single one of them will benefit from having a PR degree.

  5. agency man 15/06/2005 at 10:34 pm #

    No disrespect to the many students studying for PR degrees. The ones who have come to do work experience with us have been by and large hard working and talented.
    However…I believe a push to get more entry level PR positions filled with grads who did vocational degrees actually sets the industry back when it comes to how we are perceived in the outside world.
    In an agency such as ours, you might be dealing with a wine client in the morning and a car client in the afternoon. That means we look for someone who is rounded, has a variety of skills and interests and is naturally curious.
    S/he should have a degree, but not necessarily a PR degree. Why? Most companies doing the milk-round just want an intelligent graduate, degree largely irrelevant. They believe that most skills can be taught once the graduate joins.
    Almost every single agency director I know shares this view. If you have a basic aptitude for writing, it can be developed. Your presentation skills can be brought on. You should definitely have an interest in the media, but the best way of learning who is who is on the job.
    And when it comes to working up campaigns and tactics, nothing beats first hand experience and being with a team of people who have discovered what will fly and what won’t.
    Only a few Universities currently offer PR degrees. Practically every single one offers a standard slate of courses across the arts, social sciences and sciences. Right now, putting PR students before general graduates means you are cutting off 90% of the available talent pool

  6. Musings from POP! PR 17/06/2005 at 1:16 am #


    Yes, it’s the return of the Snippets, and, well the somewhat early demise of Cluelesstrain. The Cluelesstrain will be back, but it will be an occasional series, not every week.

  7. PR Studies: Anyone for PR?

    Link: PR Studies: Anyone for PR?.

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