65 Online Degree Programs Available in Communications & Public Relations

Online Communications Degree Professional

All About Online Public Relations Degree

If you're a natural public speaker with a passion for communication and building positive relationships, public relations may be the industry for you. Public relations professionals concern themselves with mitigating the bad press of their respective organizations and highlighting the positive qualities their businesses possess. They work closely with members... of the press and industry professionals to spread the word about the entities that employ them and use superior communication and writing skills to their advantage.

For aspiring public relations professionals, an online degree can be your ticket into the working world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, public relations professionals need at least a bachelors degree.[i] For some occupations, individuals may need a master's degree. Moreover, years of related work experience are often required to enter the workforce. An online education in public relations can put you in touch with professionals in the industry and teach you how to pursue internships while you build a solid foundation in verbal skills and writing expertise.

A glimpse into the realm of public relations
While verbal and written skills encompass much of what you'll learn during your online courses in public relations, there are many other dimensions to the industry. Public relations professionals frequently have to juggle different media platforms to enhance brand images. This means that public relations professionals often work closely with social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They use these outlets to write media releases, publish positive company information and host the information that has been published about their organizations in the press. When professionals in PR are not designing media strategies and writing material themselves, they are often contacting members of the press and journalists in hopes that their organizations will be featured in the news. Additionally, PR workers often put together events that will present their companies in a positive light.

Possible salaries for a career in public relations
Salaries for occupations in public relations vary based on a number of factors, including relevant experience, level of education and the place in which you work. Consider the following careers in public relations, with data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012.

  • Public relations and fundraising managers: 2012 Median annual salary of $95,450 (13 percent projected growth through 2022)[i]
  • Public relations specialists: 2012 Median annual salary of $54,170 (12 percent projected growth through 2022)[ii]
  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers: 2012 Median annual salary of $115,750 (12 percent projected growth through 2022)[iii]

Additional skills important for a position in public relations
While the responsibilities public relations professionals are tasked with are various and diverse, the same could be true of the hours they work. Potential PR workers should be aware that they often have to work long hours and put in overtime. If you intend to pursue an online degree in public relations, carefully consider how comfortable you are with a larger workload and longer hours.

[i] bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm
[ii] bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm
[iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm

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