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Is a sociology degree helpful for public relations?

Hi,
My name is Alyssa. I am a 25-year-old student who is almost ready to transfer to a communication university to finish my bachelor's. I currently will hold 2 AAs in communication studies and sociology. My goal is to work with the public ultimately. I want to help with charitable campaigns, environmental work, and law. My counselors suggested PR, which is intriguing, but I wonder how applicable it is. I also personally am working on my own to start side projects spreading awareness and action for saving bees and plastic cleanups. I know they are small but it is my passion. Would a career in PR be anything similar to these endeavors?

law sociology public-relations #environment#campaign

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Jenny’s Answer

Hi Alyssa.

I started my career working for a nonprofit in communications/public relations and found it was a wonderful way to get exposed to many assets of communications, and to give back to an organization whose mission I believed in.

The thing I always tell people about careers in public relations is that you have to have a strong background in writing. About 80 percent of what I did involved writing, message development, etc. So if you are considering a job in PR, I would definitely suggest taking writing courses (and continuing education after school) to sharpen that skill. I found it's the single most important skill for a communicator.

And one other piece of advice is that a job in public relations sounds very glamorous, but it's not all fun events and press junkets. You should definitely be prepared to roll up your sleeves and spend a lot of time in front of the computer! But the best part of the job is that truly no two days will be the same.

Good luck!
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sumathi’s Answer

Hi Alyssa,

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.

Whereas Public relations is to employ sociology principles to understand their audiences and their attitudes, behaviors and needs. They also apply interpersonal skills to interact with the media personnel and persuade them to cover their clients' stories.

Hope this will be useful for you to differentiate and focus your decision based on it.

Thanks,
Sumathi
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Steve’s Answer

Hi Alyssa, Public relations is always a valuable and rewarding field to enter, and always has been. Numerous professionals have been successful in public relations, which can include marketing, advertising, communication strategies, and strategic thinking as well as critical thinking. Public relations can also open doors with other companies and industries and form partnerships with those companies. The question is: Do you see yourself working in a field like this, which is wide open and exciting on a daily basis? Here are a couple of websites/articles I thought might be helpful:
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/public-relations-job-titles-2061504
and
https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/types-public-relations

I hope this helps.

Steve Ryan
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Mel’s Answer

Hi Alyssa,

Public Relations would be a good starting point for you to understand the general workings of a campaign across different industries. That will be helpful as the diversity of your experience will help you in ways you'll be surprised about.

I'd encourage you to look into taking internships/part-time roles with PR agencies to get a flavor of how campaigns are put together. When you have that experience, you can move into public/environmental groups to run the social projects you're passionate about.

Along the way, the mentors and friends you make will all be invaluable figures in your journey. My recommendation, get started on this journey!

All the best.
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Chris’s Answer

Yes - I graduated in Sociology/Poli Sci and went on to a career in PR, leading teams in Canada, US and Germany, while also winning international awards like PR Week. What helped me distinguish myself was going to a community college AFTER university and enrolling in a one year PR certificate course for college and university grads. The course was full time and very hands on, and the school had strong connections to industry so I was connected to a great PR job afterwards. Good luck in your career!
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Maricruz’s Answer

Hi Alyssa,

I believe majoring in Public Relations would be a valuable match for your career goals. This major will allow you to work for non-profit organizations that are more aligned with social movements. You may also consider majoring in Environmental Sciences.

While you are pursuing your bachelor's degree you should join club organizations that are related to making a difference in the environment and society. These club organizations should also open doors to meet amazing peers and mentors.

Good luck!

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