The public relations field is known for its endless possibilities. Being that it is very vast, you are not confined to one type of work. Just the switch from agency to in-house can be a whole new world. These many different possible directions can be multiplied through choosing a minor. Adding a minor expands your horizons by increasing your skillset before you enter the workforce, even helping to ward off indecisiveness within the field. The following eight fields each result in different competencies that will benefit any PR professional:
Communications is the foundation of public relations. Although public relations is considered a track in the communications field, some schools offer it as its own field of study. Studying general communications will educate you on the history, theories, and practices of communications. These skills will contribute to your success as a well-rounded communicator.
There are many similarities between public relations and marketing, with the main difference simply being money. Marketing is sometimes referred to as paid public relations. Because the line is blurred between the two, a marketing minor provides knowledge on how to differentiate the two as well as how they work together, since many firms provide integrated communications services.
PR pros constantly work hand-in-hand with various journalists, creating relationships to pitch story ideas and landing placements. A journalism minor will provide you with experience of what it is like to be on the opposite end. Knowing exactly what a journalist is looking for will make your pitching process a lot easier. You will gain interviewing skills and experience in finding stories, as well as knowledge of how the newsroom works.
4. English/Creative Writing
Good writing skills are an essential part of public relations, as the field is very writing intensive. PR pros should have good grammar and superb writing skills overall to use for press releases, blogs, social media, etc. Creative writing skills would be useful for materials such as brochures, postures, advertisements, etc.
5. Graphic Design
The public relations department often works directly with the graphics department. Having graphic design knowledge will make it easier for you to work with a designer or maybe even cut out the middle man entirely. Being able to design can be especially useful when working in a small firm.
Business and/or management provides general knowledge on the way a business functions. There is virtually no field in which one would not be able to benefit from understanding the business basics such as management, accounting, or economics.
As a PR pro, you are tasked with influencing attitudes and changing behaviors of your public. A sociology minor provides detailed insight on the way people behave, which can be used to better construct your tactics of reaching a public. Similarly, a psychology minor provides the same kind of insight on the way people think, to better influence your public’s attitudes.
8. Foreign Language
Working in public relations may mean being in contact with people all around the world. Being able to speak another language is a key asset in today’s world that strives to be globally connected. Additionally, living in a country like the United States means coming into contact with different backgrounds and heritages daily. Some areas may be heavily populated by a certain ancestry, where knowing the language can be very beneficial in getting a job. Being able to communicate in more than one language is definitely a resume booster!