Public relations specialists help businesses and nonprofit agencies to interact with the media and the public, and to manage the way in which organizations present themselves to the public. Public relations specialists write press releases, arrange public events, write speeches, and prepare a wide variety of communications in various media. At EIU, English majors interested in public relations often enroll in the Public Relations minor offered by Communication Studies and Journalism, and they may combine that minor with any of the emphases in the English major (or vice versa--students majoring in PR may add our Professional Writing minor).
Graduates of English at EIU have managed public relations for both businesses and nonprofit agencies in Chicago, Kansas City, and elsewhere in the U.S.
The employment outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 there were 240,700 people working as public relations specialists. The field is projected to grow by 6% (about the average for all professions) through 2024. *
Does this sound like you? Public relations specialists usually enjoy working in a fast-paced environment. Creativity, initiative, excellent communication skills, and problem-solving skills are essential. In the modern media environment, public relations also demands the interest and ability to master new social media technologies as they hit the marketplace.
*All data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited on this page come from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is available and searchable online.