Why Study Public Relations?
As a Public Relations major at Elizabethtown College, located in south-central Pennsylvania, you will gain experience across a variety of areas in the field of communications inside and outside the classroom.
Our students have the opportunity to learn about the field in its entirety, while also acquiring a specialized skill set in corporate communications. Etown Public Relations students graduate fully prepared for careers in strategic communications, public relations, community and media relations, nonprofit organization management and government advocacy.
We believe that practical experience makes the best teacher, and you’ll have no shortage of opportunities within the Department. This includes Jay Firm, the student-run public relations firm that gives students first-hand experience in client management and collateral material production. Students also take classes in presentation skills, public relations, PR media production, visual communications, and marketing communications that provide students with a vast array of knowledge in the many components of public relations. There are also many exciting electives, like feature writing and advanced public relations, that will give you the opportunity to broaden your knowledge and practice of communications.
Students take courses in public relations that teach strategies used by commercial, government and nonprofit organizations. Our faculty members teach courses from a strategic communications perspective, blending advertising, sales promotion and public relations skills. Together, these areas of study give our students the opportunity to learn how to plan and implement marketing and advertising campaigns. Our students also learn how to write for corporate communications while analyzing the best practices for media relations and corporate media production. In addition to our course requirements, Public Relations majors take a variety of elective courses including:
- PR Media Production
- PR Writing
- Marketing Communications
By the end of their undergraduate experience, our students’ skills are put to the test as they complete our required capstone course. At the start of the course, students select a real-world client to work with throughout the semester. They complete projects for their client, and are expected to present their findings to their peers and professors at the end of the course. This project gives our students a taste of what they will encounter post-graduation.
Students who join our student-run organizations have additional opportunities to get hands-on practice with the skills they learn in class. To build professional experience, many students also participate in internships. Past Public Relations student interns have held positions at:
- La Torre Communications
- PA Breast Cancer Coalition
- Turkey Hill Dairy
The combination of these experiences prepares students to enter the professional world upon graduation. Communications alumni have found jobs in markets such as:
- Ticket Sales Representative, Philadelphia Phillies
- Graphic Design Specialist, Eduplanet
- Marketing Specialist, St. Agnes Hospital
You might like this major if you want to be prepared for a field of work that is ever-changing and utilizes writing, visual communications, public speaking and social media. Employers in this area are looking for individuals who can think on their feet, respond to their clients needs, and represent their company well.
Corporate Communications Student
Jaime Ramos '16
Communications Major with a Concentration in Public Relations, and a Minor in Spanish
We asked Jaime what advice he would give a fellow Etown student. He said, “Do not be afraid of the unknown. When you come to college, there is so much you will not know. The point of college is to teach you to seek out knowledge you did not know existed, learn skills you did not you could acquire, try out activities you did not think you would ever be interested in, while discovering yourself and your passions along the way.” Lastly, Jaime wanted to impart this piece of wisdom, “Be different, be unique, and be yourself. If you are not afraid to be yourself, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to."
Corporate Communications Alumna
Emily Knitter '11
Theatre Performance and Corporate Communications
Current job title: Event Coordinator at The Barnes Foundation
By taking courses in different departments and fields, Emily developed a diverse skill set. She feels that she is ready for anything that her job can throw at her from designing menu cards to using power tools. Her favorite memories from Etown were of the lifelong friends she made.