How to Be a Successful Public Relations Student

Being a successful public relations student is not easy. Success is measured by how much knowledge and opportunity you get out of something. The following steps will guide you in being a successful public relations student.


  1. 1
    Research your choices. Choosing a major can be stressful but if public relations is something that you are interested in than communication studies is where you want to start off at. Some colleges and universities will not have a major titled “public relations.”
    • For example: Buffalo State College has an undergraduate program that is titled “Public Communication” The following is a description of the program given on the Buffalo State College website, “This major allows students flexibility to tailor a program based on strategic communication through the disciplines of public relations, advertising, and related fields. It meets the needs of students preparing for a career in which research, strategic planning, implementation of creative tactics, and evaluation are central, whether to advance an organization, promote a product, or advocate a cause. Compare this major with communication studies, journalism, and media production.” Buffalo State College: Public Communications Major.
  2. 2
    Apply & get accepted into a college/university with a PR major. When applying to colleges/university you want to look for a school that will help you get the most out of being a public relations student. The schools program should give you hands on experience and open doors for you.good way to determine if a school’s public relation major is strong is by seeing if they are accredited. The following quote is a definition of what accredited is off of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications website, “Accreditation is a system of voluntary self-assessment and external review of educational institutions and of professional programs offered by those institutions. Accreditation provides an assurance of quality to students, parents, and the public. In the accrediting process, the performance of educational units is measured against national standards.”
    • To accredit is to assure basic standards of excellence [1]
    • Another good way to determine the strength of a school’s public relations department is by examining the professors in the department. You want to look for professors work experience and the contributions they have made to public relations as a whole.
  3. 3
    Get acquainted with your campus library. Get acquainted with the ins and outs of your campus library – Public relation students spend a great deal of their time in the library. Public relations require a fair amount of reading, writing and speaking. The library is a place to do 2 out of 3 of those things. Speaking in the library will annoy your peers around you.
  4. 4
    Become a better writer. There is a misconception that public relations only consist of giving speeches. If you are not ready to write then being a public relations student is not for you. Public relations students are no strangers to research papers. A strategic campaign will be no less than 30 pages and it should be grammatically correct, follow AP style of writing and detailed. If you write a strategic campaign correctly 30 pages is not enough.
  5. 5
    Invest in the latest AP style-writing guide. There is a certain way to write when writing various pieces. An AP style-writing guide can teach you the correct way to write for different pieces. You may have to write a newsletter and if you do not know how to write a news piece this will be your best friend. This book will give you a step-by-step guide in writing anything journalism, public relations or media production related.
  6. 6
    Get comfortable with public speaking. You will have classes that are devoted to public speaking. Giving speeches as an individual or in a group will be the basis of the entire class. (refer to step 4, although speech classes requires speaking you will spend a lot of time writing the speeches as oppose to the time you will spend delivering the speech.)
  7. 7
    Stay up with current events. Stay up with current events – Knowing what is happening in the world is important. You cannot be a successful public relations student if you don’t keep up with current events. Public relations deals with news and media knowing what is going on will give you a leg up.
  8. 8
    Diversify your studies. Diversity in your education is fundamental. As much as we would like to eat breathe and sleep public relations we cannot because we will not be successful. Why will you not be successful? A lot of public relation students know how to communicate well but the problem is that they don’t have anything to communicate about. Picking a minor or double majoring will contribute to your success as a public relations student and as a future public relations professional.
  9. 9
    Intern as much as possible. Internships can be done for credit and is a great way to gain experience in your future career in public relations.
  10. 10
    Network. The Importance of Networking[2] “It has been said that the best jobs come from word of mouth… Experts agree that networking is worth your time and effort and can help you get ahead in the professional world.” Your professors, peers and supervisors may have access to resources that you will never know about unless you network.
    • Adviser's and professors play a major role in your college career. A lot of PR professors either have years of experience in the field of public relations or in other closely related fields. When looking for classes to take or just needing to talk about a career path your professors can help you. When you are not doing well in a class your professor may be able to help you and give you some useful tips on how to keep up with the class.
    • Seeing your academic advisor is the second most important thing to do besides talking to your professors. Your academic advisor has the degree that you are pursuing and higher degrees than that. They once sat in courses similar to yours. They can help with close to anything academic related. Building a good rapport with these people can help get into grad school or get your dream job. If they know you well they can write a stellar recommendation on your behalf that will go a long way.

Article Info

Categories: Public Speaking | Social Networking