What are good ways to prepare for a PR career while still in college?
I am in my sophomore year at University of South Florida seeking a BA in Public Relations and would like some advice on ways to prepare for a career in PR.
Obviously, the first step is to take as many different PR courses as the school offers. You might also want to take a course in either Journalism and/or Broadcast Journalism. Too many people are graduating from colleges and universities who can't write a coherant sentence and they won't get far. Since PR involves working with the media - a Journalism course or two wouldn't hurt. And, if you're lucky, maybe you can land an internship with a PR firm for hands-on experience.
Also, the Journalism courses would be good for a back-up career in Journalism if you can't find a PR position right out of school. There are many people who view PR as glamorous and as a result schools are overloaded with PR majors.
Where I teach - in our Communication program - we have something like 800 Comm majors with a little over 500 specializing in PR - multiply that by however many schools there are that offer PR and you've got a lot of people looking for jobs that don't exist!!! There just aren't that many PR jobs out there in any given year, so have a good back-up plan and remember, a lot of PR people come out of the media.