By Sierra Goodman
In the SOJC, it is common for public relations majors, such as myself, to minor in business. I regularly apply concepts from PR and business to my classes and clubs such as IR Futures. Understanding business is beneficial not only for a career in financial communications but in all sectors of PR. Here is why:
Better serve your clients
Whether you work for an agency or in-house, your knowledge of business will allow you to understand your client’s business model faster eliminating a learning curve with concepts such as stock history and return of investment (ROI). It will be easier to communicate and simplify what your client or employer is trying to say to their audience if you have insight to the business side as well.
Pursue Investor Relations
Investor relations is a lucrative PR position and requires a strong understanding of the financial sector of business. Investor relations involves communicating an organization’s value directly to current and potential shareholders. This requires literacy of stock markets such as the NYSE, NASDAQ, Dow Jones, etc. A company’s stock value is a reflection of the shareholder and public view of the company. It is a PR professional’s job to find out why your client’s stock goes up or down and convey this information accurately to shareholders.
Expand Your Marketing Toolbox
Public relations is one of many business marketing tools. Other tools include digital marketing, social media, advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). Strong knowledge of marketing can help you advocate the reason why a client should use PR as a marketing tool opposed to another option.
It is helpful to understand your client’s target audience in both quantitative and qualitative factors. For instance your client may have a young audience of skateboarders and snowboarders (qualitative) and have 70% of that demographic in the Portland area (quantitative). The ability to find out these details will help you produce better results for your client.
A business mindset will help you gain credibility in a public relations role. The ability to argue a case from a business perspective is a valuable asset to employers. A business degree is not the only way to gain knowledge. Chapter president, Lily Gordon, takes online business classes through Lynda.com and communications director, Talia Smith, listens to business podcasts.
Every term UO PRSSA plans a trip to a different city to visit public relations and communications agencies. Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Eugene, and soon to be Santa Monica, are a few of the cities PRSSA has visited and will be visiting in the future. Attending an agency tour has numerous benefits, however, you may still be unsure about what those are. If so, here are five reasons why you should go on an agency tour.
Attending an agency tour allows you to make face-to-face connections with professionals in cities you may not have other opportunities to visit. By attending an agency tour, you are able to create connections with professionals that may lead to internships or jobs. By making these connections in person, your professional relationships become stronger and you’re likely to make a lasting impression.
Professional Q&A sessions take up a large quantity of time on agency tours. During these sessions, you are able to practice asking questions you may ask in an informational interview at an agency. You are also able to network with the professionals in the offices and are able to practice your elevator pitch. The agencies we visit want to get to know you and help hone your skills.
We visit many different kinds of PR, communications and marketing agencies on our tours. The agencies we visit focus on industries ranging from tech, lifestyle, food & beverage, fashion, hospitality, consumer, business-to-business, and more. We also visit agencies that are small and boutique, or large and global sized. If you are unsure about what areas of PR you might be interested in, this is a great way to explore and learn more.
Attending an agency tour also means you get to know fellow PRSSA members. It is always great to make new friends (especially those who share your major) and attending an agency tour is a perfect way to bond!
Visiting a new city with PRSSA will open your eyes to new places. Going on an agency tour provides you with the opportunity to enjoy an awesome city for a few days. By the end of the tour you may even find your new home post graduation. Either way, you are guaranteed to have amazing new experiences and connections after attending a PRSSA agency tour.
Tatiana Skomski is a junior studying public relations. She is originally from San Diego, California, and loves spending time with her dog. After she graduates, she hopes to relocate to Souther California and begin her career working at an agency. Tatiana specifically wants to work in lifestyle and consumer branding public relations.
Each year the PRSSA National Conference offers the opportunity to network with professionals from a variety of industries, giving members a better perspective of how to excel in today’s competitive work environment.
Overall, the goals of the conference is to help students develop the knowledge of public relations and to prepare passionate public relations practitioners for the competitive field. Many different lectures are offered throughout conference to cater to personal interests and goals of each person.
On Sunday, October 14, I had the opportunity to engage in a presentation given by Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, at the 2012 PRSSA National Conference.
An interesting concept that Stone emphasized throughout his presentation was that any one can be successful in humanity efforts with the help of technology. After listening to him speak, I took away seven main points that can be applicable to the public relations field.