Published on February 27, 2019, at 10:04 p.m.
by Dasia Greer.
It was the summer of 2016.
I was a bright-eyed, anxious, incoming freshman at The University of Alabama, and it was time for me to declare a major and register for classes. I was dead set on being a lawyer, so I naively believed I had to major in political science or criminal justice. Once I discovered that wasn’t true, I knew I wouldn’t be majoring in either one. I started brainstorming other majors, and I thought to myself, “Accounting? Nah, I don’t like math. Biology? Definitely not. Engineering? No way.”
Then, I remembered coming across an article about public relations a few weeks earlier. I recalled the article detailing how broad the profession was, the skills many effective PR professionals possessed, and how many diverse specializations of PR there were — from entertainment to sports, nonprofit to corporate, and the list goes on.
I knew that I was a strong writer. I knew that I had good interpersonal skills. I also knew that I was a critical and strategic thinker — all skills possessed by PR practitioners. It was then that I decided PR was the major for me, and I haven’t looked back.
Since becoming a PR major, I have developed a true passion for the profession. I have taken classes that have challenged me to perform my best academically, equipped me with vital skills and information, and most importantly, motivated me to become an effective professional. The PR coursework I have taken thus far has given me a sense of direction and has inadvertently shown me the specialization I belong in. My professors possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise that is readily accessible to other students and me, which allows us to continuously improve and gain skills.
One of the most fascinating things about PR is that it isn’t solely confined to one specific field. Once you obtain a degree in PR, you can take your talents to sports communications, entertainment PR, media relations, corporate and financial relations — the opportunities are truly endless.
Another thing I have realized over these past three years is that a lot of people do not know what PR truly is and all that it entails. When I tell people what my major is, a lot of them ask, “Oh, so you’re gonna be like a news anchor?” While that is not an outlandish sentiment, being a news anchor is not directly tied to PR.
Know that PR practitioners do a wide variety of work — they practice crisis communication, craft media kits and press releases, formulate social media campaigns, prepare product launches, and work on brand initiatives, to name just a few.
I can honestly say that majoring in PR was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have developed skills and made connections that will greatly benefit me for the rest of my life. While law school is not out of the picture, I am focusing heavily on my pending career in PR. Thanks to my coursework and personal skills, I’m confident I’ll be an asset to someone’s company one day, and I could not be more excited.