PRKent is the nickname for the public relations major at Kent State University. We’ve been teaching PR classes in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication for 80 years, and we’ve always had a professional emphasis. As future PR professionals, our students must develop excellent writing and presentation skills and understand the elements of multimedia storytelling.
We deal with all elements of communication, from basic human psychology to the latest digital platforms. But in the end, it's still about sharing stories in an ethical, transparent manner that changes people's perspectives and sometimes even their lives. And perhaps more importantly, it's about creating conversations that can profoundly impact organizations and their stakeholders.
We believe public relations is crucial to every sector of the economy and every facet of public life. We further believe public relations has the power to mobilize social movements, spur social action and create significant social change. We strive to create and sustain a learning environment that upholds these beliefs and values.
Kent State's public relations program is one of fewer than 40 programs in the world with Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR). The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals, will officially grant the certification in October 2016.
PRKent is the only public relations program in Ohio with certification from both PRSA and ACEJMC (the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Faculty Philosophy. Our faculty brings years of professional experience to the classroom. They’ve been in the trenches, and they know what it takes to succeed in the real world. They also realize the importance of academic theory and research and include it in our program. They focus on the PR fundamentals — research, planning, implementation and evaluation — but remain on the cutting edge of the digital world. Building trust through ethical policies and transparent communication is the core of our philosophy. They prepare our graduates to be communicators, advocates and change-agents in a world that is more mobile, more connected, more transnational and more culturally, racially and ethnically diverse than ever before.
Internships. Our students complete at least one professional internship; some do as many as five. Because of our location at the edge of the Cleveland metro market and within close proximity to Akron, Youngstown and Pittsburgh, internships are plentiful. Students also have interned in markets throughout the country including Chicago; Los Angeles; New York City; Pittsburgh; Washington D.C; Annapolis, Maryland; Buffalo, New York; and Lakewood, Colorado. More than 80 percent of the internships are paid. Our PR students also participate in the Washington Program in National Issues where they study the U.S. political process and national and international policy issues in Washington, D.C.
Hands-on Learning. Students further develop and hone their skills through a variety of on campus jobs including paid positions at Flash Communications, a student-run PR agency located on campus in University Communications and Marketing, and IdeaBase, an integrated marketing communications firm, located in Acorn Alley in downtown Kent. While students don’t earn internship credit for those positions, they earn relevant experience even before they even enter that first internship.
Professional Student Organization. Students have the opportunity to get involved in the nationally award-winning Kent State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is one of only 12 "star" chapters in the nation. PRSSA Kent has received seven Teahan Awards in 10 years and significant national recognition as PRSSA's Outstanding Chapter. PRSSA sponsors a number of professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year including the YouToo Social Media Conference and Communications Connection.
Our PRKent graduates. Our graduates learn the business, they master the skills, and they get jobs. They can be found working in every facet of employment - for public relations firms, integrated marketing communication agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, the entertainment and sports industries, cultural institutions, healthcare organizations and government agencies. Our graduates are employed:
- As the vice president for PR at Macys, handing all the media relations for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
- As a community relations staff member for the Cincinnati Reds.
- As a community outreach member for the Cleveland Browns.
- As the corporate communications manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena.
- As an executive speechwriter for Walt Disney Company.
- As a public affairs officer for the American Red Cross.
- As vice president and chief communications officer for Diebold, Inc.
- As a director of corporate communications for BET Networks.
- As communications and development executives for the Cleveland Clinic.
- As founders, presidents and/or partners of regional communications agencies and executives for national public relations agencies.