Public Relations

Public relations is crucial to every sector of the economy. At Kent State, students learn and practice the ways strategic communication can enhance organizational transparency and trust, mobilize social movements and drive behavior. 

Public relations professionals use planning and communication skills to deliver messages over multiple channels: through social media, events, speeches, websites, printed materials, public policy and much more. The Kent State public relations major is rooted in professionalism, with a focus on developing writing and presentation skills and building students’ understanding of multimedia storytelling. Many classes incorporate client work, where students conduct research and develop communication plans alongside local professionals. 

Kent State boasts the only public relations program in Ohio that is both certified by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC).

View Public Relations Requirements


teahan award
Coursework and Involvement

Classes routinely involve researching, creating and presenting a public relations plan for real clients. Thanks to this and a number of student involvement and job opportunities outlined below, students will graduate with strong portfolios and a robust professional network.

  • Internships: All students complete at least one professional internship, and many complete multiple. Read about some of our students' experiences. 
  • Public Relations Student Society of America: Award-winning student organization that provides networking and professional development, along with opportunities to travel to national conference and participate in national case study competitions.
  • Flash Communications: Student jobs assisting University Communications and Marketing with web content, public relations and social media
  • IdeaBase: Student-powered design agency, providing student experience and jobs in research and project management, serving campus and local clients 

Public Relations in Our World

Watch now: Associate Professor Luke Armour gives examples of public relations at work in our world.


Career Outlook

Kent State public relations graduates learn the business, they master the skills, and they get jobs.  They can be found working in corporate boardrooms, creative agencies, sports arenas, the halls of Congress, global nonprofits, hospitals, fashion runways and beyond. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects increasing demand for public relations professions through 2029: public relations specialist (7%); fundraisers (14%); event planners (8%); public relations and fundraising managers (9%). 

Furthermore, Kent State's job placement statistics are excellent: 80 to 90 percent of our public relations graduates secure a job within the public relations field within a year of graduation. Others find jobs in human resources, sales and other related fields, or pursue graduate education.

 

Our alumni have worked/interned at these major companies/organizations:

  • Akron Children's Hospital
  • BET Networks
  • Boys & Girls Club
  • Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians and Browns
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • FedEx Custom Critical
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Library of Congress
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • The J.M. Smucker Co.
  • The White House
  • Walt Disney Company
  • Washington Nationals
  • Victoria's Secret
  • YouTube Originals

and at these national and regional agencies:

  • AKHIA
  • Allied Global Marketing
  • Dix & Eaton
  • Marcus Thomas LLC
  • Prosper for Purpose
  • Ruder Finn
  • thunder::tech
  • Whitespace Creative

 

Mary Jo Spletzer, '10, Manager, Public Relations, Atlantis Dubai

Headshot of Mary Jo Spletzer
“Having a strong foundation in public relations enables you to head in any direction you choose, and that is what Kent State did for me. I started out at Goodyear on the internal communications team writing weekly stories about tire news, and now I work within the hospitality sector, leading global PR campaigns. Without a doubt, it would not have been as easy to switch between industries without the foundational skills that the public relations major instilled in me. I am always confident that no matter what I am working on, I know what it takes to communicate strategically.” 

Class of 2021: First Destinations

  • Linden Miller

    Linden Miller

    Next Destination: Marketing Manager, Providence House (Cleveland)

  • Ellie Dundics

    Ellie Dundics

    Next Destination:  Media Relations Specialist at Propllr PR and Content Marketing (Chicago)

More Alumni

  • Social Media, Biden For President

    Social Media, Biden For President

    Brenna Parker, '17, grew up in a household that talked about important issues of the day, so it’s no surprise that her young career has been rooted in politics and civic engagement. Leading up to the historic 2020 election, Parker served as Web and Facebook Strategist for Biden for President

  • Manager of New Media, Washington Nationals

    Manager of New Media, Washington Nationals

    As the Washington Nationals marched their way toward a World Series victory in 2019, Kent State alumnus Dan Armelli was the face behind the team’s social media presence. Read about his job as Manager of New Media with the MLB franchise. 

  • Diversity & Inclusion, Major League Baseball

    Diversity & Inclusion, Major League Baseball

    For Phylicia McCorkle, baseball means giving back to the community and making an impact. As the Manager of Diversity and Inclusion for Major League Baseball at the Office of the Commissioner, she works with all 30 clubs as well as with MLB Network and MLB Advanced Media to put together strategies and diversity recruiting efforts.

  • Cyber and Intelligence Communications, Northrop Grumman

    Cyber and Intelligence Communications, Northrop Grumman

    Gabrielle Woodard, '17,  leads communication efforts for the company’s artificial intelligence business as well as other communication priorities.

  • CEO and President, akhia communications

    CEO and President, akhia communications

    Ben Brugler, '00, is President of AKHIA, a full-service communications agency in Northeast Ohio, where he landed his first job after graduation.

  • Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, True Digital Communications

    Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, True Digital Communications

    Chris Baldwin, '94, is the founder of True Digital Communications. He employs a team of mostly Kent State JMC grads, who work with clients to develop a strong digital presence.