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.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in public relations are projected to grow up to 10 percent through 2026.
Public Relations in Our World
Watch now: Associate Professor Luke Armour gives examples of public relations at work in our world.
Nationally Accredited and Ranked
Kent State's public relations program is one of fewer than 42 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, officially granted the certification in October 2016. Furthermore, Kent State is home to the only public relations program in Ohio with certification from both PRSA and ACEJMC (the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication).
In 2019, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) awarded the Kent State Chapter (PRSSA Kent) the highest national honors for a chapter, the Teahan Award for Outstanding Chapter. Public relations majors have also placed consistently in PRSSA's Bateman Case Study Competition, where students research, plan, implement and evaluate a campaign for a real client. In 2021, 2020, and 2019, at least one team earned an honorable mention, and in 2018, a team placed second nationwide.
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.
Alumni and Careers
Kent State public relations 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.
80 to 90 percent of Kent State 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
Our alumni work at agencies in cities like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., and are well represented (and in many cases are partners or presidents) at regional public relations agencies:
- Allied Global Marketing
- Dix & Eaton
- Marcus Thomas LLC
- Prosper for Purpose
- Ruder Finn
- Whitespace Creative