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Public Relations

Overview

Do you write well, and seem to have an innate ability to connect with people? Do you master the latest social media trends before your friends even know they exist? If you have the creative energy to work in a fast-paced environment, Hofstra's nationally accredited public relations program can prepare you with the communication, management, and digital skills you need to succeed as a PR professional in today's 24/7 media and information cycle.

You could serve as the press secretary for a senator or government office, a communications officer for Google, a spokesperson for an up-and-coming musician, or a media director for a small nonprofit.

We can teach you how to use a variety of communication methods that are as limitless as your imagination – from press releases, media interviews, and social media to creating viral video campaigns and planning special events to generate buzz for your client’s products and services with the media, consumers, and other audiences.

Our award-winning professors bring to the classroom decades of professional experience at the highest levels of government and industry. They share firsthand lessons on how to create effective communications plans, build strong relationships with key partners such as journalists or investors, and help your client quickly recover from a crisis. Students also get real-world experiences through internships with some of the most renowned companies and brands in the media capital of the world.

Career opportunities for public relations majors vary, depending on the industry and your role. In the New York region, graduates with a bachelor's degree in public relations earned an average annual salary of $58,681, and job growth for this major is projected to increase 19.4 percent by 2026, according to New York area labor market data retrieved in July 2018 by Burning Glass Technologies.

Curriculum

Students begin by focusing on how public information is shared from the viewpoint of both the communicator and the receiver. You will create a strategic media relations campaign aimed at publicizing a product, service, idea or issue by conducting original research, producing brochures and newsletters, and developing social media strategies. Students will learn best practices and skills in visual design, online audio and video content, blogs, websites, and digital analytics. As a capstone project, students will develop a pro bono public relations campaign for a nonprofit client assigned by the instructor.

And because our program has full accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, students can be sure it it meets rigorous standards for a high-quality educational experience and is among the finest programs in the country.

Students will be required to complete 36 semester hours to graduate, including two marketing classes, and will take required courses including:

  • Fundamentals of Public Relations
  • Public Relations Research and Analytics
  • Writing for Public Relations and Media
  • Media Relations
  • Digital Tools for Public Relations
  • Public Relations Campaigns
  • Theories of Global Public Relations and the International Media

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in Public Relations Requirements

There is also a minor in public relations, as well as minors in mass media studies, journalism and integrated media.

We also offer a graduate degree in public relations that can be completed at night or on Saturdays.

Recent Alumni Outcomes

Our alumni are working in every industry, with some of the top companies and organizations in their fields. Others are furthering their studies at top graduate schools.

Hofstra graduates are pursuing promising careers with prominent companies including:

  • 21st Century Fox
  • New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Ogilvy Public Relations
  • Rubenstein Associates
  • The Foundation for AIDS Research
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Carnegie Hall

They are also enrolled in advanced degree programs at institutions such as:

  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • Syracuse University
  • Boston University
  • New York University
98% job, grad school or both
87% accept a position within six months
$40K median salary
Get More Info on Program Outcomes

What You'll Learn

Students in Class

You’ll develop an understanding of the media process and how media outlets make coverage decisions - critical skills for a public relations practitioner. You’ll also  hone strong media relations techniques including writing skills, presentation skills, pitching, and media/video training.

You’ll also examine global theories of the role of public relations in society and will evaluate how the media operates and differs in various regions and countries around the world. In addition, you’ll gain  an understanding of how to use probability sampling, research methodologies, digital and social media surveys, data analytics to inform your public relations strategy.

Experience

Students in class

Attending school just 25 miles from the media capital of the world significantly improves your chance of securing valuable internships that are almost sure to advance your career. Whatever your career plans are, there are scores of internship possibilities in New York City and on Long Island. 

Student average about three internships during their time at Hofstra. That kind of exposure helps them build professional networks and gain invaluable experience before they even get their degree.

Hofstra students have built strong resumes with internships at companies including the Brooklyn Nets, Cox Media Group, the Innocence Project, the New York Islanders, the New York Yankees, North Shore Animal League, Northwell Health, Quinn PR, United Way of Long ISland, and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

Additionally, the Hofstra chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America enables students to attend numerous professional networking events throughout the year and participate in student-run committees, philanthropic events, and social outings.

It was named a star chapter at the 2017 PRSSA national conference in Boston, and has been selected several times over the last few years to host annual PRSSA regional conferences on campus. PR students have also worked at high-profile University events including three presidential debates.  

Meet Shannon Abrahall

Shannon Abrahall, a public relations graduate, discusses how she chose her career path and how the advice of a trusted professor helped her crystalize her vision. While at Hofstra, she landed internships with the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Lizards, and Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment. This is her story.