What I didn’t learn at university about PR


School’s out for 2009 and it got me thinking about my own education. I’ve only been in the PR business for about two years and while sometimes I would love that to mean I am in my early 20s, that is not the case.

I returned to study when I was 25 when I decided a career in retail wasn’t going to cut it and threw myself into a communications degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Firstly I want to clear up that the uni I went to was great. Small class numbers, good lecturers, good facilities and plenty of opportunities. So this post isn’t commenting about how inadequate my uni was.

Rather, it’s about how much I didn’t learn at uni about the world of PR and that in most cases, experience is the best teacher.

I definitely can think of a few subjects that should be added to every PR curriculum, like: 

  • How not to piss off a journalist
  • Online, online, online. There are too many subjects to list regarding online but mainly how to prevent an online faux pas and the subsequent bagging on Mumbrella.
  • The importance of decent high resolution images and what high res actually means
  • Client relationships – how to get them and keep them happy
  • How to work with marketers from a PR perspective
  • Business deals, the best ones are made over lunch
  • How to explain PR when you’re at a party and people just don’t seem to understand what it is that you do.

 I’m sure you can help me suggest a few more.



One Response to What I didn’t learn at university about PR

  1. Great post Jo.

    I was lucky enough to go to a university (Laval Uni in Quebec, Canada) that had a PR agency run by students and a sister PR firm with ‘real’ client accounts (every university should have one of those). I was even more lucky to get a job there. So uni did teach me a few good practical things, but if it hadn’t been for this work/uni experience, I would have gained very little practical tips.

    Here are a couple to add to your list Jo:

    – How to explain to a client what a high res image is (to add to your previous point)
    – Tangible tips on measurement of a PR program

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