Q. Unlike many Millennials, I enjoy reading all sorts of media and digging for more information about issues of the day. I graduated in May and have a double major in public relations and psychology and cannot find an entry-level job or paying internship. A family friend suggested PR research as an option. What do you think?
A. Your friend is giving you good career advice since research is growing in importance within public relations. I asked PRIME Research head Mark Weiner to provide additional insights about a career path in research.
“While creativity is a great asset for one working in PR, the roots of the profession are in the social sciences,” Mark said. Edward Bernays, commonly considered “the father of public relations,” and, coincidentally, the nephew of Sigmund Freud, viewed public relations as a profession based on the same skills as those required in engineering, science and psychology. Many public relations professionals agree, and those with a special interest in the “engineering” aspects of public relations practice find a home at firms that offer research and evaluation-based consulting. According to Mark, these “PR engineers” supplement methods commonly associated with market research (surveys and focus groups, for example) with approaches more uniquely associated with public relations, such as media content analysis, a rigorous form of tracking and interpreting trends in the media and relating the findings to business objectives.
Mark said your educational background makes you an excellent candidate for a PR research job. More importantly, Mark’s firm is hiring in its New York and Ann Arbor, MI offices. He’d love to hear from you and Culpwrit readers like you. Reach Mark at email@example.com.