Elyse Kasparian | September 26, 2019
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Sociology? Really? You probably thought the only route to becoming Nike’s head campaign manager was to major in communications, advertising or marketing.
Wrong! Sociology answers all of PR’s biggest questions. Who are we targeting? Who is targeting us? Why is this topic so important to our audience? Someone has to answer these questions and it might as well be you, a sociology major! Even, The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) lists public relations specialists in the top 10 careers for sociology. Convinced yet? The skills you gain while majoring in sociology are so versatile and will both qualify you and make you stand out in the fast-paced world of PR. Let’s dive deeper to see why.
Why Public Relations?
I assume since you are reading this article that you are at least slightly aware of what public relations is and its career options, but here’s a quick refresher just in case.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), defines PR as the “strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Boring, right?
Wrong again! This definition is the very essence of what a career in PR is. However, the most important (and most exciting) part is the word “relationships.” Public Relations is all about building relationships with those you work with in order to grow the success of both you and them.
What’s in a Relationship?
Are you still with me? I’m talking about relationships.
Here’s an example: Think of your own relationships. You have the friends you do because you dedicated the time to get to know, understand and learn from them. You lift them when they’re down and are always there to build them up. PR is the same way. We are passionate about the people we work with and do everything we can to understand and carry out their vision.
It’s All in the Details (and Personal Data)
Passionate people striving to understand other people. What does that sound like? I might be mistaken, but that sounds a lot like a sociologist to me!
Just think of the other careers you could pursue with a sociology degree: counselor, therapist, educator, social worker – each one of these roles requires an in-depth understanding of individuals and how to best help them. Right?
Becoming a counselor for example, requires hours of experience with participants both one on one and in group settings. They study cases making sure they are educated on the best techniques in helping their clients. And, since they change constantly they have to stay on top of the latest tools.
Education is also a profession that is constantly changing. education. Children are naturally very sensitive so providing them with a stable environment where they learn all kinds of subjects (some more difficult than others) gives them an advantage – in life in general.
See how versatile sociology is? We haven’t even covered half of your options! But I hope I am convincing you that the skills you learn will never leave you dry. These skills are highly marketable….I just want you to pick PR!
As a sociology major, you are introduced to countless theories, concepts and ideas that help you do just this. Do these people belong to a group? Where do they live? Are they male or female? More than just demographics research, you will also dive deeper into the minds of these individuals and see what truly makes them tick. What do they like to do? How often do they talk to family? Who is their favorite Parks & Rec character and why? (Campaign Manager, Ben Wyatt, duh) Hopes, dreams fears?
Being able to research, understand and create a strategy from this information is a HUGE skill to have and will no doubt give you a leg up on everyone in the field. Sure, Katie can post a wicked Instagram story using gifs, stickers and music, but YOU actually know if the story is going to do well or not! AUDIENCE is everything and you’re practically majoring in it.
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda
I currently work in digital marketing doing social media for dentists. Yeah, you read that right – dentists. And you know who doesn’t know how to do social media? DENTISTS! But, because I, like our hypothetical friend Katie, possess wicked social media skills I can help them execute their vision.
Looking back at the experiences I have had in PR makes me wish I had done things a little different. I entered the major thinking it would be all about people. And while people are the reason we do things, we don’t spend nearly enough time with them. That is why I think a sociology degree would be so beneficial in this field. Knowing and I mean truly knowing the people you target is the whole reason why we do all of this!
You’re a Tuff Nut to Crack
Still don’t think sociology is the way to go? In my attempt to convince you further I have created a list of possible PR careers that will be right up your alley (and that you’ll love).
Exciting right?!?! You could be in any of these positions by the time you graduate with your sociology degree.
But, don’t let these stop you! There are countless opportunities that will allow you to use your acquired skills.
So, are you ready for a brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, never the same, totally unique (sorry got caught up in a meme) career? Click with me to learn more about what your next steps are!