APU Introduces Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations

by Abigail E. Peck

Azusa Pacific University’s Department of Communication Studies recently launched a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations. Skills required for this major include strong communication, good writing, and the ability to multitask, be detail-oriented and flexible. Public relations (PR) is the maintenance of a public image by a company or organization with relationship to communication, journalism, and marketing. Located in the heart of one of the world’s top media markets, APU offers students the opportunity to become outstanding public relations professionals and difference makers in the industry.

This program equips students for success through an engaging framework of applied practice, covering topics such as social media, multimedia publishing, public relations writing, crisis communication, and communication ethics. Students will investigate the relationships between an organization, their media, and their publics.The program explores areas of specialty, such as public relations for nonprofits, sports public relations, event planning, and public relations for the entertainment industry.

“In our rapidly changing society, companies are looking to build stronger and more lasting relationships with their different publics,” said Ismael Lopez-Medel, Ph.D., program director of the public relations major. “APU’s public relations major provides students with the tools needed to succeed in the field upon graduation and beyond.”

According to the Public Relations Society of America, this career will see a nearly 60 percent increase in hiring in the field in the next several years. The U.S. Department of Labor states that public relations specialists have a projection of 127,200 new jobs until 2020. Other sources list entry salaries between $30,678 and $71,216 as of December 2015 and entry-level PR specialists earned a median wage of $40,862. The high demand for well-prepared professionals in a profession re-defining itself positions this program to cultivate graduates who will enjoy high levels of employability and opportunities to lead and shape this field in the decades to come.

Abigail E. Peck '18 is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a public relations major and leadership minor.