A public relations major can take you from corporate boardrooms and creative agencies to sports arenas, the halls of Congress, global nonprofits, hospitals, fashion runways and beyond. You can even work from home as a community advocate, consultant or social media influencer. Coursework focuses on developing writing, critical thinking and digital, social media and visual communication skills, as well as analytics and strategic multimedia storytelling. You’ll graduate with a grounding in the practice of responsible advocacy and a firm grasp of inclusive communication
Public relations is crucial to every sector of the economy. At Kent State, students learn and practice the ways strategic communication can enhance organizational transparency and trust, mobilize social movements and drive behavior.
Public relations professionals use planning and communication skills to deliver messages over multiple channels: through social media, events, speeches, websites, printed materials, public policy and much more. The Kent State public relations major is rooted in professionalism, with a focus on developing writing and presentation skills and building students’ understanding of multimedia storytelling. Many classes incorporate client work, where students conduct research and develop communication plans alongside local professionals.
Coursework and Involvement
Classes routinely involve researching, creating and presenting a public relations plan for real clients. Thanks to this and a number of student involvement and job opportunities outlined below, students will graduate with strong portfolios and a robust professional network.
Award-winning chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America that provides networking, professional development, conference attendance and participation in national case study competitions.
Public Relations Internships
All students complete at least one professional internship, and many complete multiple.
Student jobs assisting University Communications and Marketing with web content, public relations and social media
Student-powered design agency, providing student experience and jobs in research and project management, serving campus and local clients.
Kent State public relations graduates learn the business, they master the skills, and they get jobs. They can be found working in corporate boardrooms, creative agencies, sports arenas, the halls of Congress, global nonprofits, hospitals, fashion runways and beyond. Statistics below are projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics through 2031.
Our alumni have worked/interned at these organizations, companies and agencies:
- Akron Children's Hospital
- BET Networks
- Boys & Girls Club
- Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians and Browns
- Pro Football Hall of Fame
- The J.M. Smucker Co.
- The White House
- Walt Disney Company
- Washington Nationals
- Victoria's Secret
- Allied Global Marketing
- Dix & Eaton
- Marcus Thomas LLC
- Prosper for Purpose
- Ruder Finn
- Whitespace Creative
Zach Zdanowicz, '22| Community Manager/Social Media
As a Community Manager for JOANN Stores, Kent State alumna Zach Zdanowicz, ‘22, credits his experiences in Kent State’s Public Relations program for successfully preparing to engage with and manage the brand's digital communities every day.
During Zach’s time at Kent State, he was involved in Kent State’s chapter of the Public Relations Study Society of America (PRSSA). Through this student organization, he gained plenty of professional development and networking experiences by holding various executive board positions and eventually serving as president during his senior year.
Meghan Caprez, '15 | Communications Manager, Walt Disney World Resort
Beyond the magical experiences guests have at Walt Disney World every day, there’s a communications and public affairs team spreading the magic all over the world.
Kent State alumna Meghan Caprez, B.S. ’15, M.A. ’17, is part of that team. As a communications manager for the Walt Disney World Resort, she handles internal and external communication and strategy for Disney Resort hotels, transportation, security and more. Prior to that, she served as a public affairs manager, where she helped ensure a seamless integration of communications and public affairs for major events, including some of the lead-up to Walt Disney World’s 18-month-long 50th anniversary celebration.
Dan Armelli, '17 | Director of New Media, Washington Nationals
As the Washington Nationals marched their way toward a World Series victory in 2019, Kent State alumnus Dan Armelli was the face behind the team’s social media presence.
The Mentor, Ohio, native earned a degree in public relations from Kent State in 2017, and after honing his skills as an intern with the Cleveland Indians, he left in late 2018 for a new challenge as Manager of New Media with the Nationals.
“Ever since I knew I wanted to work in social media for a pro sports team, the dream was to win a championship with a group of players that were fun and recognized what my role was and were able to play to that,” Dan says. “That’s exactly (what happened) with this team. There are so many guys that are not only great players, but they’re fun to work with and make my job so much easier.”
Mary Jo Spletzer, '10 | Public Relations Manager at Atlantis Resorts Dubai
A degree from Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism can lead to opportunities to work across fields and businesses — and all over the world. Alumna Mary Jo Spletzer, ’10, has used what she learned as a public relations major to make her mark at Atlantis Resorts in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Spletzer met the man who would become her husband — an exchange student from Germany — during her senior year, so “it was inevitable that I ended up living and working outside of the U.S.” But she began her career locally at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron working in internal communications. She also spent time on public relations teams at the J.M. Smucker Company and Marcus Thomas before moving to London in 2016. For a little over a year now, she has led global public relations campaigns for Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. Spletzer said she credits her education at Kent State for providing the skills needed to work professionally and switch between industries and countries.