Necessary Skills for the 21st Century PR Major

For public relations majors, the competition in the job market is fierce. An average of 250 résumés are received for every job posting, and the average recruiter spends only six seconds looking at each résumé before deciding whether it’s worthy of further review.

In order to make it to the coveted interview stage and eventually land the perfect job, recruiters are looking for more than the average public relations course work and internships common to most college students. Excellent writing skills and social media savvy are certainly a plus, but even those skills have become more of an expectation than an advantage. In today’s world, technological literacy, specifically video editing and production skills, are items that public relations recruiters want to see.

Building technological literacy is easier than you might think. Most colleges offer some sort of video, radio and/or broadcasting classes. Business, public relations and communications students often overlook these classes though, because they might be directed at film, art or journalism students. Start by taking a basic editing course in Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere. These video classes are invaluable to public relations majors because what companies need more than anything else right now and in the years to come is visual content to tell their story on website and social media platforms.

Many companies struggle in this arena because they keep their content producers separated. Some services are outsourced, most are divided up into different departments, and in the end the video producers, writers, photographers, marketers and public relations specialists struggle to interact and integrate their activities. The cost to the company is high and the content marketing strategy falters. However, according to my colleague, Green Buzz Agency’s Senior Editor Bryce Spivey (who has a bachelor’s degree in public relations), “PR professionals who understand the possibilities and basic processes of video production create more effective, efficient and cost-effective video tools for their communications campaigns.”

For this reason, a public relations major with video and editing skills is in high demand. Those skills listed on your résumé will help to make you stand out so that your six seconds count. Then, when you get a job, you will become an asset to your company. Your skills will help your company refine its marketing strategy, integrate its activities and save money. You will be ahead of the learning curve and prove yourself to be indispensable, all because you took a few extra classes in school.

Tod Plotkin is the principal of Green Buzz Agency, which serves as a video content creator for brands like Hilton Worldwide, Under Armour, and Blackboard. He also organizes the largest annual marketing conference in our nation’s capital called What’s Next DC. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn. 

If you are interested in applying to a public relations, marketing, social media, event planning, or video production internship at GBA, send your résumé to

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