Listen to a conversation between a student and her public relations professor.
Hi, professor Gordin, I really learned a lot from your lecture, the one about analyzing all those different segments of the population.
Oh, the official term is audience, right?
I never imagine that one company could have over thirty audiences to communicate with.
Yeah, a lot of students are taken aback by this, and some public relations consultants don't figure it out until they've worked in the field a while.
Everyone thinks, public relations, eh, PR is easy, but there's a lot to it.
You really got to know what you are doing.
Absolutely. So, Stacy, your email implied that you needed my advice about graduate school?
No, since my undergraduate degree will be in public relations, I've already decided to get a master's degree in marketing.
Sorry, I wasn't clear.
My issue is, I have got two require courses and two electives.
I am trying to figure out which elective course is to take.
My advisor suggested economics and accounting, but I am not really sure.
Well, I endured accounting and economics in high school and barely stayed awake, they were so ...
Ok, Ok. I hear you.
Eh... you say you wanted a master's in marketing, you have got one more semester till graduation.
Have you taken any marketing courses yet?
No, I figured I've got the marketing basis already since I have taken every PR in communication courses offered here.
Well, there's some overlap between PR and marketing, but there are important differences too.
Marketing focuses on selling your product or service, eh, you know, attracting customers through advertising, and also building relationships with customers.
That's what a marketing department does.
PR is all about, it involves relationships too, that's why I am saying the two fields overlap.
But in PR, you are developing relationships with a wider range of audiences.
Right. Like employees, suppliers, the media.
I do understand this in theory, but aren't you still selling your product, just in a different way?
Not necessarily. Ok, do you remember that PR strategy I alluded to the other day?
The one our university uses, a strategy that doesn't overlap with its marketing strategy?
You mean how the university invites local residents to attend certain lectures and classes for free?
Yeah, this cultivates a sense of good will and helps the university avoid becoming isolated from the larger community.
Bringing neighbours into our classrooms is good PR, but it is not marketing since our neighbours aren't our customers, for the most part.
That's why I want to focus on marketing in graduate school.
Wouldn't having expertise in PR and marketing give me more career options?
Yeah, but you'll also want to enjoy your work.
So for your electives, why don't you take advertising principles and intro the marketing, which I teach.
This way, you'll find out if marketing is something you really want to pursue.
Graduate School tuition is expensive, and these courses will give you a good overview of the field before committing yourself.
I wish my advisor had suggested those courses.
Well, I am someone who has worked in both marketing and PR, so I can offer a different perspective than someone who only teaches.