By: Maddie Woodrow, Director of Creative Production
Everyone majoring in public relations has heard that you have to be able to write to succeed in this field in at least five of their classes. If you talk to people in your classes, they will tell you they decided to pursue PR because they love writing, they love communicating with people, and they love creating. While all of these are extremely important, it doesn’t show the flexibility of this major to be able to go in many different directions.
This summer, I’m interning at a Marketing and Advertising agency as the Digital Analytics intern. A typical day for me is coming in, opening Google Analytics and AdWords, updating budget sheets, and writing reports for clients based upon the numbers that these sites are showing. Yep, I am analyzing numbers all day and the extent of my writing is limited to a few bullet points. And guess what? I am totally ok with it!
Most people in the PR field or majoring in PR will tell you they are not a numbers person, they were never good at math, and that’s why they chose something like public relations. While I was never great at math, I always enjoyed math classes. If you did the problem right you got the right answer, simple as that. Writing was more subjective, there’s not a formula for how to write the perfect paper. And if there was, it doesn’t necessarily mean your paper would be good. However, I liked the freedom of writing and not having a set way to do it.
Working with digital analytics is the perfect blend of the two. You get to work with numbers and also have the ability to interpret how you want. This isn’t to say that I don’t like the traditional side of PR. But working with the numbers side of it gives you a completely different perspective on the PR world. It gives you a better understanding of what is going on and why some things work and some don’t.
I love working with numbers all day and being able to make recommendations based on how some things are performing and how some aren’t, and right now I see myself going into this side of PR. However, if I ever get tired of it I believe my experience on the analytical side of everything will be an advantage if I ever try to go into a more typical PR role.
Don’t be scared to try something that isn’t exactly what you imagined you’d be doing with your major. Chances are you’ll learn more than you ever thought and you will gain knowledge about your field that you may not have taking a typical position position for your major.