Public Relations at the SOJC
Do you ask a lot of questions? Are you curious, a great listener, and tuned in to the world around you? If you’re passionate about connecting people and building relationships, public relations may be the ideal communication field for you. In our PR bachelor’s program, you’ll learn how to gather insights, think strategically, communicate persuasively, develop actionable plans, and proactively manage client issues.
What You Can Do with a Public Relations Degree
Give voice to a social cause. Guide digital strategy for a global organization. Convey life-saving information in times of crisis. Every organization needs an ambassador—someone who can connect them with the right audiences. From small startups to large agencies, from nonprofits to multinational corporations, a degree in public relations can take you anywhere. See where a few of our alumni are now:
Get ready to flex your strategic muscles. Our students don’t just learn—they think, plan, create, and strategize in real-world settings. Build your portfolio as you develop innovative campaigns for real clients in our student-run PR firm, or expand your network in the Public Relations Student Society of America. Our students travel the country to rub elbows with PR professionals, tour Silicon Valley agencies, and peek behind the scenes of high-profile communication departments at companies like Twitter and Google.
We’ve got the only public relations program in Oregon that’s earned the Public Relations Society of America’s rigorous Certification in Education for Academic Programs in Public Relations. And many of our students participate in our Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter—recent winner of the national Star Chapter Award—to expand their networks, work on professional PR campaigns for real-world clients, and participate in the Bateman Case Study Competition.
“I wouldn’t trade my journalism and communication education for the world. It trained me to communicate clearly and effectively as an advocate and to think about policy and politics from a marketing and PR perspective in order to change people’s minds and make progress on an issue where messaging has proven so key.”
—Jenna Passalacqua ’11, Experienced Associate, Guidehouse
A high-quality portfolio and honed interviewing skills are key to landing a job after graduation. That’s why we help our senior public relations students perfect both through formal portfolio reviews with PR pros in Portland and Eugene. Many students say their review experience with these industry professionals made all the difference when it came time to apply for jobs.
When Autumn Shafer was 8 years old, her family was homeless. One of the hardest things about that time, she recalls, was missing school—a safe haven where she was encouraged to learn. Today, education is still her passion, and her purpose is helping students learn, network, and succeed. As a public interest communication researcher, Autumn looks for ways to use public relations to help people, from spurring support for breast cancer research and mass transit to starting a national campaign to help college students communicate about sexual consent.
When the next natural disaster strikes Asia, Jessica Lomelin ’08 will be ready. As regional communications manager for the global nonprofit Plan International, she advocates for children’s rights while building communication capacity to help the region weather humanitarian crises. Her public relations career has taken her around the world, from Seattle to Bangkok, Uganda, and Myanmar, where she also leads media and communication for the nonprofit Equal Measures 2030.