Just about any Communications major will tell you that they feel disdain for the analytical and a love for the arts. Many take part in art clubs to further their artistic abilities.
However, PR students have a responsibility to develop both hemispheres of the brain: the right side (creative) and the left side (analytical). What better way to compliment the PR side of your brain than with a liberal arts concentration in Psychology?
The job of any public relations major is to relay information to an audience in such a way that is convincing and persuasive, effective and motivating. Studies have already been conducted by psychologists to determine the most effective way to deliver a certain message to a certain audience: how would you break the news of Steve Jobs’ death to Apple? How would you tell the world? The method you choose is a reflection of your ability to choose an appropriate medium of expression and communication.
Public Relations shares a tight bond with psychology: an agency is hired to make a person, group, or company look good. However, “good” is a relative term, and is subject to many interpretations. Psychological studies are conducted all the time, observing how people react to different stimuli, and the results of these studies would come in handy to any PR agent. What words can you use to express this message? What images evoke the emotion you’re looking for?
Psychology, if pursued as a liberal arts concentration or even a minor, can further educate a student on how the human brain works. Everything from the main color in an advertisement, to the method you choose to transmit your message, to what you wear in a presentation or pitch to a potential client all have an effect on how successful you are.
People study communication because of their love for speaking, writing, and yes, communicating. Psychology, however, enables us to further our well-roundedness as PR Majors: it provides an opportunity to sharpen our research skills (something involved in all professions), exercise our analytical minds, learn more about our audience and the potential clients and their mind’s inner workings (if my client is 40 years old, what is the best way to pitch an idea? What if my client is 28?).
A little math, a little science, and a huge pay off in the end: studying communication, and more specifically Public Relations, is a wonderful way to get in touch with people, to have direct contact with customers, but it’s similar to riding a horse – you can’t just mount a horse and expect it to work for you: you have to understand how it works, what motivates him to work. These are beautiful creatures, that when understood, can get you where you need to go. Psychology is this knowledge that can help make the journey smooth and successful. If you have that under your belt, you’ll be riding into the horizon before you know it.