Oy vey. A recent article in PRWeek claims that students majoring in public relations no longer need advanced writing courses. The author’s theory is the time saved in those classes could be better spent in other related courses such as management, finance, leadership, etc. It is important to note that the author is a teacher at the University of South Carolina.
Let me say that this concept could not be further from the truth. You need to be an excellent writer to be successful in this profession. Whether you are putting together content for a client’s brochure, writing a speech for a CEO, an update memo for your team, drafting a news release or penning a blog post, your ability to put words together in a clear and concise manner is critical. And equally as important, you have to enjoy writing. And the more you do it, the better you become.
Do I want the people working with us to have a well-rounded education? Of course, I do. And I do pay attention to the other classes they took in school. But if I don’t see that they have a good writing background and have taken a variety of PR or journalism classes (strategy, ethics, etc.) chances are they are not getting an interview.
So to all the aspiring PR professionals out there, register for those writing courses. I promise you, it will be worth it.