Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Integrated Marketing Communication

First Advisor

Deborah Hall

Relational Format



The public relations industry is ever-changing, as it evolves to adapt to societal changes. Technological advancements and social media have largely contributed to changes in the way public relations professionals attempt to reach their target publics. In fact, research shows many public relations professionals do not think the term “public relations” will accurately define the work they will be doing in the near future. As the industry changes, the job duties of public relations professionals adapt as well.

This study researched the public relations industry to understand what skill sets professionals should possess in order to be successful. The study’s goal was to determine if the skills sets required of for-profit public relations professionals were the same or different of those required of a public relations professional in the nonprofit sector. Surveys were sent to both nonprofit and for-profit public relations professionals as well as to students. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted from those surveys, as there were open-ended questions to allow respondents to give their opinions. This allowed for comparison and contrast between what those in the field expect of graduating students versus what skills students believe they need. Research showed the skill sets were not necessarily different; rather, for-profit and nonprofit public relations professionals must apply their skill sets in varying ways in order to be most effective for their organization.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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