Public Relations

The world of public relations is fast-growing and exciting. Get the versatile communication skills you need to help an organisation build trusted relationships with its key stakeholders and enhance its public reputation.
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Why study Public Relations?

If you enjoy writing and talking to different people, and love framing ideas in imaginative and engaging ways, then a career in Public Relations may be right for you.

Public relations professionals work closely with organisations in the business, government and community sectors, and act as a crucial link with its key stakeholders.

They plan and implement strategic communication campaigns that seek to influence people’s attitudes and opinions about a specific issue or company, or encourage them to change their behaviour in real life.

A big part of the job involves staying in touch with journalists and other influencers to promote positive news stories about their organisation, and manage any media publicity. They also advise senior managers on how best to respond to an emerging communication issue or crisis.

Some public relations professionals deal with specialist areas of PR, such as government relations and lobbying, community engagement, events, sponsorship and fundraising, researching public opinion, or supporting a brand with interesting stories.

Our graduates go on to pursue exciting careers in a wide range of organisations, including central and local government, not-for-profit charities, health and education, private consulting, and large corporations.

Study Public Relations at the University of Waikato

Career Opportunities

  • Communications Advisor
  • Communications and engagement manager
  • Content writer
  • Digital and social media manager
  • Events and sponsorship manager
  • Internal communications advisor
  • Marketing and Communications Executive
  • Media relations adviser
  • Press secretary
  • Public Relations Executive

Course content

The assignments for this subject are highly practical and hands-on.

Our students enjoy many opportunities to apply their learning to real-world situations. You’ll take part in a mock media conference, build a website, use social media, create a range of advertisements, and write media releases for print, broadcast and online media. You'll also learn how to organise events, prepare corporate documents and deliver professional speeches.

In your final year, for the capstone paper you will take part in the Waikato Management School Public Relations Campaigns competition. Each team of students is asked to research, develop and present an innovative communication plan for a real client organisation.

Our students also enjoy visits from a wide range of professional guest speakers in class, who will share their insights about what it's like working in the public relations industry.

Public Relations students are encouraged to get involved with the award-winning Management Communication Students' Association (MCSA), a student club that organises regular activities for its members.

You'll also be eligible to become a student member of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ), for a discounted fee.

Internationally recognised

Waikato is the only university in New Zealand - and one of only four outside the United States - whose Public Relations programme is certified by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

This is your guarantee of a world-class learning experience, as the PRSA sets the gold standard for PR education.

You'll be studying at Waikato Management School, which is in the top 1% of business schools globally with our prestigious Triple Crown Accreditation (EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB).

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Public Relations students can get involved with the award-winning Management Communication Students' Association (MCSA), a student club that organises regular workshops and fun activities.


Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships.

Public Relations papers

Contact us

Management Student Centre (MSC)

Level One - Waikato Management School
MSB.1.50, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton
Opening hours: 8.30am - 5:00pm, Monday to Friday