The semiotics of learning about Public Relations early

I had a complete flashback to my Media A Level yesterday when I had a lecture on textual analysis. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see Roland Barthes be mentioned and immediately think about my old media teacher, who first introduced me to the world of media. I never thought about how past subjects I’d learnt could really link to my current study, and especially how it could link to public relations.

Every time I think that I finally understand everything there is to know about public relations, another window opens up and introduces me to a whole new level of what pr is. For me, that just really cemented my belief that there should be more opportunities at school for students to learn about public relations.

If I’d have known that studying public relations would link me back to previous studies of analysing posters and looking at the signifier and signified, I would have known this was the course I wanted to study back at the very start. I’ve loved looking at the same theories from A Level, and being able to use my knowledge of the Hyperdermic Needle Theory or the Two-Step Flow Theory.

What I can’t understand is that if I was taught some pr basics back at Media A Level, why did I never hear of public relations until I was course searching the second time round? It’s such an important industry and people don’t seem to realise that there are so many elements to studying it – myself included, I’m still learning! I’d love to see more people encouraged to take up the course.

There are so many skills you can learn from studying it! You gain good communication, writing and public speaking skills. I’ve been gaining practical skills through designing leaflets and posters, or editing videos, and creating portfolios or writing essays. Maybe I’m biased because I’m really loving my studies, but I would love it if more people would study it.

-personally, Emma

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