Mass Communication: The Final Frontier
Advertising is a diverse industry that combines business communication, arts and performance. Advertising is a paid form of mass communication from an identified sponsor, used to convey messages to the public. The main functions of advertising are creating awareness, interest, desire and action. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the same as marketing or sales.
Advertising courses in universities typically cover the various communication mediums and advertising disciplines. You will learn fundamental advertising components and how to plan, present and execute them. The curriculum includes marketing and business subjects as well as design skills. However, once you step into the working world, you may be faced with the choice of specialising in just one area, be it design, creative writing or the managerial/strategic business planning aspect of the field.
Advertising graduates can work in a full advertising agency or various specialised agencies such as media and creative agencies. They can also serve in industries such as public relations, direct marketing and sales promotion. Some graduates are self-employed and provide freelance services or consultancy.
Broadcasting involves collecting and presenting information and making sure it gets transmitted, accurately and clearly, to audiences through audio and visual media. Apart from technical knowledge and presentation skills, broadcasting courses also emphasise the understanding of media and mass communications, journalism, writing, business, advertising and public relations. If you’re still looking for courses, target those that include industrial training components so you can gain practical experience as well.
Studying broadcasting will equip you with communication and technical skills as well as receptiveness towards the usage of media. As a professional, you will need to develop your ability to identify what constitutes good content, and how to present it in a creative and engaging manner.
Graduates in broadcasting can work as a reporter, journalist, editor, producer or anchor-person for news corporations and media owners, in addition to being a presenter or content creator for any kinds of media, or, choose to be self-employed and a freelancer.
Studying journalism will help you develop your sense for news value events (what makes news and what does not), cultivate intellectual capacity for self-expression and objective enquiry (skills in news writing, interviewing and organising thoughts) as well as develop practical skills that are necessary for media production such as writing, design, presentation, production layout and publishing skills.
Your studies will involve learning how to gather, organise and present factual information in effective ways. You will also cover political organisations, laws relevant to the line of work, and ethics and standards in writing. The curriculum covers a broad range of academic and practical areas. Emphasis is placed on understanding ethics in journalism as well as on comparative studies on principles, trends, attitudes and philosophies of journalism.
As a practising journalist, your character and ability to handle pressure will be tested constantly. Therefore, it is important that you have patience, persistence and are able to be self-motivated at all times.
Traditionally, graduates can work as journalists, editors, copywriters, broadcasters, news analysts, editorial assistants, proofreaders and translators. However, due to the expansion of digital journalism, recent graduates can also find work as social media specialists, web writers and bloggers.
Public relations (PR) is all about establishing and maintaining good relationships with different groups of people through effective communication. Its core use in industry is the effective dissemination of messages to the media and the public.
If you take a PR or relevant course, you will learn to use various forms of media, such as print or broadcast, to communicate ideas and messages. You will be taught methods of writing, designing, pitching and managing a variety of press releases, corporate data sheets, brochures, newsletters, etc. As PR practitioner, you will be relying on both your hard skills and your soft skills to tackle assignments.
PR graduates can work in PR firms, publishing companies, advertising agencies, marketing, large business organisations, etc. Generally, the graduate will focus on either managing the company’s internal or external clients.