My Public Relations course contains a lot of great modules, but one thing that I feel it has lacked so far is the development of maths skills. This may sound like a slightly bizarre desire considering my course does not inspire images of studying numbers. Perhaps it is explained by understanding that I am the daughter of not one, but two maths teachers. I never took maths past GCSE level, preferring to concentrate humanity and media subjects but I have always had a soft spot for maths.
In my previous job my maths skills came in handy almost constantly, from checking payroll to designing spreadsheets. Undeniably maths is a useful skill in life, ensure that you are getting the best value for money at the supermarket and not being ripped off by dubious offers, cooking the required quantity of food, even in planning your day a good understanding of numbers can be beneficial. But I ask myself, where does the value of maths lie in the world of PR?
It would be lovely to imagine there is a pool of endless resources out there, but there are not. Budgeting plays a vital role in any PR professional’s life. Being able to offer cost-effective strategies to create a good return on investment, or even the dreaded AVE. I have been picked up on my tendency to bring budgeting and finance into my university projects, from our first PR campaign assignment the finance was at the forefront of my mind.
Back to ROI and AVE (you may not like it, but it is still used), being able to measure the success of a campaign is essential. Having a good understanding of numbers can only help in this case.
You will not always have the opportunity to pay for your research to be analysed and therefore having a good grasp of mathematics is required to understand and rationalise research required.
We may not like it, but administration involves itself in many roles. My previous experience of admin has involved me needing a great understanding of maths. While it is not always necessary, it is endlessly beneficial.
I would be interested to hear other examples where maths skills have benefited you during your PR career.
- Maths ‘too hard for students and dons’: Universities drop subject from science courses (dailymail.co.uk)
- Top pupils fail in the basics, says minister (independent.co.uk)
- Think PR People Don’t Need Math? Think Again (davidfleet.com)