Experiential Learning Labs in Public Relations Programs: Characteristics of Undergraduate Student-Run Public Relations Firms on U.S. College Campuses


  • Sarah Maben Tarleton State University
  • Kathleen Whitson University of North Texas




Advisors from 55 of 119 student-run public relations firms on U.S. college campuses provided data about firm characteristics. A listing of student-run public relations firms, or agencies, was created and through an online survey questionnaire, results show that firm characteristics (years in operation, funding, workspace, hiring process, types of clients, and student involvement in decisions) are more similar than dissimilar even when comparing student-run public relations agencies of varying years in operation. Statistically significant results were found for the difference between firm types for the average number of hours students worked per week (F=6.612, eta-square= 0.18) and ACEJMC accreditation (F=3.71, eta- square=0.13). Recommendations and research ideas about this type of experiential learning lab are explored for future study.


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