Social Media, Marketing and Public Relations Track

In the the social media, marketing and public relations track at the University of Montana School of Journalism, students learn journalism skills and then how to put those skills, like writing, reporting, graphics, design, video and photography into practice on social media and in marketing, communications and public relations work. 

Jobs and Career Opportunities

Woman in Nike shirt stands on top of vista.Many of the graduates from the University of Montana School of Journalism find jobs in social media, marketing and public relations. They stand out because at the J-School, they train to be careful communicators, excellent writers and dynamic storytellers. 

Thea Bergeron is a senior creative producer at Nike and freelance film producer. She says the storytelling is at the heart of her work: 

“My favorite part of the job is telling a story."

Some of the other jobs our graduates land after they graduate include: 

Communications director

Social media editor

Social media producer

Media buyer

Account manager

Media director

Marketing director

Digital marketing specialist

Public relations director

Creative producer

 The Student Experience

Woman with dark hair looks at camera and displays a Montana Kaimin sweatshirt.Students who take the social media, marketing and public relations track learn the business side of journalism and the journalistic side of business, marketing and public affairs. In project classes students are encouraged to take on roles like social media editor or online editor in extra curricular activities, like the student newspaper, the Montana Kaimin, or at the college radio station, KBGA, where students can gain experience as the business manager.

Take the experience of recent grad Mariah Karis, for instance. Mariah majored in journalism, but also took classes in communications and marketing. She also started her own business and pitched it as part of UM's Blackstone Launchpad, a program on campus aimed at helping students develop their entrepreneurial skills. She also served as the business manager at the Kaimin and took on the role of social media manager in her project classes. All of this helped her become even more multi-talented and skilled in just about any task she takes on.  

She said: 

"I think what interests me about business is when you strip it down, it’s not super complicated. But it’s almost like the power of different businesses resides in the people that understand this set of terminology. And so I feel like if I could be a person that is the bridge between the creative and the business, and I can like see both sides, I think there’s some really cool power in that. Because you can hear the creative vision, but also hear like: ‘okay, but we need to do X, Y, and Z to make sure we can still financially afford it.’ I think, as a leader, it’s a really cool and important place to be in where you can see both sides."


Woman in dark blue shirt stands in front of marble building.Erin Billings (pictured at right), senior vice president of communications and public affairs, Global Strategy Group

Carol Kruger, senior vice president, The Wendt Agency

Jim Messina, CEO at The Messina Group, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff.

Thea Bergeron, senior creative producer at Nike

Jaime Berg Cady, manager, marketing and communications at Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation

Joe Kolman, research & environmental policy director, Montana State Legislative Service Division



Students in the social media, marketing and public relations track are encouraged to branch out and take classes in the Business School and other departements on campus to round out their experience and skills while building writing, communications, photography, video, design and storytelling skills in the School of Journalism. 

Here's a suggested course plan: 

Lower-Division Required Coursed in Major


Media History and Literacy

JRNL 170

Elements of News Writing

JRNL 257

Beginning Visual Journalism

JRNL 270



Upper-Division Required Courses in the Major

JRNL 300

First Amendment and Journalism Law

JRNL 400

Ethics and Trends in News Media

JRNL 498

Supervised Internship


Upper Division Writing Requirement Suggestion

JRNL 340

Intermediate Audio

JRNL 362

Feature Writing


Five Upper-Division Elective Requirement Suggestions

JRNL 328

Intermediate Photojournalism

JRNL 330

News Editing

JRNL 332

Audience and Social Media

JRNL 350

Intermediate Video

JRNL 433

Marketing Your Work


Capstone Requirement Suggestions                   (Serve as the social media director)

JRNL 410

Native News Honors Project

JRNL 412

Magazine Production and Design

JRNL 473

International Reporting


Courses Outside JRNL Suggested


Intro to Photoshop

BMKT 420

Integrated Online Marketing


Extra-Curricular Suggestions

Kaimin – work for the Kaimin online

KBGA – work for KBGA online