Communication has always been one of the most powerful tools available to us. In these times of the information glut and the cult of the visual (often with sound), fake news, social networks and globalization, being able to navigate the waters of the dynamic world of communication is a real and constant challenge. One way to prepare for this challenge is to train and educate yourself.
There are a range of communication disciplines and numerous roles within each of them. For this reason, there are a number of different degree programmes. Such as Advertising and Public Relations, Journalism, and Audiovisual Communication. The three programmes belong to the same broad field of Communication Sciences. But what makes them different from each other?
Journalism: it’s about interpreting the world and then telling everyone about it
“In good journalism, the description of an event is accompanied by an explanation of why it has happened; bad journalism, in contrast, only gives us a description, without any connection or reference to the wider historical context.” So said the Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński (1932 – 2007), considered to be one of the best reporters of all time. Kapuściński devoted a large part of his career to covering independence processes and revolutions in Africa, Latin America and Asia. He also said that silence is a feature of poverty. So he had a strong interest in giving voice to those who had none. And he did so while resisting vested interests and pressure from those opposed to the publication of the truth.
The objective of journalism is to throw light, via information, on important issues which make up the dynamic and changing world in which we live. Journalism students know the importance of being fully acquainted with the issues they write about, to fact-check what they hear and have strong ethics, enabling readers to form their own opinion freely. Working on improving these skills from the very beginning is a key part of a journalist’s education. That’s why at CEU UCH Journalism students have access to our own media – such as the newspaper El Rotativo and Radio CEU – where they can take their first steps as communication professionals.
Today professional journalists continue to be in much demand from media organizations, but they are also much sought after as corporate communications officers, media advisers, content managers, political marketing experts, speech-writers, and so on. And of course, there’ll be many other roles in the future that we don’t even have a name for yet.
Advertising: it’s about selling and building brands
David Ogilvy (1911 – 1999) is often thought of as the father of the modern advertising industry. In his elegant but straightforward definition of the advertising industry, Ogilvy laid bare what its purpose was: “advertising is not an art form, it’s a medium for information, a message for a single purpose: to sell.” And this doesn’t just apply to products, but also to brands which are important to consumers. Behind successful brands such as Audi, Coca-Cola and Apple, there are both a legion of faithful consumers and a team of experts in advertising communication who have the skill and know-how to build a fully-rounded brand image.
As an Advertising and Public Relations student, you will know the importance of carefully researching who your product is aimed at. Also how that person thinks, what they need and what their aspirations are. And you will learn how to create a message which makes an impact on them and leads them to choose your brand. Advertising is a creative profession and the good news is that no-one is born into it: it’s something you can learn. And for that very reason, CEU students work on projects with real brands during their degree. Competitions like Naranja Below and Winner Decide give them the chance to get a real insight into the industry, while making a name for themselves with companies who might well end up employing them.
Let’s close with another thing Ogilvy said: “when people aren’t having any fun, they seldom produce good work.” We couldn’t agree more!
Audiovisual Communication: it’s all about the magic of telling stories
Audiovisual Communication is a degree for those who feel a strong desire to be a storyteller. As the renowned film director Steven Spielberg (1946) has said, “you have many years ahead of you to create the dreams that we can’t even imagine dreaming”. That’s why it’s important to respect the viewer and, most especially, “to learn how to look”. To put it another way, you have to think carefully about what’s going on around you if you’re ever going to be able to tell others about it. You need to tell it like it’s never been told before. And to let that desire to be a storyteller and to be creative show in every story you tell.
With the Internet, there is now more video and audio production than ever before. Therefore, it’s a good time to be a storyteller in these media. Directors, scriptwriters, film-makers, and producers are just some of the roles that Audiovisual Communication graduates can aspire to. They, more than anyone else, have the skills and training to translate messages into multimedia content which can inform, surprise and excite us.
En el CEU, our students hone their skills at the Bartolomé Serra Production Centre, where they can use the latest audio and video recording technology to create and produce any type of content they wish. Students are free to use the facilities for their own personal projects – as part of the Creators Programme, for example – and they can also take part in competitions such as Proyecta which can serve as a springboard to a successful career.
What’s the difference? Our students tell us the answer
By this point, you have probably got the point that communication is what the three degrees have in common. And, of course, it’s a very personal form of communication. It’s about putting yourself in the shoes of the person you want to communicate with, tailoring the message so that it is relatable, and ensuring that it helps them either to understand the world better, to choose a product or to experience a story.
For the bold: Dual Degrees
Maybe you feel you have a lot of potential as a communicator. So much so that you’re finding it hard to choose between the different fields within Communication Sciences. Don’t worry: you don’t have to! By taking a Dual Degree, you can choose two degrees at the same time. Both with a personalized study path and compatible timetables. Of course, this means more effort and spending more time studying. But you will graduate with an education in two different areas, opening up many more doors for your future career. Celia is one of our students who took the plunge. She decided to study a Dual Degree in Journalism and Advertising and Public Relations. You can read about her story here.