As home to small, independent media outlets with public credibility, and massive media distributors with public offerings, Washington’s greater Puget Sound area has proven to be an amazing place in which to pursue a communications major. Bellingham, Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia, among the other cities along the I-5 corridor, are areas with a unique level of ideological homogeneity. Western Washington is recognized as a place where the chic, the geek, and the elite all drink of the same cup of fair-trade coffee and share at least a pseudo-similar ideology about the importance of independent media.
Undergraduate Degrees in Communications – Choosing to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree with a major in communications will give you the qualifications you need to start a career in mass media and digital communications. Whether you’re interested in journalism and independent filmmaking, or marketing and public relations, the know-how needed to reach people with a targeted message starts with a degree in communications.
Master’s Degrees in Communications – No matter your professional background or undergraduate major, you could earn a master’s in communications to prepare for a career in any number of diverse areas that include journalism, public relations, marketing, digital media and more.
Western Washington’s media outlets have grown with, and grown out of, a cultural environment that feels like a chimera of ultra-high technology and old-school sensibility. Seattle is home to Amazon.com, the biggest book retailer on the planet and the primary distributor of the Kindle, but is also a place where every neighborhood has at least a couple cozy little independent used bookstores. Though the medium is different, the art is much the same, representing a greater level of similarity than contrast in the area’s bookish culture.
Local Book Publishers
- Bennett & Hastings Publishing
- Fantagraphics Books
- Illumination Arts
- Parent Press
- Sasquatch Books
- Self-Counsel Press
Resources for Publishing Majors
Book Publishers Northwest is the Northwest’s affiliate of the Independent Book Publishers Association and serves as the trade organization for independent publishers in the northwest. The organization offers education and networking opportunities for writers and independent publishers.
Communications majors pursuing careers in journalism find the accessibility and popularity of the Puget Sound area’s many independent media outlets provide opportunities that just don’t exist in many other parts of the country. Seattle has the 20th largest newspaper market in the US, although these figures, published by the Neilsen Media Research Group of “Neilsen Ratings” fame, likely fail to account for the readers of popular indepedent Puget Sound area circulars like The Stranger, Olympia Power and Light, and Seattle Gay News.
Local Newspapers and Independent Circulars
- Seattle Times
- Seattle Weekly
- Puget Sound Business Journal
- Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce
- Real Change
- The Stranger
Resources and Professional Associations for Journalism Majors
- Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association
- Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild
- Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington Chapter
- Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
TV and Radio Broadcasting
According to the Neilsen Media Research Group, the greater Seattle area has the 13th largest radio and television market in the US. Listeners of independent radio icon, KEXP, were likely included in the media research group’s report, thanks to the popularity of its shows, which are streamed online all over the world. However, listeners of smaller, community-supported radio stations like KBCS and KPLU were more than likely overlooked.
The highly regarded local PBS affiliate, KCTS 9, has expanded its programming in recent years to include an HD and general interest station, in addition to its primary channel with the mostly-nationally syndicated programming viewers have been familiar with for years.
Resources and Professional Associations for TV and Radio Broadcasting Majors
- Puget Sound Radio
- Northwest Broadcasters
- Washington State Association of Broadcasters
- Seattle Office of Film & Music
Public Relations and Marketing Firms
This list represents regional public relations and strategic marketing firms based in Seattle, as well as national and global firms with a strong presence in Western Washington:
- The Fearey Group
- Barokas PR
- Hill & Knowlton Inc
- Weber Shandwick
- APCO Worldwide Inc
- Delaunay Communication Inc
- Raffetto Herman
- Richmond Public Relations
- Urban Relations