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Public Relations

Course Descriptions

Public Relations Courses:

PR 101 Principles, Practices and Theory of Public Relations (4 SH). A concept course which will make students familiar with the background and content of public relations management and help them understand the nature of managerial and ethical responsibilities of public relations practitioners. Attention will be given to the codes of ethics and enforcement processes of national societies of public relations professionals. The primary focus will be on management’s critical areas of accountability: the conceptualization and specification of the tasks and responsibilities which define the nature, scope and warranty of public relations activity. The course also will provide an overview of the various sectors of public relations such as public affairs, community relations, employee relations, financial and shareholder relations, consumer relations, international relations, crisis management and issues management.

PR 202 Advertising and Public Relations: Approaches and Methods (4 SH). This course will examine the current practices of advertising and public relations with a particular emphasis on how these two areas work together in serving the client. Prerequisite : successful completion of PR 101.

PR 203 Public Relations Research for Planning and Evaluation (4 SH). This course prepares students for public relations research necessary for planning and evaluating programs of action and communication. The course will focus on 1) identifying and segmenting various social groupings (interest groups, stakeholders, coalitions); 2) ascertaining the impact of the action and information system on communication participants; and 3) evaluating the results of such action and communication activity against desired outcomes. Prerequisite : successful completion of PR 101.

PR 301-399 Selected Topics in Public Relations (4 SH). This series of courses broadens the PR curriculum, enabling majors to keep up with developments in this rapidly changing field. Special topics will be taught by faculty members in areas of interest to them, areas that might not warrant a permanent offering but which permit the incorporation of new research material, in-depth analysis, and stimulating readings. Course offerings may be influenced by recommendations from the Public Relations Society of America. Prerequisite : successful completion of PR 203.

PR 401 Public Relations Writing (4 SH) . This course focuses on skills and techniques that cover writing for public relations, copy dissemination, media use and media network design; these techniques range across internal and external media, print, electronic and audiovisual media. Special attention will be given to 1) the range of media used; 2) the multiple groups which have to be reached at the same time; 3) the social and organizational context in which public relations writing is done; and 4) the objectives to be attained by such writing. These objectives must be identified with the public relations mission to seek accord with various social groupings and organizations. The course requires an understanding of the journalistic writing style. Types of writing will include speech writing, proposals, news releases, annual reports, and newsletters. Prerequisites : successful completion of PR 101, WRI 201. Note: PR 202 and 203 are strongly recommended as a prerequisite or co-requisite.

PR 402 Public Relations and the Media (4 SH). A study of the history and relationship between public relations and the media environment. Course content covers setting up media program, building strong working relationships with the press, helping reporters meet their objectives, using tools of the trade from news releases to news conferences, training spokespeople, understanding the ethics of media relations, planning media events, managing international media, anticipating issues and managing crises, counseling senior management, and evaluating the effectiveness of media relations programs. Prerequisites: successful completion of PR 101, 202, 401, WRI 201. Prerequisite/Co-requisite : PR 203.

PR 501 Experiential Studies (4 SH). This requirement will involve both the simulation and practice of public relations. Students will attract, consult with, execute plans for, and service public relations clients both on campus and in the immediate community. Prerequisites : successful completion of all courses through the third-year sequence (PR 402) and permission of the department.

PR 590-594 Internship (1-4 SH). Admission is limited to senior majors in good academic standing who have completed all courses through the third-year sequence (PR 402). Graded.

PR 601 Public Relations Capstone (4 SH). Acourse which looks at topics, issues, case studies and campaign strategies relevant to the field of public relations. Particular attention will be directed to strategic planning and implementation as they pertain to public relations administration. Students will be expected to research, plan, design, and create a public relations campaign. Effective evaluation techniques will be incorporated into the campaign. This course will reflect knowledge gained in all prior public relations courses as well as the Liberal Studies curriculum. The project will culminate in a public presentation. Prerequisites : successful completion of all courses through the third-year sequence (PR 402) and permission of the department.

PR 620-624 Independent Study (1-4 SH).

PR 660, 670, 680, 690 Honors (1-4 SH).

Supporting Courses:

WRI 201 Journalism 1 (4 SH). News reporting and writing, focusing on developing journalistic style and news judgment. Students will learn techniques of researching, interviewing, quoting, editing, beginning makeup and design, and rewriting the “handout,” or news release. This course also includes an introduction to press law, ethics and broadcast news. All students are expected to submit stories for print consideration. Prerequisite: successful completion of WRI 111.

WRI 202 Journalism II (4 SH). Advanced news, feature, and editorial writing course designed to take students beyond the inverted pyramid. The focus is on polishing print and broadcast news writing style, developing techniques of writing various feature stories, and understanding opinion writing. Students will practice copy editing, photo editing, headline writing, caption writing, layout, and design. This course includes a closer study of press law and responsibilities. As lab requirement, students will work with the Holcad staff and submit stories for print consideration. Prerequisite: successful completion of WRI 201.


What can you do with a Public Relations degree?

Imagine yourself a public relations coordinator, social media manager, publicist, copywriter, media relations specialist, sports information director, strategic planner, public affairs officer, director of corporate communications, community relations coordinator, development associate, or event planner.