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Public Relations Concentration

PRSSA award winners at 2019 Celebration of Excellence

The Public Relations concentration in the Communication major prepares students for a range of careers in the field of public relations. Students will demonstrate professional level technical competency in translating organizational communication theory to practical situations, including media use in organizations, writing press releases, public speaking and crisis management.

Students must take the following: 12 credits

  • COM 260 Introduction to Public Relations 3 credits
  • COM 364 PR Writing Methods 3 credits
  • COM 464 PR Crisis Management 3 credits
  • COM 478 Integrated Marketing Communication 3 credits

Students must select one additional course from the following: 3 credits

  • COM 255 Health Communication 3 credits
  • COM 301 Persuasion 3 credits
  • COM 361 Publication Design 3 credits
  • COM 372 International Advertising & PR 3 credits

Public Relations Concentration Course Descriptions

Required courses

COM 260 Introductions to Public Relations
This is a survey of the field of public relations and the practices and strategies for designing PR plans using problem-solving skills. Students explore the theories that influence the practice of public relations and the relationships that exist between theory and practice of public relations.

COM 364 PR Writing Methods
This course examines the various forms of writing for public relations such as press releases, public service announcements, media alerts, interviews, video news release, and newsletters. This hands-on class requires students to keep finished writing samples in a presentable portfolio.

COM 464 PR Crisis Management
Students learn to identify and prepare responses under a PR perspective for the different types of crises that an organization can face. In applied case study analysis students assess ethical perspectives and develop organizational responses to crisis.

COM 478 Integrated Marketing Communication
This course is designed to teach the application of key elements of marketing promotion mix, using integrated approach. The objective is to ensure success of advertising campaign for the client. The course will acquaint students with the intersection among marketing communication tools and how they can be applied synergistically to meet the sale objectives for the clients.

One additional course selected from these

COM 255 Health Communication
This course will focus on how communication helps shape the health industry. Health communication will be looked at within organizational, cultural, and interpersonal frameworks. During this class, students will gain hands on experience utilizing health communication in a real world setting.

COM 301 Persuasion
This course explores the fundamental elements of the process of persuasion, both via interpersonal communication and through the mass media. Case studies of coercive persuasion, advertising, political persuasion and the communication of cultural ideology are discussed.

COM 361 Publication Design
This course is designed to provide basic instruction and practice in the fundamentals of graphic design, with the industry standard software. The history of typeface style origins and evolution is covered as well as the evolution of PR and Advertising design trends from the 1890s forward. During lab activities students produce multiple designs, business logos, business cards, stationary, and Advertising and Public Relations publications.

COM 372 International Advertising & PR
This course focuses on the basic principles of international advertising in our global economy. Students learn about the various factors that drive advertising in international markets by understanding the advertising strategies, consumer demographic and psychographic profiles, cultural nuances, and the techniques employed by major global agencies to capture world markets.