2019 - 2020 Academic Catalog

Public Relations

Designed for the working professional who wants to focus on a particular area of study, the certificate provides a substantial base that can be used for career advancement or continuation in Lasell's Master of Science in Communication Program. Each certificate is composed of five three-credit courses and can be completed within nine months..

Candidates to the certificate programs must hold a bachelor's degree and submit an application for study in the graduate program along with all necessary documents.

Course Code Course Title Credits
Core Courses
COM713 Writing for Public Relations 3
COM721 Principles of Public Relations 3
COM722 Crisis Communication 3

The certificate program is structured as follows:

  • 15 credits are required for a graduate certificate.
    • 9 required concentration credits (3 courses)
    • 6 elective credits (2 courses) 
  • Two additional courses (6 credits) are required to complete the certificate. The courses can be any graduate Communicatin course.

COM701 - Communication, Ethics & Society

This course is designed to present students with a graduate-level overview of contemporary mass communication. We focus on the relationship between mass media and society and the ethical issues inherent in that relationship; in the process, we identify current trends, particularly in technology, that are changing the nature and function of traditional mass communication. Students gain insight into the influences of mass communication on business, government, politics, education, the home environment, and non-profit institutions, as well as related ethical issues.

COM702 - Organizational Communication

This course focuses on both theoretical understanding and practical knowledge of the context and applications for organizational communication. Topics include: leadership, new technologies and their impact on organizations, organizational climate and culture, ethics, formal and informal channels of communication within organizations, management of diversity and conflict, relational communication (with interpersonal and group work), and issues of power and politics within the context of organizational settings

COM703 - Communication Research

This course provides students with an understanding of the concepts, roles, processes, techniques, and strategies of communication research. The course examines research conducted in both the professional and academic settings, and includes quantitative (surveys, experiments, content analyses) and qualitative (focus groups, etc.) methods. The main goal of this course is to help students become intelligent "consumers" of research -- to provide the tools needed to evaluate and interpret research, as well as the ability to make knowledgeable decisions about the uses and benefits of research.

COM704 - Corporate Communication

This course is designed to present an overview of corporate public relations in contemporary society. The rapidly changing nature of global markets and the convergence of new information technologies are influencing the ways that communication professionals achieve their goals. The course explores the trends and issues affecting corporations, crisis management, public affairs communication, consumer affairs, employee relations, environmental issues, investor relations, issues of multinationals, ethics, and governmental relations.

COM705 - Media Relations

Managing media relations for organizations is the focus of this course. The course is intended to increase knowledge of the principles and methods of generating publicity as well as the basics of planning and writing media relations campaigns. The rapidly changing nature of global companies and the convergence of new information technologies are influencing the ways that communication professionals achieve their goals. Students work individually or in teams to plan a comprehensive media relations program, to communicate a clear message, and to evaluate the effectiveness of public relations strategies for a chosen client. Lectures, readings, group work, guest speakers, and class discussions focus on techniques useful in such areas as local & national publicity, special events, and in community and government relations for organizations.

COM706 - Global Media

This course introduces students to theory, trends, and issues in the global media landscape. Students are exposed to a number of topics including: theoretical perspectives of global media, global media development, challenges and barriers of global media, ethical considerations in global media, the role of advertising and public relations in global media, and case studies from regions around the world.

COM709 - Negotiations & Conflict Resolution

This is a communication skills course designed to better understand the nature of conflict and its resolution through persuasion, collaboration, and negotiation. Students learn theories of interpersonal and organizational conflict and its resolution as applied to personal, corporate, historical, and political contexts. Students assess their own styles, skills, and values, and develop techniques to better resolve disputes, achieve objectives, and exert influence.

COM713 - Writing for Public Relations

Public relations writing focuses on multiple aspects of communication such as client needs, target audiences, and various formats. In this course, students learn how to craft effective written and visual messages for press releases, speeches, brochures, newsletters, broadcast outlets, web pages etc., and they develop strategies for soliciting and evaluating feedback from designated target audiences.

COM721 - Principles of Public Relations

This course is in-depth study of the profession of public relations with a focus on contemporary issues, problems, and challenges using guided discussion and analysis of case studies. The course examines public relations and its role in mass media and in society and the challenges facing public relations professionals today. Upon completing this course, each student should: 1) understand what the field of public relations is and how to recognize best practices for public relations professionals; 2) be able to evaluate the effectiveness of public relations strategies; 3) be familiar with issues and concerns public relations professionals face in today’s increasingly global society; and 4) understand the importance of ethical behavior in public relations.

COM722 - Crisis Communication

This course prepares students for anticipating the seven major types of crises faced by communication managers in organizations (skewed values and ethics, deception, management misconduct, natural disasters, technological crises, confrontations and boycotts, malevolence, and disinformation) and how to make preparations to deal with them effectively and competently. The course examines appropriate leadership styles, management actions, and communications strategies before, during, and after a crisis. Students review issues such as leadership initiatives, management monitoring, crisis analysis, action strategy and determination, and implementation of communication strategies.

COM724 - International Corporate Communication

This course focuses on the major role of multinational corporations in the global arena. They must interact with one another, with national and supranational governments, and with non-governmental organizations.  Their concerns revolve around issues such as resistance to globalization, anger abroad toward the United States, climate change, human rights, sustainability, transfer of technology, and recruitment of human resources. These issues will be reviewed and strategies discussed that guide management thinking for strategic communications. The strategies are drawn from the fields of public relations, public affairs and marketing.

COM725 - Advertising

The emphasis in this course is on the role of strategic thinking about promotional elements in the field of advertising. The development of an integrated marketing communications program requires an understanding of the overall marketing process, including how organizations plan for advertising and determine their advertising goals and objectives. Students in this course examine the process of planning, developing, and executing an advertising campaign and related integrated marketing communications programs, as well as the various factors and considerations that influence this process. Advertising starts with research, and moves through analysis, planning, action and evaluation; hence, this course requires students to undertake the kind of strategic thinking, planning, and execution that is done by marketers, researchers, media planners, and copywriters. Throughout the course, students learn how advertising is regulated and about the key social issues and consumer problems with advertising.

COM726 - Public Speaking

Professionals working in a variety of organizations often need to organize, develop, and deliver concise speeches that meet a target audience’s needs. This course will help students prepare and develop speaking and presentation skills, as well as critical and analytical skills that focus on how to organize a presentation, build an argument, and use creativity. Students will be required to prepare, deliver, and evaluate a variety of speaking presentations during the course.

COM727 - Professional Presentations

In this course, students will be required to have some basic knowledge of Microsoft Power Point or Apple Keynote software. The course covers universal design principles of Power Point with regard to templates, colors, type faces, slides’ typography, photos, and making meaningful charts and diagrams. Also, students will look at how they prepare a speech; how to deal with fear and anxiety; voice, pace, and gesture-how to speak; and receiving feedback-how to interact with their audience and listen. By the end of the course, you should be able to explain complex ideas vividly and accessibly, design clear and compelling presentation slides, convey your passion for a topic while maintaining your professional credibility, and speak dynamically from notes and/or a manuscript. Learners will record presentations, providing and receiving peer feedback.

COM728 - Advanced Public Speaking

In the professional realm, we need to be able to argue without being confrontational. Whether addressing a crisis, fundraising for a nonprofit, pitching a business plan, or suggesting a change to company policy, a professional is creating and making arguments. In making the case for one’s topic, the speaker often want to raise awareness, identify a pressing problem, discuss appropriate solutions, and outline specific steps for the audience. To be persuasive, one must be clear (the audience may have little to no existing knowledge), one must be convincing (trying to sway the audience that the argument is valid), and one must be compelling (with the goal of motivating the audience to take specific actions). Persuasive speaking thus requires clarity, strategy, topic mastery, and a sense of style and presence. Students will record their speeches, and engage in providing and receiving peer feedback.

COM729 - Mediation&Facilitation:Tech to Intervene

Everyone experiences conflict. What sets us apart is how we choose to engage and resolve it. Whether you believe it or not, YOU have been mediating conflict all your life. Through readings, discussions, exercises, feedback and debriefs, this course allows you to THINK & ACT like a mediator. The aim of this course is for you to develop mediation skills and intervention techniques that you can apply to any given professional negotiation or difficult conversation you encounter. We will explore mediation models, intervention strategies and reflect on your own intervention style.

COM732 - AdvancedNegotiations:Skills to Influence

This course goes beyond basics negotiations and provides students with advanced strategies and tactics to influence others, create value, and get more. Students will survey theories and practical tools found in fields such as behavioral economics, law, psychology and dispute resolution in-order to build additional skills-sets in their negotiation toolbox. From hostage negotiations, to mergers & acquisitions, employment mediation, and multiparty negotiations, students will dive into real-life advanced negotiations, extract the effective technique, and use the strategy to improve their next negotiation. The aim of this course is for you to develop advanced negotiation techniques that you can apply to any professional negotiation or difficult conversation you may encounter.

COM733 - Social Media

Communication technology has changed rapidly over the past 20 years, with the key development being the emergence of social media. While social media has changed the ways in which we communicate worldwide, it has also drastically changed how organizations communicate with multiple stakeholders. It has opened up numerous new communication channels for companies to connect with current and potential audiences, and thus, the importance of social media’s role is significant in both modern marketing efforts and branding. There is an irrefutable need for organizations to be able to utilize different social media platforms to both engage consumers and increase brand impact and influence. Through case studies, interactive assignments, and a social media project, this course will introduce students to best social media practices, while they acquire the necessary skills for managing a social media platform and developing a strategic social media plan.

COM734 - Digital Media Analytics

Leaders, analysts and managers across the communication industry have to grapple with the implications of ever-increasing volume of data and detail of information captured by many enterprises. Communication has flourished and enhanced the use of Data Analytics in that, news, PR campaigns and Advertising messages are currently now very data driven, and campaign strategies and evaluation of them are based on the analytics of that data. This course aims to introduce Data Analytics concepts to students. Students will examine and apply topics such as Analytics, Social Media, SEO and SEM through hands-on project based learning and teaching.

COM735 - Digital Storytelling

This course introduces students to the strategic use of digital storytelling to achieve professional communication goals in areas such as public relations, advertising and integrated marketing communications. Stories have always been powerful communication vehicles that transcend barriers and build memorable connections. With the exponential growth of digital communication channels, the ability to identify strategic stories and develop them for multiple media platforms is essential to engage and influence key stakeholders. Using case studies and primary sources, students will analyze content strategies for digital storytelling. They will examine communication practices and narrative techniques used to create compelling brand, organizational and social impact stories from images, audio, text and visual media. Students will also learn to identify and develop digital story ideas that align with professional and organizational communication objectives.

COM738 - Persuasion & Public Opinion

This course introduces students to the dynamics of social influence. Students learn the theories, strategies, and techniques of persuasion as a means of shaping public opinion and attitudes. The course examines how individuals, business, government, and institutions craft messages and communicate through the press, entertainment media, advertising, and public relations. Primarily through public opinion research, students can ascertain and understand the beliefs, attitudes, and values of groups and society. Students learn how to craft persuasive messages, how to evaluate the attempts of others to persuade audiences, and how to recognize and avoid unethical attempts at persuasion.

COM742 - Integrated Marketing Communications

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of integrated marketing communication (IMC) and provide an overview of developments in the field. Students learn about the profession of corporate communication and its interface with society. Some of the topics addressed in the course include the relationship between public relations (PR) and marketing, the history and development of advertising and public relations, public opinion and its role in IMC planning, media relations, research for campaign design, global communication, and crisis management.

COM743 - Integrated Marketing Com & the Internet

This course introduces students to web based public relations and marketing strategies and emphasizes the effectiveness of the Internet as a direct and interactive communication channel with target audiences. Emphasis is placed on the role of the Internet as a critical element of the marketing communications mix with a focus on how the web has altered traditional marketing and public relations strategies.

COM744 - Integrated Marketing Com Planning

This course introduces students to the four-step process in planning and solving corporate communication problems. Students learn to apply course concepts to hypothetical situations through individual and group work on IMC cases. Group project assignments enable students to (1) gain experience in doing collaborative work and (2) develop a problem-solving approach to on-the-job situations that an IMC professional is likely to encounter. An important aspect of working on problems in class is an introduction to the various techniques and strategies of communicating with target audiences. In addition to the assigned reading material, the course also features guest speakers from the advertising and public relations professions to bring a real world dimension to the material.

COM750 - Intercultural Communication

This course examines communication issues that arise from contact between people from different cultural backgrounds in everyday life, social service encounters, and business transactions. The course uses interdisciplinary approaches to study how verbal and nonverbal presentation, ethnic, gender, and cultural differences affect communication. The course provides exercises in participation, analysis, and criticism of interethnic and interracial communications in small group settings. Students examine factors of international communication, such as the cultural, economic, political, and social influences and the role of communication in affecting social change in a wide variety of cultures and countries.

COM751 - Health Communication

This course provides students with an understanding of how to design and deliver media support services for health media productions, health communication campaigns, and organizations developing their health communication capacity. Focused activities reflect health and science themes to benefit the public at large, as well as special populations and health care institutions, such as hospitals. Students learn to use and value the media in its potential to be a resource for lifelong learning, health promotion, and positive social change through educating the population about health messages and wellness themes.

COM756 - Health Promotions & Campaigns

This course takes an applied approach to researching, planning, implementing, and evaluating health communication efforts. Through exposure to rich health communication campaign cases, students learn where and why some campaigns worked and others failed. Students design their own heath campaigns informed by theory and health models.

COM758 - Branding Health Services

Students in this course learn about branding as a marketing tool applied to health products, services, and campaigns. This course integrates theory with applications through the analysis of multiple case studies and branding strategies.

COM761 - Communicating in Groups and Teams

This course focuses on communication skills needed to lead teams and groups in interpersonal communication contexts. It examines leadership skills and communication strategies necessary for developing and maintaining effective professional relationships. Leading teams involves the use of communication skills in facilitating different personalities, cultures and competing agendas. Topics include enhancing professional relationships, attitudes and values, nonverbal communication, language, and methods of conflict resolution in group interactions.

COM762 - Communication Strategies for Leaders

This course provides a foundation for understanding the significance of communication strategies and skills and their application to developing capabilities for leadership in today’s complex and multi-faceted organizations. Students are exposed to many different styles of communication used by effective leaders, including contemporary collaborative models. The theoretical frames for communication and leadership provide students with perspectives that assist them in developing their own personal model for effective communication in their leadership roles.

COM795 - Thesis: Research Design

In this elective course, students work on completing their Thesis Proposal. Students will work independently, under the guidance of their professor, on identifying a research topic, completing a comprehensive literature review, and designing a research study on the topic. Accordingly, students will prepare a Thesis Proposal. Prerequisites: COM701, COM703, and having completed 18 graduate credits.

COM796 - Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination provides evidence of student knowledge of key concepts, skills, and other important materials related to the communication field. Preparation throughout the semester includes reading and analyzing case studies related to the major with the completion of two Mock Exams for which students review previous course materials in order to analyze relevant issues and concepts in various case studies. The timed half day Final Comprehensive Exam requires the student to analyze case studies in the major and/ or in the area of concentration, by developing written responses that integrate skills, concepts and an understanding of course materials, coursework and other educational experiences in the degree program.

COM797 - Thesis

Students completing a master’s thesis design, conduct, and report original research related to their concentration, working closely with a faculty advisor in the department and following detailed guidelines provided by the department. Prerequisites: COM795

COM798 - Special Study Project

The project can be a document, a video, or a multi-media presentation developed under the guidance of a Lasell College faculty member to applying communication skills and professional expertise derived from the student's program of graduate study. Such projects are designed to solve some problem in communication that is relevant to the student's area of concentration in public relations or integrated marketing communications.Prerequsite: COM703

COM799 - Professional Internship

The internship is a hands-on working experience in the student’s field of concentration requiring a minimum of 150 hours of placement under the supervision of both an employer and a faculty member. Beginning in the semester preceding the internship placement, the student identifies what type of organization they desire for their internship. The student holds primary responsibility for obtaining a field experience site and is responsible for setting up interviews with prospective internship sites. Students may not perform internships at their current place of employment without prior consent of the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. This course is taken during the student’s final graduate semester.

Cristina Haverty

Dean, School of Health Sciences; Associate Professor of Athletic Training

Office: Science and Technology Center

Lori Rosenthal

Dean, School of Humanities, Education, Justice & Social Sciences; Associate Professor of Psychology

Office: Plummer

Sarah Abbott

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Office: Plummer

Janice Barrett

Professor of Communication, Graduate Program Coordinator for Communication

Office: Donahue

Linda Bucci

Professor of Legal Studies, Program Chair of Justice Studies, Graduate Program Coordinator of Justice Studies

Office: Plummer

Elizabeth Hartmann

Associate Professor of Education

Office: Brennan Library

Marisa Hastie

Professor of Exercise Science, Program Chair of Exercise Science

Office: Science and Technology Center

Janet Huetteman

Associate Professor of Marketing, Graduate Program Coordinator for Business

Office: 26 Maple

Young-Tae Kim

Associate Professor of Sport Management

Office: Science and Technology Center

Luis Lopez-Preciado

Associate Profesor of Communication

Office: Donahue

Amy Maynard

Associate Professor of Education

Office: Brennan Library

Meryl Perlson

Associate Professor of Communication, Program Chair of Communication

Office: Donahue

Karin Raye

Assistant Professor of Legal Studies

Office: 70 Maple/IC3

Matthew Reilly

Dean of the School of Business, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Office: 26 Maple

Claudia Rinaldi

Associate Professor of Education, Program Chair of Education

Office: Brennan Library

Daniel Sargeant

Assistant Professor of Sport Management, Graduate Program Coordinator of Sport Management

Office: Bancroft

Dwayne Thomas

Associate Professor of Sport Management

Office: Science and Technology Center

Nancy Waldron

Program Chair of Business, Associate Professor of Marketing

Office: DeArment

Martin Walsh

Associate Professor of Management

Office: DeArment

Brian Wardyga

Professor of Communication; General Manager, 109.2FM WLAS & LCTV

Office: Brennan Library

Edward Weeks

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Office: Winslow

Catherine Zeek

Dean of Curricular and Faculty Innovation; Professor Emerita

Office: Klingbeil

COM713 - Writing for Public Relations

Public relations writing focuses on multiple aspects of communication such as client needs, target audiences, and various formats. In this course, students learn how to craft effective written and visual messages for press releases, speeches, brochures, newsletters, broadcast outlets, web pages etc., and they develop strategies for soliciting and evaluating feedback from designated target audiences.

COM721 - Principles of Public Relations

This course is in-depth study of the profession of public relations with a focus on contemporary issues, problems, and challenges using guided discussion and analysis of case studies. The course examines public relations and its role in mass media and in society and the challenges facing public relations professionals today. Upon completing this course, each student should: 1) understand what the field of public relations is and how to recognize best practices for public relations professionals; 2) be able to evaluate the effectiveness of public relations strategies; 3) be familiar with issues and concerns public relations professionals face in today’s increasingly global society; and 4) understand the importance of ethical behavior in public relations.

COM722 - Crisis Communication

This course prepares students for anticipating the seven major types of crises faced by communication managers in organizations (skewed values and ethics, deception, management misconduct, natural disasters, technological crises, confrontations and boycotts, malevolence, and disinformation) and how to make preparations to deal with them effectively and competently. The course examines appropriate leadership styles, management actions, and communications strategies before, during, and after a crisis. Students review issues such as leadership initiatives, management monitoring, crisis analysis, action strategy and determination, and implementation of communication strategies.