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2020 - 2021 Academic Catalog

Public Relations Minor

The Public Relations  minor consists of six courses.

Course Code Course Title Credits
Core Courses
COM101 Understanding Mass Media 3
COM206 Professional Communication 3
COM208 Public Relations 3
COM317 Media Relations 3
COM335 Corporate and Nonprofit Public Relations 3
Choose 1 from the following:
COM320 Organizational Communication 3
COM330 Strategic Campaigns 3

Credit Requirements for minor: 18 credits.

COM101 - Understanding Mass Media

This course surveys the theories, history, economics, audience, and regulations of the major forms of mass media, including newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, radio, television, and new electronic communication. Students develop a basic understanding of the roles of mass media and their effects on society and the individual. The course focuses on the relationship between mass media and society, so students can identify current trends that are changing the nature and function of traditional mass communication. Students examine and debate many current controversial issues concerning the mass media and their effects on our society and culture. Students discuss significant aspects of mass communication, including ethics and policy formulation that are playing key roles in the materialization of a new global communication era.

COM206 - Professional Communication

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the most important communication and career-related formats of professional writing, including power point presentations, memos, business letters, reports, brief speeches, instructions, newsletters and brochures. Special emphasis is given to various writing processes one must complete on a tight deadline for a business audience of peers, customers or employers. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

COM208 - Public Relations

In this course, students explore the evolution, theoretical basis for, and practice of professional Public Relations. Students review the history and current practices of Public Relations and examine the differences between PR and advertising; press relations and public affairs; promotions and news events; marketing and media placements. Students gain insights into the Public Relations function for corporations, high tech companies, government agencies, politics, education, the entertainment industry, sports, and non-profit institutions. Lectures, case studies, readings, group work, guest speakers, and class discussions focus on techniques useful in such areas as local and national publicity, special events, and community and government relations for organizations. Prerequisite: COM101

COM317 - Media Relations

Managing media relations for public relations professionals is the focus of this course. The course is intended to increase students’ knowledge of the principles and methods of generating publicity and to introduce 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. Media relations can be a highly competitive and challenging field, where you must prove your productivity, accuracy, and creativity. Students discuss and experiment with successful strategies for gaining coverage in the press for clients, and they plan a comprehensive media relations program. Prerequisites: COM 101, COM 208.

COM335 - Corporate and Nonprofit Public Relations

This course builds on students’ existing knowledge of Public Relations (PR) and is intended to further develop their skills. The focus is on the distinct differences between the practice of PR in corporate and non-profit settings. Special emphasis will be placed on the centrality of PR as a management function, while also expanding students’ use and understanding of tools and techniques used by PR professionals. This course includes a theoretical and an applied component, providing students with the opportunity to develop PR plans for prospective clients. Subjects covered include corporate PR, non-profit PR, media relations and press agentry, crisis communication, community relations, and cause-related marketing. Prerequisite: COM208 Public Relations.

COM320 - Organizational Communication

This course focuses on both the theoretical understanding and practical knowledge of the context and application of 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 the organizational settings. Prerequisite: COM 103

COM330 - Strategic Campaigns

This course integrates the knowledge students have acquired in previous courses in the field of marketing communications. Students will develop a strategic communication campaign that is grounded on both an organization’s objectives and a thorough understanding of a target audience. Students will work with a client (real or fictitious), on an actual campaign that includes marketing and communication objectives, primary and secondary consumer research, a target-centered strategy, tactical recommendations, execution of the creative brief, and an evaluation plan. Special emphasis will be placed on the strategic work that goes into developing, planning, and executing the campaign within industry standards. COM 221 OR BUSS220