The Practice of Public Relations | CMKT 402

This course focuses on the communication between an individual or organization and the public to promote stakeholder acceptance and approval. Students explore traditional and emerging components of the public relations process through mass media, as well as the needs of different types of businesses, such as corporations, non-profit organizations, and governmental offices.

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Develop an understanding of the role of public relations as a social philosophy of management in a market-oriented economy
  2. Build proficiency in written and oral communications
  3. Become familiar with the basic function, tools, and publics of public relations practitioners
  4. Explain the relationship of public relations as related to the other functions of a business or not-for-profit organization
  5. Build critical thinking skills involving Public Relations, ethics, and business organizations
  6. Access a sound base of references for further study if they wish to enter the public relations field

The class will consist of lectures, business cases, class discussions, videos, and in-class group workshops. Students are encouraged to ask questions and actively participate in class. Students will frequently work in teams to give deeper meaning to the reading material.

Enrolment is now open for January, April, July, or October. Please contact us for more information.

Course Name | Code: The Practice of Public Relations | CMKT 402
Pre-requisite: CMKT 401 | Services Marketing
Course Fees: $775
Delivery: Virtual Instructor-Led
Platform: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or similar
Duration: 11 weeks / 42 hours / 11 weekly sessions / 4 hours per session

This course is one of the eight required courses to obtain the International Marketing Management Diploma. more

Course Outline

SessionTopic  Learning Objectives
  1Defining Public Relations* To define the practice of public relations and underscore its importance as a valuable and powerful societal force in the 21st century.
* To explore the various publics of public relations, as well as the field’s most prominent functions.
* To underscore the ethical nature of the field and to reject the notion that public relations practitioners are employed in the practice of “spin.”
* To examine the requisites – both technical and attitudinal – that constitute an effective public relations professional.  
  2Public Opinion* To discuss the phenomenon of public opinion, contemporary examples of it, the areas that impact it, and how it is formed.
* To explore the issue of attitudes, how they are influenced, motivated, and changed.
* To discuss the area of persuasion, its various theories, and how individuals are persuaded.
* To examine reputation, particularly corporate image, and how companies might enhance their reputation.  
3Management   * To discuss public relations as a “management” function that serves the organization best when it reports to the CEO.
* To explore in detail the elements that constitute a public relations plan.
* To discuss public relations objectives, campaigns, and budgets.
* To compare and contrast the internal public relations department and the external public relations agency.  
4Ethics* To discuss the one aspect that should differentiate public relations from the law and other business pursuits – ethics.
* To explore ethics – or the lack thereof – in today’s business, government, media, and public relations cultures.
* To discuss the concept of corporate social responsibility.
* To underscore the bedrock importance of public relations professionals “doing the right thing.”  
5-6             Media & Social Media* To discuss the bedrock importance of media relations as the most fundamental skill in public relations work.
* To explore media communication in all its forms – print, electronic, internet.
* To discuss the value of publicity as more powerful and credible than advertising.
* To examine the proper way of dealing with journalists vis-à-vis organizational publicity.
* To discuss the phenomenon of social media and its lasting impact on the practice of public relations.
* To explore the general parameters of public relations and the Internet.
* To discuss the four primary social media vehicles of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube and how public relations professionals use them.
* To examine the pros and cons of dealing with bloggers and the new journalists who populate the Internet.  
7Employee Relations* To discuss an often-overlooked but core critical constituency for organizational management, and the internal public.
* To explore the philosophy of dealing with employees in an era of layoffs and meager job growth.
* To discuss the various tactics – print, online, and broadcast – of communications with the internal public.
* To examine the ways that social media have complicated and made more challenging the function of communicating with employees.  
  8Community Relations* To discuss the importance of dealing with “communities,” both geographic and ethnic.
* To review the tradition of corporate social responsibility that has uniquely characterized U.S. institutions.
* To discuss the multicultural publics that populate society, including Hispanics, blacks, Asians, and groups beyond nationalities, such as seniors and gays.
* To examine the role of public relations in orchestrating the activities of nonprofit organizations.  
  9International Consumer Relations* To examine the important public of “consumers,” both in the United States and around the world.
* To explain the nuances of consumer relations; dealing persuasively with customers and prospects to build an agreeable consumer experience.
* To discuss the growth of the “consumer movement” in America and around the world.
* To explore the building of worldwide brands through positive public relations activities, conducted on a consistent basis throughout geographic markets.  
  10Crisis Management* To discuss the importance on counseling on the actions and managing the communication of an organization in crisis.
* To explore the role of public relations in managing issues and risks and communicating in a crisis.
* To discuss, in detail, the aspects of crisis planning, message mapping, and implementing crisis communication.
* To examine how media relations differs in time of crisis than in normal everyday operations.  
  11Government Relations* To discuss the prevalence of government at all levels of daily life and the impact that public relations plays in communicating the platforms and programs of legislators.
* To review the unusual distinction that the practice of “public relations” has played in government history.
* To discuss the use of public relations by the president and in government departments, agencies, and at the state and local levels.
* To examine the role, responsibilities, and tactics of those who “lobby” the government to influence legislation.  
Final Exam

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