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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

COMM 473 Public Relations Campaigns (3) Case studies and problems in publicity and public relations in industry, government, and institutions.

COMM 473 Public Relations Problems (3)

This capstone course in the public relations major is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to develop a comprehensive public relations/marketing communications campaign plan based on the four-step process of public relations programming. Those steps include formative research, objectives, programming, and evaluative research. Initially, students will critically analyze award-winning public relations problems, cases, and programs that will provide a foundation for understanding the public relations planning process. Students will be introduced to public relations and communications theories that provide the foundation for excellence in program development. The public relations campaign plan will be developed from the analysis of primary and secondary research sources. The campaign plan will begin with a situation analysis that includes the client's historical, financial, and competitive position in the marketplace. Previous public relations, advertising, and marketing communications programs will be reviewed and evaluated. Additional secondary research will include a content analysis of the client's news media coverage as well as an analysis of the psychographic and demographic profiles of previously targeted publics. Account teams will design and conduct surveys and focus groups as part of the formative research required in setting the program objectives, strategies, and tactics. The public relations plan will require the development of a media plan, media objectives, production timetable, and budget for implementing the program objectives, strategies, and tactics. Students will apply their critical thinking skills and creative abilities to design and produce communication executions that will communicate the program message to the targeted publics. Those creative abilities include a working knowledge of writing, desktop publishing, photography, and graphic communication. The final phase of the public relations/marketing communications plan will include the design of evaluative research to measure the effectiveness of the program objectives. Those research methods will include content analysis, survey research, and focus groups. Students will work in account teams where each team will be responsible for developing a public relations counseling firm, where team members will produce a firm manual outlining the firm's mission statement, organizational policies, organizational chart, records of all meetings with clients, records of all firm meetings, time sheets for each firm member, a weekly summary of firm activities, project budget reports, bi-weekly evaluations of firm members, and a client presentation plan. The final public relations plan will be presented to the client for evaluation and critique. The final goal of the course is to provide students with the technical and managerial knowledge and experience required for effective public relations program design and implementation.


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2012
Prerequisite: COMM 370, COMM 420 orCOMM 304 andCOMM 471

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.