Skip Navigation
search: People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window
Penn State mark
Penn State mark

University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

COMM 370 Public Relations (3) Public understanding of organizations and institutions; identification and analysis of public; media relations; public relations practice.

COMM 370 Public Relations (3)

This is the introductory course in public relations. It is a survey course that will provide students with a foundation for understanding the role and function of public relations and public opinion in American society, business and industry. The course defines the role of public relations, its societal value, and the workplace settings where public relations is practiced. Students are introduced to the interrelationships between the disciplines of public opinion and public relations and the many definitions of public relations and how they vary from organization to organization. Students learn how individuals, interest groups, organizations, corporations and politicians monitor and analyze public attitudes, opinions and issues that impact individual citizens, groups, organizations, institutions, and society. Students examine public relations from a historical perspective and study important social campaigns that have laid the groundwork for public relations in the modern era. Students are introduced to a myriad of communications theories and how they apply to different scenarios ranging from persuasion to crisis communications. The course helps students develop an understanding of the history, structure, and functions of public relations, the four-step public relations process (research, objectives, programming, and evaluation), the tools used to carry out public relations, ethics in public relations, and legal framework adhered to by public relations practitioners. Additionally, students are taught to appreciate the value of public relations in solving problems and making policy, i.e., the importance of being involved in the decision-making body of a corporation or public relations firm. Students are also show why individual as well as institutional credibility is critical to public relations practice. 


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2001
Prerequisite: fourth-semester standing

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