module specification

MC6060 - Public Relations in Practice (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Public Relations in Practice
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
 
50 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
100 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 30%   Individual presentation
Coursework 70%   Individual portfolio
Running in 2018/19 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module introduces students to the range of skills and competencies of public relations (PR) and the different areas of PR practice in which they are used.  In particular, the module examines the different types of public relations consultancies and the role of in-house practitioners.

After examining these different employment contexts for PR practice, students are encouraged to build on their own employability. This is done through a combination of individual and team projects, based on a series of workshops and lectures (some of which will be led by practitioners) which result in the development of individual PR practice portfolios of achievement.

Delivery Weekly  3-hour CCT using a combination of 1.5 hour lectures, including presentations from outside speakers, and 1.5 hour seminars orworkshops depending on the learning outcomes of the sessions.
 

Prior learning requirements

Communications Theory and Practice
(Barred combination with PR Project Module)
 

Module aims


This module is designed to provide final year students with the opportunity to show a combination of awareness of the structure of the public relations sector, understanding of the different contexts in which public relations is practised and to demonstrate competence in the range of practical skills required in public relations workplaces. 


In addressing QAA skill benchmarks for business and management, the module specifically focuses on the following areas:

Ability to conduct research into business  and management issues
Effective problem solving and decision making using appropriate quantitative and qualitative skills including identifying, formulating and solving business problems.

More broadly, the module aims to assist students in the acquisition of the following skills:

1. Self/time management including efficacy
2. Academic writing/literacy
3. Self-assessment/reflection
4. Interpersonal including collaborating, having a positive attitude
5. Enterprise skills, including taking initiative, being creative, leadership, completing tasks and projects, taking calculated risks
6. Commercial awareness, including vision corporate social responsibility and governance
7. Career development
 

Syllabus

• Global public relations practice
• The UK public relations sector
• In-house public relations practice: an overview
• Public relations consultancy practice and management
• Corporate and financial PR
• Consumer public relations
• Public affairs and lobbying
• Social media and public relations
• Project management in public relations
• Managing creative teams in public  relations

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered through delivered using a combination of 1.5 hour lectures, including presentations from outside speakers, and 1.5 hour seminars or 2 hour workshops depending on the learning outcomes of the sessions.
The factors driving the learning and teaching strategy for this module are the need for a compelling and realistic approach which will guide students’ development of employability in the specialist sectors of public relations.

The strategy was also influenced by the need to fulfil the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) requirements relating to “PR Practice,” as cited in the CIPR’s criteria for course recognition, which include the areas of campaigns, planning, commissioning” and the requirement to consider specialisms in PR, including “financial, consumer, b2b, role specialisations such as public affairs, investor relations,”
Each week of the lecture and seminar programme will be dedicated to an area of public relations practice and will include an exercise, written project or workshop discussion to supplement the time led by the tutor or external speaker.
There will also be an “agency week” when the students will work in an agency format on a consumer PR project and then reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of group working when completing  a PR project.
The intention is to encourage an action learning approach which will encourage students to focus on identifying an area of public relations practice which they find meshes most closely with their own skills, experience and interests, in which they could use the module to enhance their employability for a role that area of practice. The resulting personal portfolio of public relations practice is intended to provide the students with a vehicle for demonstrating a combination of relevant knowledge and skills in an area of practice and to provide potential employers with solid evidence of relevant achievement.

Weekly workshops will consist of a combination of industry overviews, summaries of areas of practice and theoretical input. This will be balanced with case studies, problem-based tasks,  and group work.  Theoretical input will focus on defining and clarifying the topic content to the appropriate depth and breadth. Classroom sessions will be supported with timetabled drop in sessions facilitated by tutorial staff whichare intended to enable students to discuss their areas of chosen PR practice in more depth.
Weblearn will be used for the distribution of the Module booklet, for setting online workshop exercises and for updates, commentary and pointers to articles on current PR practice which are appearing in the media.
Weblearnwill also be used to direct students to updated readings andmodule news. It will also be used for distribution of assessment information, to provide supplementary information relating to assessment in response to student queries and for the timely provision of initial marks.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module students will be able to :

1. Be able to explain the structure of the UK and global public relations industry
2. To identify the main public relations practice areas of public relations and explain their role and value in corporate communications.
3. Understand the advantages and challenges of working in teams in public relations practice and the importance of individual enterprise skills in PR
4. Demonstrate competence in project management; and develop an ability to reflect on your own learning in undertaking PR projects

Assessment strategy

The factors driving assessment strategy for this module are the need for a valid, transparent and diverse approach. The assessment strategy was also influenced by the need to fulfil the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) requirements relating to the following headings for criteria for full course recognition:

PR Practice and Specialisms
This section includes explicit reference to the need to cover various PR “specialisms, which might include financial, consumer, b2b, health, environmental, leisure etc; role specialisations such as public affairs, investor relations.”

Individual Presentation
The individual assessment of a PR Practice Portfolio is supportive of learning and realistic in that it requires evidence of weekly progress and awareness of the need to relate the topics studied to personal employability in the PR sector. The various workshop exercises will result in students developing a broad portfolio demonstrating a sophisticated awareness of PR practice areas and relevant skills and competences

Public Relations Practice Student Portfolio
The individual practice portfolio requires students to build on their presentation and go on to  demonstrate the ability to research and communicate/present orally and in writing including inter-cultural communication. In addition, the ongoing nature of the assessment will require self/time management including efficacy, self-assessment/reflection, having a positive attitude, enterprise skills and commercial awareness as well as a developed sense of career management.

Assessment strategy Learning Outcomes Skill Development
Individual Progress Presentation 1,4,5,6,7,  
Public Relations Practice Student Portfolio 1,2,3,4 1. Self/time management including efficacy
2. Academic writing/literacy
3. Self-assessment/reflection
4. Interpersonal including collaborating, having a positive attitude
5. Enterprise skills, including taking initiative, being creative, leadership, completing tasks and projects, taking calculated risks
6. Commercial awareness, including vision corporate social responsibility and governance
7. Career management

 

Bibliography

Core Text:

Gregory A (2003.) Public Relations in Practice, CIPR/Kogan Page.


Supporting Reading:

Green A (2009). Creativity in Public Relations, CIPR/Kogan Page.

L’Etang J (2006).Public Relations in Britain: A History of Professional Practice in the 20th Century, Routledge.

Meerman Scott D (2010). The New Rules of Marketing and PR, Wiley.

Theaker, A (2011). The Public Relations Handbook: Media Practice, Routledge.

Thompson S and John (2006).  Public Affairs in Practice, CIPR/Kogan Page.