module specification

MC7075 - Public Relations Strategy & Planning (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Public Relations Strategy & Planning
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
40 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
124 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Individual PR campaign proposals, including a critical discussion (written report format, 2,500 word limit)
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

You will gain the knowledge and key industry-standard skills needed to help you develop a successful career within the growing and dynamic public relations (PR) industry. The module provides you with an opportunity to develop and improve your public relations campaign planning and management skills from a position of knowledge and clarity of objectives that a fundamental grasp of communications strategy should deliver.

You will analyse and discuss how communications strategy is best served from a position of well informed and thorough research into stakeholders, combined with a solid grasp of the external (economic/political/social etc) and internal (management/systems/morale etc) environments faced by an organisation.

You will be supported and encouraged to conduct appropriate research to help them plan and design a communications plan for a real-world organisation

As part of this approach, you will also be introduced to contemporary communications theory and practice with the expectation that you  will examine how these have been impacted by new-technology, political upheaval, subsequent changes in consumer perception and disruptive trends in the global economy.

Such an approach is geared to providing you with a greater awareness of the need for 21st century communications professionals to continue to analyse trends and predict their consequences with the aim of implementing planned programmes of action which will serve both organisational and public interests.

Prior learning requirements



This will cover the following:

• Principal concepts, theories and models related to the study and practice of PR strategy and planning
• The UK PR sector and in-house PR practice: An overview
• PR consultancy practice & management / problem solving techniques
• The relationship between PR, Corporate Communications & Corporate Strategy
• PR Strategy & Planning
• The media landscape
• The news agenda and its impact on journalists & news editors’ information needs
• The structure of news releases and other related owned content
• The impact of new and digital media on PR practice
• Social media & PR / Corporate Communications
• Evaluation of PR and digital media campaigns

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be delivered over a 12 week period and consists of interactive lectures and seminars aiming to facilitate evaluation of practical issues and strategic perspectives in public relations. The 1-hour lecture will focus on defining theoretical principles and models of PR strategy and planning to the appropriate depth and breadth. The interactive learning/workshop sessions will consist of a combination of topical industry overviews and, case studies, problem-based tasks and group discussions and presentations by guest speakers, as appropriate.
There will also be an agency element, where students will work in an agency format on a consumer PR project and then reflect on their own learning in undertaking PR projects.
The facilities of Web Learn will be used as part of a blended delivery approach and will be central to the delivery of learning materials, module handbook, case studies, campaigns, journal articles, and external web links learning

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, you will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal concepts and models of PR, and be able to select, apply and evaluate these within the context of campaign strategy and planning.
2. Develop an in-depth understanding of the role, context and purpose of PR strategy and planning within the framework of a variety of environmental settings and organisational contexts.
3.  Adopt an applied, problem-solving approach supported with relevant analytics and evaluation skills relevant to PR.
4. Utilise professional and academic writing in gathering, organising, editing and deploying relevant data and disseminating complex ideas using a variety of communicative media, including digital platforms.
5. Demonstrate appropriate competence in project management, and develop an ability to reflect on own learning in undertaking PR projects.

Assessment strategy

The assessment has been designed to test the achievement of the module’s learning outcomes and it requires students to think critically and apply the knowledge gained during the module in an applied manner.

Students will be required to create an individual portfolio and personal statement to provide evidence of their competence to undertake the work-related learning activity as well as demonstrate criticality in their work.

They will also be required to reflect on their personal professional skills development through undertaking the professional tasks with a career action plan and submit an up-to-date CV which highlights the practical PR experience gained.


Core Text

Gregory, A. (2020) Planning and Managing Public Relations Campaigns: A Strategic Approach, Kogan Page. 


Additional Reading

Bland, M., Theaker, A.,and Wragg, D. (2009) Effective Media Relations. London: CIPR/Kogan Page.

Christians, C., Fackler, M., Richardson, K., Kreshel, P., Woods, R. (2017) Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning, 10th Edition, Routledge.

Coombs, W.T. and Holladay, S.J (2009) PR strategy and Application: Managing Influence, John Wiley & Sons.

Cornelissen, J. Corporate Communications, (2013) 4th Edition, Sage Publications

Cees, B, Van Riel, Fombrun, J (2007) Essentials of Corporate Communications, Routledge (E-text available)

Cutlip, S, Center, A, Broom, G, (2012) Effective Public Relations, Pearson (E-text available)

Hemann C, Burbary K (2018) Digital Marketing Analytics, 2e, Pearson

Meerman Scott, D. The New Rules of Marketing & PR (2015) 5th Edition Wiley (E-text available)

Smith, R. (2017) Strategic Planning for Public Relations, 5th Edition, Routledge.

Rogers, D. (2015), Campaigns the Shook the World: The Evolution of Public Relations, Kogan Page.

Watson, M and Noble, P. (2014) Evaluating Public Relations: A Guide to Planning, Research and Measurement, 3rd Edition, London: Kogan page.

Other :

PR Week
The Economist
The Guardian (Media)
Media Week
The Media Show (BBC Radio 4)
Journal of Communications: Taylor & Francis