module specification

MC5074 - Consumer PR and Media Relations (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Consumer PR and Media Relations
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
100 hours Guided independent study
50 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 50%   Group coursework that responds to a Consumer PR communications campaign. Word Count: 2500
Coursework 50%   Individual Coursework (Word 2500)
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module focuses on the role of public relations (PR) in the commercial activities of consumer facing organisations. In particular, it addresses the importance of winning (and maintaining) customers, and with meeting competitive challenges in consumer marketing scenarios. The module discusses how PR and media relations interfaces with consumer marketing, together with the manner in which organisations use PR tools to interact with consumers in a trading environment.  Delivery consists of 3-hour CCT using a combination of lectures (including guest speakers) and seminars.   Assessments comprise a group presentation of a Consumer PR campaign plan (40%) and an exam (60%).

This module will also explore PR-related aspects of the media environment and is designed to provide students with the understanding and skills required to exploit digital and non-digital media within the context of designing and delivering consumer-facing public relations campaigns.

The module also calls on students to deploy traditional and digital communications skills as part of a personal strategy to enhance their own employability.

The module also aims to assist students in the acquisition of the following skills:
• Researching
• Communicating/presenting – orally and in writing, including inter-cultural communication
• Being creative
• Academic writing/literacy
• Digital literacy and IT skills
• Career Management


The syllabus will cover the modern media landscape, including ownership, structure and audience in addition to the following:
• What is Consumer PR LO1
• Consumer PR tools and techniques LO1
• The impact of new media on PR practice and the PR toolkit LO1
• Grabbing customers’ attention  in an age of information overload LO1
• Engaging with the media: how PR influences the news agenda LO2
• Consumerism and sustainable consumption….eg “Too much stuff!” LO2
• Delivery channels and methods for media relations eg news releases, social media content, VNRs, photocalls, press briefings, on-line distribution techniques LO1,LO2
• Evaluating media relations and digital media campaigns in a consumer communications context LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be delivered using a combination of one-hour lectures (including presentations from guest speakers) and two-hour seminars/workshops. 

Consumer PR is currently the biggest area of specialist PR practice.  Guest speakers who are active in the practice of Consumer PR will be invited to discuss case studies with the students, and also outline career opportunities in the sector. 

Videos and online case studies of Consumer PR campaigns will be used to stimulate discussion in seminars.  In the main, seminars will be student-led, and a problem-based approach will be adopted. 

The module will encourage students to reflect upon these communications campaigns, identify their personal learning and share their thoughts in structured class discussions as a result of their guided independent study. Students are expected to begin the adoption of an increasing degree of such independent learning in line with the on-going roll-out of the module.
Weblearn will be used for the dissemination of learning materials, for assessment briefs, and for regular updates by the tutor.  The timely provision of generic feedback following formative assessments will also be facilitated via Weblearn.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to:

1. Appreciate, analyse and demonstrate the fundamentals of Consumer PR and its role within broader integrated communications campaigns as well as evaluating the potential that digital platforms offer in order to fully appreciate all these critical factors that together drive successful consumer focused campaigns
2. Examine how digital technology, particularly interactivity, is changing the way organisations develop relationships with their customers, the media and other stakeholders and in addition, be able to evaluate all such relevant media tools.

Assessment strategy

Description of assessment items.

The initial coursework - Assessment 1 - is designed to add a greater sense of student community and encourage bonding within the context of carrying out specific PR-related and vocationally-focused marketing communication tasks. The second assessment aims to develop the appropriate learning outcomes within the context of an individual marketing communications related coursework.

Assessment 2 is an individual coursework that aims to develop the appropriate learning outcomes (see below) within the context of a marketing communications related coursework.



Core Text:
Tench & Yeomans (4rd Ed - 2017) Exploring Public Relations Prentice Hall

Other Texts:
Foster J: Effective Writing Skills for Public Relations, 2005 IPR/Kogan Page
Bobbitt & Sullivan 2005 Developing the Public Relations Campaign Allyn & Bacon
Theaker, A (2016) The Public Relations Handbook 5th Edition, Routledge
Bland, M., Theaker, A., and Wragg, D. 2009.Effective Media Relations. London: CIPR/Kogan Page.


Journal of Communication
Journal of Public Relations
Journal of Communication Research
International Journal of Communication
New media and society
Mass communication & society
Public relations review

The Professional Publishers Association (PPA)
BBC Learning
AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Stations),
Community Media Association,
The Office of Communications-

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