module specification

MC4012 - Public Relations (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Public Relations
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
 
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Group presentation (15 minutes + 5 minutes for questions) relating to various PR tasks.
Unseen Examination 50%   Individual 2 hour examination
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module will develop an understanding of the role and purpose of Public Relations (PR) together with an appreciation of the societal context and global business environment within which PR operates.  From a practical perspective, it will also aim to develop students’ writing skills with a specific focus on public relations content copywriting for both analogue & digital media platforms.

The module provides an introduction to the breadth of oral, written and graphic public relations material, such as press releases, articles, photography, video, social media and related digital content, press notices that are key creative elements of public relations campaigns. The module also considers how the media interacts with public relations practitioners via such forms of communication material and how the media goes on to use various platform contributions from the public relations sector.

Additionally, in recognition of the huge increase in global social media usage, the module will examine how this has resulted in an explosion of user-generated content that is significantly influencing how PR is practiced in the 21stC.

Project/event management skills will also be considered within this PR context.  Delivery consists of 3-hour CCT using a combination of lectures (including guest speakers) seminars and industrial visits. Assessments comprise a group presentation, an individual coursework and an unseen exam.

The module will promote various graduate attributes, in particular the application of knowledge; communicating and presenting (including inter-cultural communication); critical thinking and writing; reflective professional skills; project and event management; and business and political awareness  - together with  various other elements in the LMBS Skills Framework.

In response to  the changing nature of PR practice the module will:

• Offer a perspective on the nature of the societal context  in which business  (and PR in particular) operates.
• Consider the practice of PR (including writing and wider communication skills, project/event management) and its role in meeting strategic communications objectives
• Examine and analyse the various specialisms within PR practice as set out by the CIPR
• Develop an understanding of the wide range of career options within public relations and more broadly, communications management.

Syllabus

The syllabus will cover the following:

• Definitions and scope of PR practice LO1
• Overview of key PR concepts and theories LO1
• PR as a strategic management function;  PR’s relationship with Marketing & other corporate functions LO1
• Societal and international business context within which strategic PR management operates LO1
• Writing and broader communication skills in both an analogue & digital context LO2
• The role of media monitoring in anticipating / analysing emerging trends in business and society LO2
• Project/event management LO3
• Management and organisation of the PR function LO3
• Specialist areas of PR practice and sectoral considerations LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Delivery consists of 3-hour CCT using a combination of lectures, normally 1.5 hours, (including guest speakers) and seminars, normally 1.5 hours and industrial visits. Alternatively and where appropriate 2 hour workshops will also be used for skills based activities and industrial visits.  Where 2 hours class contact is used for workshops the remaining hours will be devoted to drop-in surgeries and/or “on-line” surgery time.

The module will seek to exploit the University’s location in the heart of the PR profession’s highly London-centric positioning. The location of LMU facilitates these important aspects of the student learning experience.

In particular, guest speakers will be invited from various sectors of the economy and in addition, PR graduates from LMU will also be invited to discuss case studies of their work for clients/employers and their career paths to-date. 

In order to encourage students to begin to reflect as soon as possible on their career options, an action and experiential learning approach will be adopted to help students relate recent or current work experience to future plans and aspirations in the PR sector.  In this regard, the module tutor will work closely with LMU Careers Advisory colleagues to ensure that (from the outset of their studies) students use the full range of these University services to best advantage.  Students will also be advised to start to develop a personal portfolio of work on this and other modules for subsequent presentation of their skills to potential employers.

Videos and online case studies will frequently be used to stimulate discussion in seminars.  In the main, seminars will be both tutor and student-led to include a problem-based approach.  The routine of daily media monitoring will be encouraged and tested informally by means of “spot” team quizzes in class. Students are expected to begin the adoption of an increasing degree of 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

At the end of this module you will be able to:

1. Understand the nature of PR: its role in a democratic society; its relationship to other strategic management functions; and within a broad communications scenario.

2. Explain the role of oral, written and graphic inputs in a public relations context and assess the resulting outputs from media relations and influencer campaigns.

3. Demonstrate competence on a wide range of PR activities as defined in the appropriate level of the PRCA / PRET matrix.

Assessment strategy

Description of assessment items.

The initial (Assessment 1) is designed to add a greater sense of student community and encourage bonding within the context of carrying out specific PR-related tasks. The second assessment aims to develop the appropriate learning outcomes within the context of an examination.

Assessment 2 is designed to test students knowledge, understanding and competence in regards to current theories and concepts that underpin the practice of Public Relations.

Bibliography

Textbooks:

Core Text:
Tench R & Yeomans L (2017) Exploring Public Relations 4th Edition, FT Prentice Hall

Other Texts: Foster, J. 2008. Effective Writing Skills for Public Relations. London: Kogan Page/CIPR.
Wilcox, D. & Reber, B.H. 2013. Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques. London: Pearson Education

Journals:
Journal of Communication

Journal of Public Relations

Journal of Communication Research

International Journal of Communication


Websites:
https://www.cipr.co.uk/
https://www.prweek.com/uk
FT.com
Guardian.com

Electronic Databases:
The Office of Communications- www.ofcom.org.uk
http://www.radiocentre.org/
AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Stations), http://www.amarc.org
Community Media Association, http://www.commedia.org.uk

Social Media Sources:
Facebook
Instagram
Snapchat
Twitter
Flickr