Public Relations

Main Topics of Study:

Management and Organisation of Public Relations

  • Public relations definitions
  • External environment
  • Internal environment
  • Systems theory
  • Location of public relations department
  • Future of public relations department

Role of Public Relations Practitioners

  • Types of public relations practitioners
  • Role of the communicator
  • Skills of ideal practitioner
  • Role of theory in practice
  • Education, professionalism and research

Media Context of Contemporary Public Relations and Journalism

  • Contemporary media context: the UK media industry
  • Theories of media
  • Regulating the media
  • Issues for public relations arising from the global media environment
  • Ethics of journalism and public relations

Public Relations and Democracy

  • Conditions for representative democracy
  • Elections and voting
  • Criticisms of modern democracy
  • Pressure groups and democracy
  • Democracy and multilevel governance
  • Public relations and modern democracy

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • The social responsibilities of organisations
  • Community and environmental responsibilities
  • The demands of public opinion
  • Discharging the organisation’s social responsibilities
  • Ethics and business practice
  • Regulatory frameworks

International Public Relations

  • Definition of international public relations
  • Factors and driving forces behind internationalisation
  • Global and local approaches to international public relations
  • International public relations agency networks
  • Public relations as a global profession
  • Public relations for supranational organisations

Public Relations as Planned Communications

  • Systems theories: emergence of public relations research
  • Diversity in public relations
  • Systems context of planning
  • Setting objectives
  • Identifying publics
  • Messages, content, strategy and tactics
  • Timescales and resources

Public Relations Research and Evaluation

  • Context of research in public relations
  • Designing research
  • Research methods
  • Designing research instruments
  • Research applications
  • Evaluation of public relations campaigns

Audiences and Corporate Image

  • Passive and active audiences
  • Stakeholders and publics
  • Organisational public relations
  • Organisational reputation, image and identity
  • Personality and culture
  • Organisational identity, strategy and process

Ethics and Professionalism in Public Relations

  • Importance of ethics and professionalism in public relations
  • Ethics and morality
  • Ethical theories and ethical issues in public relations
  • Ethical decision-making models and their application

Media Relations

  • Role of media relations
  • Media relations principles
  • Negotiated news: media relations in practice
  • Media partnerships
  • Media relations techniques

Internal Communications

  • Purpose of internal communication
  • Segmenting internal publics
  • Organisations: culture, leadership and strategic change
  • Communication channels
  • Employee perspective
  • Ethical communication

Issues and Crisis Management

  • Introduction to issues management
  • Context of issues management
  • Action planning: a framework for managing issues
  • Crisis public relations management
  • Communicating during a crisis
  • The internet and public relations crisis management
  • Key principles in crisis management

Managing Community Involvement Programmes and Consumer Public Relations

  • Corporate Community Involvement (CCI) programmes
  • Employees and community programmes
  • Cause-related programmes
  • Evaluating community programmes
  • Consumer public relations: tools and techniques
  • Branding and value of public relations

Business-to-Business and Financial Public Relations

  • Core principles of business-to-business public relations
  • Trade journals and journalists
  • Building corporate reputation
  • Scope and contexts of public affairs
  • Knowledge, skills, behaviour and ethics
  • Financial public relations practice
  • Emerging issues and trends

Integrated Marketing Communications and Sponsorship

  • Strategic marketing communications planning
  • Branding and integrated marketing communications
  • Integrating the marketing communications mix
  • Introduction to scope and context of sponsorship
  • Management of sponsorship
  • Features and characteristics of sponsorship
  • ‘Emotional marketing’ and the emerging sponsorship age

Corporate Communications and Public Sector Communications

  • Context and principles of corporate communications
  • Interface of corporate communications and overall corporate strategy
  • Corporate communication objectives
  • Theories of public communication
  • Central, local government and health sector communication
  • Communication planning framework

Campaigning Organisations and Pressure Groups

  • Types of campaigning organisation
  • Campaign tactics
  • People, politics and globalisation
  • Building and evaluating consensus
  • Practical guidelines for campaigning public relations

Arts, Leisure, Entertainment and Celebrity Public Relations

  • Overview of the creative industries
  • Role of public relations in the creative industries
  • Public relations objectives, strategies and tactics for arts organisations
  • Heroes, celebrity and the global celebrity industry
  • Reasons for ‘buying into’ celebrities
  • Development and maintenance of celebrity image

Future of Public Relations

  • Future trends and issues for public relations
  • Campaigning and pressure groups
  • Internationalisation of public relations
  • Practitioner roles and professionalism in public relations
  • Specialisation of public relations practice
  • Media fragmentation

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