Welcome to COMM411: Public Relations

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Saylor Student Handbook.

 

Course Description

This course will help prepare you to conduct public relations suitable for small start-up businesses, international companies, political campaigns, social programs, personal development, and other outreach projects.

 

Course Introduction

Effective public relations skills are essential to so much of the success in private and public spheres. Public relations efforts address how we wish to present ourselves to others and how to deal with the perceptions of who others believe we are. Public relations tactics are useful for large international corporate projects, or something as personal as networking for your own career advancement.

If you are taking this course as part of a communications major, you may well find most every other course in the program is based on addressing how we relate to others. The field of public relations takes the theories of human interaction and applies these theories for real-life results.

This course will help prepare you to conduct public relations suitable for small start-up businesses, international companies, political campaigns, social programs, personal development, and other outreach projects. There are many tools useful to effective public relations. As we review the components of a public relations campaign, you will learn how to prepare the key materials that will help you get the job done. You will examine what has worked for others, as you craft your own form and style. You may develop your own public relations portfolio including news releases, pitch letters, biographies, position papers, crisis communications, and other tools of a strategic public relations kit. You will accomplish this by referring to diverse resources and examining extensive materials from successful practitioners in the field.

This course is comprised of the following units:

  • Unit 1: Foundations of Public Relations
  • Unit 2: Public Relations Components and Planning
  • Unit 3: Key Target Audiences  
  • Unit 4: Media Relations
  • Unit 5: Writing for Public Relations
  • Unit 6: Social Projects and Public Relations
  • Unit 7: Crisis Communications
  • Unit 8: Ethical Issues in Public Relations
  • Unit 9: Careers in Public Relations
  • Unit 10: Professional Development

 

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • knowledgeably discuss the origins, purpose, and methods of effective public relations;
  • conduct related research and prepare a comprehensive public relations plan;
  • craft a range of communications that serve target audiences in commercial and social campaigns;
  • select suitable outlets and proper message format for media relations;
  • apply ethical principles to effective public relations practice;
  • develop messages using themes and images that connect with a multicultural audience in local and global campaigns; and
  • identify resources for professional networking and job opportunities in public relations.

Throughout this course, you'll also see related learning outcomes identified in each unit. You can use the learning outcomes to help organize your learning and gauge your progress.

 

Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are readings, lectures, video tutorials, and other resources.

All course materials are free to access, and can be found through the links provided in each unit and subunit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will instruct you as to what specifically to read or watch at a given point in the course, and help you to understand how these individual materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also access a list all of the materials used in this course by clicking on Resources in the course's "Activities" menu.

 

Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you may take it again as many times as needed, following a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Saylor Certificate of Completion.

Unit assessments and other types of quizzes in this course are intended to help you to gauge how well you are learning and do not factor into your final course grade. You may retake all of these as many times as needed to feel that you have an understanding of the concepts and material covered. You can locate a full list of these sorts of assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's "Activities" menu.

 

Tips for Success

COMM411: Public Relations is a self-paced course in which you the learner determines when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or predetermined schedule to follow. While learning styles can vary considerably and any particular student will take more or less time to learn or read, we estimate that the "average" student will take 40 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular (daily, or at least weekly) progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so below we've compiled a few suggested study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This can help you differentiate and contextualize concepts and later provide you with a refresher as you study.
  • As you progress through the materials, take time to test yourself on what you have retained and how well you understand the concepts. The process of reflection is important for creating a memory of the materials you learn; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.
  • Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor Academy students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at https://discourse.saylor.org.

 

Technical Requirements

This course is delivered fully online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one, free of charge, here. Although you can access some course resources without being logged into your account, it's advised that you log in to maximize your course experience. For example, some of the accessibility and progress tracking features are only available when you are logged in.

For additional technical guidance check out Saylor Academy's tech-FAQ and the Moodle LMS tutorial.

 

Fees

There is no cost to access and enroll in this course. All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.




Last modified: Monday, June 10, 2019, 10:21 AM