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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "BUS 320"
COURSE NAME: "Public Relations"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Michele Favorite
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 4:30 PM 5:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS:
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisites: Junior Standing, EN 110
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course introduces students to the importance of Public Relations and familiarizes them with effective PR tactics and strategies in a rapidly changing world scenario. Special attention is devoted to persuasion techniques, the changing role of the media and the complex nature of comprehensive PR plans. The class benefits from guest lectures from professionals and experts.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

Course Description:

This course is divided into three main parts. The first is a quick overview of what Public Relations (PR) is, its historical development, the trends affecting PR today and how PR companies and departments work. The second discusses the key elements of PR work:  research, planning, communication, evaluation and persuasion.  This second part includes writing and speaking techniques that are essential for effective PR; considerable emphasis is given to press/media  releases and relations with the media. Since students in this class will be participating in the Elevator Pitch Competition, our Public Speaking work will involve specific training to this end. The third concentrates on corporate reputation and crisis management. 

Class readings and discussion will revolve around actual people, issues and companies which are shaping the world of PR in the US and abroad.  This means that students are expected to read newspapers, magazines and journals and to be generally up to date on what's happening in PR. 

Class discussion is an important part of the course and contributions from students who typically have very diverse backgrounds is enriching for all involved.  Class participation is therefore a must.

 Course Objectives:

1. To understand the role of PR in public and private companies, nonprofit organizations and agencies, in the U.S. and abroad.

2. To appreciate the value of PR in solving problems and shaping policy.

3. To understand the link between credibility and reputation, and how the concept of reputation is evolving.

4. To appreciate the ethical considerations involved in PR.

5. To recognize the composite nature of today’s publics and the challenges they pose for PR practitioners.

6. To appreciate the communication channels used in PR, how they are evolving, and how differently they must be addressed. Management of the media will be an important part of the learning outcomes.

7. To learn the basics of effective communication, both written and oral.  Students will be expected to know how to write a press release and adapt it to different media in different countries. Students will participate in John Cabot's Elevator Pitch Competition, which aims at providing a venue for short, persuasive presentations, and will be expected to have mastered the fundamentals of effective Public Speaking.

8. To understand the principles of crisis management and how crises can be turned into opportunities. The role of apologies will be discussed at length.

9. To understand the importance of  research in PR.

10. To learn how to distinguish the key characteristics which help evaluate a PR plan. 

11.  To understand the bases of persuasion.





LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Learning Outcomes:

1. To understand the role of PR in public and private companies, nonprofit organizations and agencies, in the U.S. and abroad.

2. To appreciate the value of PR in solving problems and shaping policy.

3. To understand the link between credibility and reputation, and how the concept of reputation is evolving.

4. To appreciate the ethical considerations involved in PR.

5. To recognize the composite nature of today’s publics and the challenges they pose for PR practitioners.

6. To appreciate the communication channels used in PR, how they are evolving, and how differently they must be addressed. Management of the media will be an important part of the learning outcomes.

7. To learn the basics of effective communication, both written and oral.  Students will be expected to know how to write a press release and adapt it to different media in different countries. Students will participate in John Cabot's Elevator Pitch Competition, which aims at providing a venue for short, persuasive presentations, and will be expected to have mastered the fundamentals of effective Public Speaking.

8. To understand the principles of crisis management and how crises can be turned into opportunities. The role of apologies will be discussed at length.

9. To understand the importance of  research in PR.

10. To learn how to distinguish the key characteristics which help evaluate a PR plan. 

11.  To understand the bases of persuasion.

  

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Public Relations Strategies and Tactics, 11th editionDennis Wilcox et al Pearson9780205960644   
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
PR Plan PresentationStudents will present a PR Plan to the class in the form of a PowerPoint presentation20%
ParticipationStudents' class participation is key to making this a fun and rewarding class. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the topic of the day and to be able to contribute to discussion intelligently. Please see Letter Grade Requirements for more details15%
Final ExamThis is a cumulative final exam20%
Press releases and homework assignmentsStudents will be graded on press releases and other assignments 5%
Midterm 1 15%
   
Midterm 2 15%
Adopt a PR Company Project and PresentationStudents will choose a PR company, get in touch with it and do research on it, and present their findings to the class10%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the cou
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Attendance Requirements



Two latenesses equal an absence. After three unexcused absences the student will be asked to withdraw from the class.



ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Bus 320 Spring 2021

Week 1: Jan 19 and 21:  What PR is (and is not) and PR Evolution in History

Course and class introduction 

Evolution of PR. Wilcox, chapter 2 and selected material on Moodle

Week 2: Jan 26 and 28: PR Companies and Departments Today, PR Worldwide, Ethics

What is PR? PR departments and firms, PR Worldwide.

Wilcox, chapters 1, 4 and 20 and selected material on Moodle

Assignment of the “Adopt a PR Firm Project”: guidelines

Ethics and Professionalism, Wilcox, chapter 3

Week 3: Feb 2 and 4: Research and Program Planning

Research. Wilcox, chapter 5 and selected material on Moodle

In-class discussion of case study: Wilcox pp. 142-43

Program Planning. Wilcox, chapter 6 and selected material on Moodle

Week 4: Feb 9 and 11: Program Planning (cont’d), Evaluation

Program Planning. Wilcox, chapter 6

Evaluation. Wilcox, chapter 8

Assignment of the Program Plan Project

Week 5:  Feb 16 and 18:  Introduction to Persuasion, Audiences, Public Opinion & Midterm 1

Introduction to Persuasion: the Five-Stage Adoption Process. Wilcox, chapter 7, 178-188 and selected material on Moodle

Midterm 1

Week 6:  Feb 23 and 25: Persuasion, Audiences, Public Opinion (cont’d)

Public Opinion, Audiences and Persuasion.  Wilcox, chapters 9 and 11 and selected material on Moodle

Week 7:  March 2 and 4:  Trust and Reputation

Selected material on Moodle

Week 8:  March 9 and 11:  Spring Break

Week 9:  March 16 and 18: Midterm 2

Review for the midterm

Midterm 2

Week 10:  March 23 and 25:  The Media and Press Releases

Wilcox, chapter 14 and material on Moodle

Week 11:  March 30 and April 1:  The Media and Press Releases (cont’d) & “Adopt a PR Company” Project

The project is due and presentations are delivered

Press releases due

Week 12:   April 6 and 8:  Conflict Management  

Conflict Management.  Wilcox, chapter 10

Week 13: April 13 and 15:  Conflict Management (cont’d)

Class discussion and further reading

Week 14: April 20 and 22:  Program Plan Presentations

Program Plan presentations due

Week 15:  April 27 and 29:  Final week of class and Final Exam review

Final exam review