COMM 104: Public Relations

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2023
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: No
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

A survey of public relations history, theories and practices with emphasis on applications to business, public agencies and institutions. A practical approach to using the media, creating publicity releases, organizing and executing campaigns. Explores job opportunities of particular interest to communications majors. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • define public relations and identify the key individuals and events which led to its creation.
  • articulate an understanding of public relations theory, methods, and the public.
  • demonstrate familiarity with creating and using various communication tools, including news releases, photographs, Internet content, speeches, brochures, tours, public service announcements, logos and annual reports.
  • plan, format, and execute a publicity campaign.
  • anticipate, assess and respond to public relations problems and develop strategies for solving them.
  • demonstrate cultural sensitivity, good taste, and professional ethics.

Major Course Content

  1. Overview and History of Public Relations
  2. Defining Public Relations
  3. Assessing Public Opinion and the Corporate Image
  4. Overview of Media Relations
  5. Publicity Techniques
  6. Formatting and Writing News Releases
  7. Other Types of Writing for the Eye: Applications
  8. Writing for the ear, including PSA's and speeches
  9. Public Relations Marketing/problem Solving
  10. Public Relations Advertising
  11. Logos: Design, Selection, and Evaluation
  12. Internal Public Relations, Including Designing and Producing Newsletters
  13. External Publics: Government, Community, Consumers
  14. Annual Reports and Publicity Campaigns
  15. Cultural Sensitivity, Taste, and Ethics
  16. Case Studies

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

"PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences" by Deirdre Breakenridge - 2008, FT Press
"The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR" by Al Ries & Laura Ries - 2004, Harper Collins
"What Were They Thinking? Crisis Communication: The Good, the Bad and the Totally Clueless" by Steve Adubato - 2008, Rutgers University Press
"The Public Relations Writer's Handbook: The Digital Age" by Merry Aronson - 2007, Jossey-Bass
"Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR" by Deirdre Breakenridge - 2009, Harper Collins

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

JetBlue case study: written analysis of a crisis communication campaign carried out by JetBlue airlines following a high profile public relations failure (as described in the Seitel text).
Walmart case study: written analysis of a consumer and employee campaign carried out by Walmart following years of bad press and declining public opinion (as described in the Seitel text).
Sample press release based on the fact sheet provided by instructor.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Public opinion survey: Student samples public opinion, either on campus or off, regarding a current event or issue using public relations research tools, demonstrating their knowledge of sampling, questionnaire development and analysis of results.
Final project consisting of a hypothetical, original product public relations campaign (including all steps of the PR process, a media alert and press release).
Analysis of visual media interviews, demonstrating knowledge of effective communication styles and theories and how they affect the public's opinion.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture