PUBRL101-21A (HAM)

Introduction to Public Relations

15 Points

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Division of Management
School of Management and Marketing

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: helena.wang@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

: olivia.kerbers@waikato.ac.nz

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: nat.enright@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
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Paper Description

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This paper introduces students to the practices of public relations (PR). It provides an overview of PR’s areas of expertise and professional activities in business, government, and non-profit organisations. Discussions will focus on the social responsibilities of PR professionals who communicate on behalf of organisations and emphasise ethical conduct in different challenging situations.

In the current market environment, organisations depend on professional communicators who are able to build trustworthy relationships with different stakeholders. The communication industry is growing and specialising in areas such as customer relations, investor relations, employee relations, fundraising, lobbying, community relations, events management, crisis management, media relations (including social media) and content management. The paper overviews different PR functions but does not focus on media relations which is the topic of PUBRL201. This paper will clarify to students the diverse practices and expectations in each PR area of expertise and prepare them for PR courses in second and third year.

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Paper Structure

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Each lecture will introduce a different PR area of expertise and discuss its major challenges, tactics, principles, and typical ethical issues. The lecture notes will be provided to students before the lecture and students will be expected to read it as well as the weekly prescribed resources. Students should use the lecture time for discussions about the content of the lecture notes and reading.

The lecture will be recorded and available for students on the paper's Moodle page.

In tutorials, students discuss and experience the content presented in the previous week's Thursday lecture. Students will bring to 4 out of the 10 tutorials examples that demonstrate the specific area of expertise discussed in the previous week's lecture. The marked examples might be actual industry stories drawn from the media or other sources. Students will present, share and discuss the examples (see details in the assessment section of this outline). In tutorials we will use case studies and role playing simulations to clarify issues involved in the practice of public relations.

In the last two tutorials students will present their analysis of a specific organisation from a public relations perspective (assignment 3).

Students will be asked to evaluate relevant materials (visual or texts) that would be provided before the lecture or in tutorials.

Professionals from the communication industry will visit some of the lectures and share their knowledge.

ATT: This paper will be delivered as a FLEXI paper. Further information on this will be provided in Moodle closer to the start of A Trimester once enrolment numbers are known.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • explain the principles of contemporary public relations and its role in society
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • identify the professional activities required in the practice of public relations
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • use professional public relations terminology and concepts in presentations and written assignments
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • identify ethical issues involved in the practice of public relations and suggest ethical solutions
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Tutorials marked examples, active participation, and contribution
8 Mar 2021
No set time
30
  • Hand-in: In Tutorial
2. In-class test
13 May 2021
10:00 AM
25
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
3. Organisation profile
24 May 2021
No set time
25
  • Hand-in: In Tutorial
4. PR careers
9 Jun 2021
12:30 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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1. Page, J. T. & Parnell, L. J. (2019). Introduction to Strategic Public Relations: Digital, Global, and Socially Responsible Communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

2. Lattimore, D., Baskin, O., Heiman, S. & Toth, E. L. (2012). Public relations: The profession and the practice (4th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

3. Resources posted online on PUBRL101 Moodle page.

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Recommended Readings

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Broom, G. M. (2009). Cutlip & Center's Effective Public Relations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Hall.

Coombs, W. T. & Holladay, S. J. (2007). It's not just PR: Public relations in society. Malden, MA: Blackwell publishing.

Coombs, W. T. & Holladay, S. J. (2010). PR strategy and application: Managing influence. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell

Heath, R. L. (Ed). (2013) Encyclopedia of public relations 2 Vols. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Mersham, G., Theunissen, P., & Peart, J. (2009). Public relations and communication management: An Aotearoa/New Zealand perspective. Auckland, NZ: Pearson.

Tench, R., & Yeomans, L. (2009). Exploring public relations (2nd. ed.). Harlow, England: Prentice Hall.

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Other Resources

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Public Relations Review (journal available electronically via the university library catalogue).

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Online Support

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Resources and documents explaining assignments will be posted online in Moodle.

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Workload

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The students are required to participate in 2 hour lecture and 2 hours tutorial every week. They need to read the paper resources or watch videos before the lecture to be able to participate in discussions in class.

For Tutorial examples and participation assignment students should prepare examples for the tutorial marked activities and write few sentences about their example to argue for its relevance to the lecture's content (in 6 tutorials specified in the outline schedule). Detailed instructions will be explained in lectures 1 and 2 and be posted in a document in the online paper resources.

To prepare for the in-class test students should overview the content of the first 8 lectures and read again the required resources.

For assignment 3 organisation profile students should conduct research, write 400 words report and prepare an effective oral presentation.

For the final group assignment PR careers students should spend time in group meetings to discuss the topic and share tasks, conduct research, and contribute to the writing of the final report.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite(s)

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: MCOM233

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