PBRL - Public Relations


Effective 1 June 2022 through 31 May 2023

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

Course Descriptions

Global Citizenship Program
Knowledge Areas
ARTS Arts Appreciation
GLBL Global Understanding
PNW Physical & Natural World
QL Quantitative Literacy
ROC Roots of Cultures
SSHB Social Systems & Human Behavior
Global Citizenship Program
Skill Areas
CRI Critical Thinking
ETH Ethical Reasoning
INTC Intercultural Competence
OCOM Oral Communication
WCOM Written Communication
** Course fulfills two skill areas


PBRL 1010 Fundamentals of Strategic Communications and Public Relations (3)

Students learn strategic and tactical communications skills necessary for the practice of corporate communications and public relations in business, organizational, and non-profit settings. Topics covered include the history and theory of public relations, strategic communications processes, stakeholder analysis and issues management, and communications tactics such as media relations, publications, community relations, consumer relations, employee communications, and online internet communications.

PBRL 2400 New Media Messaging (3)

This course will focus on new media platforms as they emerge and are used as tactical communications tools in strategic communications and public relations. New media such as social media will be identified and integrated into the course. Students will become familiar with the development and use of new media, will learn how to prepare content specifically for these new technological applications and integrate the use of new media into strategic communications plans. Analytics will be used to measure the effectiveness of these tactics in accomplishing organizational goals and objectives. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010.

PBRL 2800 Organizational Internal Communication (3)

Students learn to use the tools of mass media to communicate to employees, volunteers, and special organizational internal publics, and how those internal messages are used to achieve the goals and objectives of businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Students learn the theories of organizational communication and the techniques used to conduct an internal audit of the communication climate in an organization. Prerequisite: MDST 1010.

PBRL 2920 Writing for Public Relations (3)

Students learn the writing skills of public relations by adapting writing style and format to specific stakeholders and to a variety of public relations situations. Students examine professional copy and produce their own writing for inclusion in their portfolios. Each student receives instructor's critique of his or her writing and has a chance to critique fellow students' work. Prerequisites: MDST 1050, JOUR 1030 and PBRL 1010.

PBRL 3150 Topics (1-3)

These courses are offered periodically to feature topics in public relations not covered by regularly offered courses. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: May vary with topic.

PBRL 3500 Public Relations Research (3)

Students learn the basic concepts of public relations research using the internet for instruction and assignment. Students learn how to gather and apply data to public relations program design and evaluation. The course presents primary and secondary data collection methods used in PR research, as well as basic statistical concepts for data analysis. Students also learn to interpret, to report, and to apply findings to specific public relations cases and situations. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010.

PBRL 3599 Independent Study (Juniors or Seniors) (1-12)

Independent study involves research work on a specialized subject or project, artistic work, or study of an interdisciplinary nature. In contrast to a practicum, the emphasis in an independent study is usually on individual pursuit of a specific content area. Requires the filing of official form and permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

PBRL 3600 Public Relations Case Studies, U.S. and Global (3)

Students in this course will study cases in public relations throughout the world to gain a better understanding of how the fundamental theories of public relations have been applied by real nonprofit, corporate, government and agency organizations. Industry best practices will be highlighted, and students will distinguish between successful and unsuccessful applications of theory. Knowledge acquired in this course will be applied by students in their capstone course, PBRL 4920 Public Relations Campaigns, where they create campaigns for real clients. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010.

PBRL 3920 Public Information Production (3)

Advanced public relations students learn to use the tools of mass communication (audio, video, film, animation, print, interactive, and photographic media) to provide informational and promotional messages to target audiences. Focuses on writing and producing public and professional information materials. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010.

PBRL 4050 Special Events (3)

Students learn the theory and organizational strategies of special events as a function of public relations. Topics include client consulting, objective setting, budgeting, sponsorships, vendor negotiations, and follow-up procedures. Students apply these concepts by developing an actual event. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010.

PBRL 4250 Media Relations (3)

Students learn effective message-framing communication techniques and apply these concepts to a series of real-world simulations in which they learn to attract, work with, and be interviewed by radio, television, and newspaper reporters. Students will also learn how to use new forms of media communication as outlets for their organization's messages, including websites, Web portals, webcasts, blogs, podcasts, news consolidators, and search engines. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010 or PBRL 5322 for graduate students.

PBRL 4300 Crisis Communications and Issues Management (3)

Students learn techniques for identifying the stages of crisis communications for an organization starting with the process of issues identification and management and continuing through the creation of strategies and tactics necessary to retain and enhance organizational name equity with key stakeholders before, during and after an image crisis hits the organization. The student's ability to integrate social media and media relations tactics is demonstrated with the creation of a final crisis plan for an organization of the student's choice. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010.

PBRL 4500 Health Communication (3)

Overview of the field of health communication with attention to analysis and practice of health communication relationships and messages. Emphasis is placed on physician-patient communication, health journalism, and corporate communication, communication by nonprofit organization and government health agencies, and public health education campaigns. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010.

PBRL 4610 Readings in Public Relations (3-6)

May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: Media major, junior standing, permission of the instructor and filing of official form.

PBRL 4620 Senior Overview (3-6)

Provides an opportunity for seniors to demonstrate their proficiency in public relations and/or communications campaigns. The student assumes responsibility for the production of a project under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisites: Senior standing, acceptance into the major through portfolio review, the filing of official form and permission of the instructor.

PBRL 4700 Professional Development in Public Relations (3)

Students learn the various career options in the field of public relations and develop and present their personal portfolios. They learn the value of participating in professional public relations organizations; improving their interviewing skills; and preparing their résumés. Prerequisites: Public relations major and senior standing.

PBRL 4920 Public Relations Campaigns (3)

The culmination of the public relations curriculum, students in this course operate as a public relations agency, serving the needs of an actual client. The course offers students the opportunity to apply learned theories to developing a complete public relations campaign. Emphasis is placed upon concept, strategy, tactics, and presentation skills. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010.

PBRL 4960 Global Strategic Communication Campaigns (3)

Advanced preparation in strategic communication within the parameters of a global perspective on message creation, globalization, audience analysis and consideration, dissemination of information, public relations, corporate communication, social marketing, public diplomacy and international relations. Prerequisites: PBRL 1010 and PBRL 2920.