COMM11110 - Introduction to Public Relations
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for COMM11110 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

Introduction to Public Relations will provide you with an overview of the public relations industry. You will learn how to develop an ethical and professional public relations campaign; including identifying publics, and developing realistic goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. You will also learn how to research, monitor and evaluate public relations strategies through an analysis of public relations case studies. This unit is a prerequisite for COMM12108 Advanced Public Relations.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 3
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Cairns
  • Distance
  • Melbourne
  • Rockhampton
  • Townsville

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 45%
2. Written Assessment 55%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
Unit content is relevant and practical and easily applicable to the workplace. Student evaluation The unit will continue to provide practical and relevant content linked to industry activities.
A greater scaffolding of tasks to aid in the final assessment would be helpful. Student evaluation. Changes will be incorporated within the unit to improve both formative and summative learning.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Define public relations and discuss the historical development of public relations and the evolution of public relations tasks.
  2. Illustrate the ethical implications of decisions, actions and outcomes to reflect the professionalism of the industry.
  3. Describe and identify the primary features of a public relations campaign.
  4. Identify methods of evaluation used within a public relations context.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1. Communication  
2. Problem Solving  
3. Critical Thinking
4. Information Literacy  
5. Team Work    
6. Information Technology Competence
7. Cross Cultural Competence        
8. Ethical practice  

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment    
2 - Written Assessment      

Prescribed Textbooks

THINK Public Relations
Author/s: Denis Wilcox, Glen Cameron, Bryan Reber, Jae-Hwa Shin Year: 2013
Edition: 2nd Publisher: Pearson Education Inc.
City: New York State: New York
Country: USA
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorTris Kerslake (t.kerslake@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Public Relations.

This course examines the nature of public relations (PR), its functions, processes and publics, and its increasing criticality in the development of communications, events and crisis management.

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 1, What is Public Relations? (pp.3-20).

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 2, Careers in Public Relations, (pp. 25-39).

Access the course text via electronic link on the Moodle website:

Wilcox D., Cameron G., Reber B. and Shin J. (2014) THINK Public Relations, Pearson, New Jersey.

Week 2 13-03-2017

PR Beginnings - The Profession.

There have been different forms of influence on public matters dating back for thousands of years. This week we consider the history of public relations and the pioneers of communications management.

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 3, The Growth of a Profession (pp. 43-63).

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 4, Today's Practice (pp. 69-86).

Quiz 1

Week 3 20-03-2017

The PR Campaign - Planning.

The fundamental task in implementing a successful campaign is planning. We begin to consider the eight basic elements of the PR plan.

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 5, Research and Campaign Planning (pp. 89-111).

Quiz 2

Week 4 27-03-2017

The PR Campaign - Implementation

Implementing any PR campaign is a complex and exacting process. This week we examine the pivotal roles of communication management and addressing your chosen audience.

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 6, Communication and measurement (pp. 115-126)

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 10, Reaching Diverse Audiences (pp.205-222).

Week 5 03-04-2017

The PR Campaign - Implementation 2

Following through on communications management requires a planned strategy in order to spread your key messages; is the message reaching the desired public?

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 12, The Internet and Social Media (pp. 245-262).

Quiz 3

Vacation Week 10-04-2017

BREAK WEEK

Week 6 17-04-2017

The PR Campaign - Logistics.

How does the effective management of logistics add to the planning and implementation of a successful event? This week we examine how numbers have an impact on everything from objectives to evaluation.

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 13, Events and Promotions (pp. 267-284).
Week 7 24-04-2017

The PR Campaign - Monitoring & Evaluation

Dealing with the critical fourth step of the PR campaign is the measurement of the effectiveness of the work you have done, both during and after the campaign is being implemented.

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 6, Communication and Measurement (pp. 127-135).

Quiz 4

Week 8 01-05-2017

PR Issues - Persuasion

This week we consider public opinion and the great power it wields over corporate PR. We look at Greenwashing, persuasive communication and opinion leaders as catalysts.

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 7, Public Opinion and Persuasion (pp.137-148).

Workbook Exercises Due Friday (05 May 17) 06:00 PM AEST
Week 9 08-05-2017

PR Issues - Using conflict in PR.

Is it ethical for a PR campaign to provoke and/or use public contention as a strategy? Is the strategic management of competition or conflict in anyone's best interest?

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 8, Managing Competition and Conflict (pp.163-178.)


Quiz 5

Week 10 15-05-2017

PR Issues - Ethics & Legal responsibility

Where is the line drawn between ethical and non-ethical activities and behaviour? This week we examine the practicalities of ethics and the PRIA code for practitioners in Australia.

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapter 9, Ethics and the Law (pp.181-186).

Public Relations Institute of Australia Code of Ethics.

Quiz 6

Week 11 22-05-2017

PR Campaign Types.

An overview of different types of PR campaign, including Promotions, Global and Corporate events, Sport, Tourism, Public service and Non-profit campaigns.

Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Chapters 13 - 18.

Week 12 29-05-2017

Review.

We review the key elements of a successful PR campaign.

Campaign Case Study (Plan and Exegesis) Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 06:00 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Workbook Exercises
Task Description

5 Workbook Exercises (5 x 9 marks = 45 marks total)

  • You are required to complete the series of five compulsory exercises provided on the Moodle website. All five exercises must be attempted in order to successfully pass this assignment.
  • Each exercise must be referenced with at least two formal sources in the APA format.
  • You will upload any two of your completed exercises to the relevant Assignment Discussion Forum for group critique.
  • The completed exercises in this assignment will form the basis of your final assignment (Campaign Report and Essay).
  • All five of these exercises will be submitted via Moodle as a single document with the Marking Criteria sheet attached at the end.

NOTE: While not compulsory, it is expected that each student will review and provide feedback on at least three other student exercises in the Assignment Discussion Forum.


Further information about this assignment is available on the Moodle website.

Assessment Due Date Week 8 Friday (05-May-2017) 06:00 PM AEST
A single Word document containing all the exercises and the Marking Criteria sheet should be uploaded to Moodle by or before the deadline.
Return Date to Students Week 10 Friday (19-May-2017)
Marks and feeback will normally be returned within two weeks of assignment submission
Weighting 45%
Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria is in the form of a matrix, which is available on the Moodle website. Marks are awarded for appropriate completion of each exercise; attention to requirements of the task, and presentation, referencing, spelling and grammar. For a copy of the matrix, go to the Moodle website and read each criterion carefully.

If there is anything you do not fully understand about the marking criteria, please speak to your Tutor or the Unit Co-ordinator.

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Submission must be in the form of a single document.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Define public relations and discuss the historical development of public relations and the evolution of public relations tasks.

2. Illustrate the ethical implications of decisions, actions and outcomes to reflect the professionalism of the industry.

3. Describe and identify the primary features of a public relations campaign.

4. Identify methods of evaluation used within a public relations context.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence

8. Ethical practice



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Campaign Case Study (Plan and Exegesis)
Task Description

Campaign Case Study (55 marks)

(Planning Report: 2000 words and Justification Essay: 1000 words)

  • From the real-life public relations case provided for you, develop a campaign based on the format, strategies and tactics reviewed and discussed during the term.(Note: This document is something that could potentially be submitted to the organisation under discussion as a real PR plan).

  • Produce a report detailing the various elements of your planned campaign (Part A) following which, you will produce an exegesis (justification) essay (Part B) explaining why you have planned your campaign in the way that you have (explaining why you have chosen the target publics, strategies, etc.).

  • Each of the five exercises you completed for Assessment #1 Workbook may be used or incorporated in this final assignment. It is anticipated you will undertake additional work on each of the exercises in order to meet the broader requirements of a formal campaign plan.

  • This assignment will be produced as a single Word document which will contain both sections A & B. You will also attach the Marking Criteria sheet at the end of the document before submitting to Moodle. Total file size for Part A and Part B (combined) is not to exceed 10mb.


NOTE: This assessment is in two parts (A & B) and students are required to respond to both parts.


PART A CAMPAIGN PLAN REPORT 1,900 - 2,100 words (40 marks)

Using the case study provided on Moodle, produce a Public Relations campaign planning report for submission to the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

Present your report in a professional manner using the following headings:


Title page (Report title; Name of organisation; Date; Your name, Student ID; Unit name; Name of Tutor, Term, Year)

then:

  • Table of Contents
  • Situation analysis (report wordcount starts at the beginning of this section)
  • Goal and Objectives of the Campaign
  • Target publics
  • Strategies and Tactics
  • Calendar or timetable (as a Gantt Chart)
  • Budget (as a table)
  • Measurement and Evaluation
  • Conclusion (report wordcount finishes at end of this section)
  • References


NOTE: Graphs/tables/images may be more helpful in some sections than writing.


Part B JUSTIFICATION ESSAY 950 words - 1,050 words (15 marks)

Explain and justify your campaign planning report in a formal academic essay. Further research about the organisation (or similar organisations) may be required. Your essay is to be completed in an appropriate format (including an introduction and conclusion). Minimal headings may be used.

The following aspects must be incorporated into your response:

  • Explain how the campaign can be classified as Public Relations.
  • What were the issues that your campaign was attempting to address?
  • Explain your identified goal(s), objectives, strategies, tactics, target publics, timing and budget. For example, strategies may have been selected in order to reach a specific target public or to coincide with a national event.
  • What problems might arise during the implementation of your plan? For example the key message may not be consistent across strategies, or the strategies may not reach your target public. Perhaps a potential issue might arise that would not be addressed in the campaign.
  • It is expected that further research will be undertaken on the campaign through online searches (including websites, YouTube, blogs and social media) and in academic journals or the library. Pay particular attention to the credibility of any references used in the report. Ensure that the credibility of the references can be justified. What is the source of your research? Can it be trusted? How do you know? Only credible information is to be used for this assessment.

A detailed reference list is required in APA style.

The word count for this section is deliberately challenging. It will be hard to condense your thoughts into 1,000 words. You will have to think about what you write very carefully in order to meet the word count requirements. You may have to be selective in how you justify your campaign plan, rather than trying to cover everything.


Further details about this assignment are available on the Moodle website.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 06:00 PM AEST
Online submission of a written assignment in two parts in week 12.
Return Date to Students Exam Week Friday (16-Jun-2017)
Marks and feeback will normally be returned within two weeks of assignment submission
Weighting 55%
Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria for the campaign case study is in the form of a matrix, which is available on Moodle. Marks are awarded for understanding of public relations, campaign issues, target publics, campaign strategies, structure, research, attention to requirements of the task, and presentation, spelling and grammar. For a copy of the matrix, go to Moodle.

If you have any difficulty understanding the marking criteria, please discuss your concerns with your Tutor.

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Submit assignment online via Turnitin

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Define public relations and discuss the historical development of public relations and the evolution of public relations tasks.

2. Illustrate the ethical implications of decisions, actions and outcomes to reflect the professionalism of the industry.

3. Describe and identify the primary features of a public relations campaign.

4. Identify methods of evaluation used within a public relations context.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence




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