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Communication: Public Relations

Communication, BA, Concentration: Public Relations

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Program Intro

Public Relations includes event planning, crisis communication, lobbying, grant writing, problem solving, photography, and writing press releases and corporate literature.

This program provides practical training for roles in media relations and content strategy or as a brand ambassador, communication specialist or social media specialist.

Department of Communication and Creative Arts

Each fall, our Problems in PR students run a consulting firm that serves a real-world client and conducts a communication audit.

The resulting book is just one of the many practical projects you can add to your professional portfolio.

Curriculum Overview

This program combines practical communication theories with experiential learning to prepare you for an immediate career in Public Relations.

You’ll find plenty of opportunities to build a professional portfolio. Coursework includes volunteer PR work for a local not-for-profit and performing a communication audit for a client in the area.

Gear up with foundational courses in speech, reporting, photography and PR.

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Sample Courses

  • COM 11400 – Fundamentals of Speech
  • COM 25300 – Intro to Public Relations
  • COM 25500 – Into to News Reporting and Writing
  • AD 22200 – Intro to Photography

Explore broadcasting and media theories, hone your reporting techniques and learn to use social media in professional PR contexts.

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Sample Courses

  • COM 24200 – Broadcast News
  • COM 30600 – Advanced News Reporting and Writing
  • COM 33000 – Media Theories
  • COM 39000 – Public Relations and Social Media

Investigate advanced communications topics like persuasion, interviewing techniques and ethics. You may also complete an internship this year.

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Sample Courses

  • COM 31800 – Principles of Persuasion
  • COM 32500 – Interviewing: Principles and Practice
  • COM 40300 – Communication Ethics

Your fourth year is a deep dive into practical applications of PR principles. Work with actual clients to solve their problems while building your own portfolio. We encourage you to complete an internship as well.

See the Full Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • COM 35300 – Problems in Public Relations
  • COM 46000 – Advanced Public Relations

Highlights

This program features a unique opportunity to audit real clients’ communication strategies and gain invaluable experience employers seek.

Previous clients include BP, Nipsco, City of Portage, Indiana South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, Griffith Police Department and many more.

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Outcomes

Our experiential learning courses give you the tools you need to be successful in any future career. Upon completion of this program, you’ll have the tools and confidence to complete a professional portfolio filled with your own work. It’s an indispensable tool as you network with fellow professionals and go after your dream job.

Scholarships

The Stephen Hough Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Communication major with a concentration in public relations.

For more information, contact Department Chair Tom Roach or Academic Advisor Rhonda Nemri.

Beyond the Classroom

Opportunities abound to get involved with clubs, organizations and activities both on and off campus, including:

  • PR Club
  • PR Alumni Advisory Board
  • Lambda Pi Eta

Career Paths

This program prepares you for a range of careers, including:

  • Crisis communication specialist
  • Speech writer
  • Social media manager

Employers

Our alumni are employed at advertising/marketing firms, corporations and organizations like:

  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Lamar Advertising
  • Service Employees International Union
Sara Komendat

I have had the opportunity to actually build a portfolio that I’m able to take to employers. I have been able to network with alumni and professors who have really helped me along the way. I feel that I am leaving with such great experience. I’m ready to go out into the real world and get a job.

Sara Komendat
Communication, Concentration: Public Relations, 2018

Meet the Faculty

Tom Roach

Thomas J. Roach, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Communication & Creative Arts

I teach rhetorical theory and all courses in the PR concentration including journalism, interviewing, and photography. I currently serve as department chair and lead a study abroad program in Paris.

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Deanna Francoeur-Schmidt, M.A.

Continuing Lecturer

Deanna is currently a Continuing Lecturer. Besides teaching, she sits on the CCA’s assessment and marketing committees. She is a member of the grade appeal committee and the advisor for the PR club.

A PNW Student in the Classroom

Take the Next Step

See how a PNW degree opens doors, from corporate boardrooms to non-profit leadership.

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