MKTG06052 2016 Public Relations

General Details

Full Title
Public Relations
Transcript Title
Public Relations
N/A %
Subject Area
MKTG - Marketing
MRKT - Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Suzanne Ryan
Programme Membership
SG_BMARK_C06 201600 Higher Certificate in Business in Marketing SG_BDIGI_B07 201900 Bachelor of Business in Digital Marketing SG_BSALE_B07 202200 Bachelor of Business in Marketing and Sales SG_BINTE_H08 202200 Bachelor of Business (Honours) in International Marketing and Languages

This subject aims to introduce the student to the history, structures and role of public relations in an Irish context. The subject will investigate the professional role of the Public Relations Practitioner and introduce the key skills required to effectively perform a public relations role. On completion of this subject the student will be able to appreciate the function of public relations in a variety of contexts.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Define public relations and the role of the professional practitioner.


Discuss current trends in public relations in the Irish context: Corporate Social Responsibility, Branding, Accountability, Multiculturalism and the Influence of the European Union.


Prepare and present a public relations proposal.


Discuss key elements in the role of an in-house press/media officer.


Recognise and manage internal public relations.


Debate the influence of current media and technological trends.


Review the role of public relations in specialist areas including Crisis PR, PR for Charities and voluntary organisations and Political PR.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The teaching and learning for this module comprises of lectures and tutorials.  Workshops, readings, case studies, readings and guest lecturers will also facilitate the teaching and learning in this module.

Module Assessment Strategies

  1. Define public relations and the role of the professional practitioner. Teaching methods - reading, lectures, class discussion, guest lectures, group work. Assessment methods - written exam, presentations.
  2. Discuss current trends in public relations in the Irish context: Corporate Social Responsibility, Branding, Accountability, Multiculturalism and the Influence of the European Union. Teaching methods- case studies, student research and presentation. Assessment methods - written exam, case studies.
  3. Prepare and present a public relations proposal. Teaching methods- presentations, role play and case studies. Assessment methods assignment/project, written exam, case studies.
  4. Discuss key elements in the role of an in-house press/media officer. Teaching methods-reading, lectures, class discussion, guest lectures, group work, case studies, Assessment methods - written exam and group project.
  5. Recognise and manage internal public relations. Teaching methods- lectures, presentations, guest lecturers/speakers, case studies. Assessment methods- assignment/project, written exam and case studies.
  6. Debate the influence of current media and technological trends. Teaching methods- lectures, presentations, guest lectures/speakers, case studies. Assessment methods - assignment/ project ,written exam, case studies
  7. Review the role of public relations in specialist areas including Crisis PR, PR for Charities and voluntary organisations and Political PR. Teaching methods- reading, lectures, class discussion, guest lectures, group work. Assessment methods - case studies, written exam, group project.


Repeat Assessments

The repeat assessment are the same as outlined above.

Indicative Syllabus


1. Defining Public Relations                                                                                                                                                                

  • Define public relations (1)
  • Examine  the historical context of public relations (1,2)
  • Identify the role of the professional public relations practitioner (1,2,3, 4)
  • Discuss brands, attitudes and opinions. (1,2,4)


2.  Ethics in Public Relations                                                                                             

  • Identify ethical public relations  (1,2)
  • Describe codes of ethics (1,2)
  • Define investors, consumers and other publics (1,2,3,4)
  • Review public relations techniques and the implications of lifestyle and societal change. (1,2,3,4,6)
  • Assess the implications of Corporate Social Responsibility. ( 1,2)


3.  Structures and Roles in Public Relations                                                                 

  • Identify structure and management of a public relations consultancy. (1,4,5)
  • Review the stages in preparing and presenting a public relations proposal; including presentation of credentials, taking a brief, research and presentation of proposals. (1,3)
  • Assess the role of technology in delivering effective presentations. (3,6)
  • Recognise creative, persuasive and influential skills. (3,6)
  • Identify the role of an in-house press/media officer and assess the skills needed to undertake this role. ( 1,4,5)                                                                                                                             

4.  Internal Public Relations                                                                                            

  • Explain the role of internal public relations. (1,4,5)
  • Review employee communications and the need for good company spirit. (4,5)
  • Assess the application of internal public relations media and techniques. (4,5,6)
  • Discuss the benefits of internal public relations to employees and management. (1,5)
  • Review the role of public relations in specialist areas including Crisis PR, PR for Charities and voluntary organisations and Political PR.  (2,5,7)


5.  Current Trends in Public Relations                                                                           

  • Describe Innovations and future developments in public relations ( 2,6)
  • Discuss and evaluate career opportunities available ( 1,2)
  • Discuss current trends in public relations in the Irish context: Corporate Social Responsibility, Branding, Accountability, Multiculturalism and the Influence of the European Union. (1,2,6)
  • Identify best practice in the Irish Context. (1,2,6)
  • Review the role of public relations in managing a crisis, promoting the work of a charity or voluntary organisation and public relations in a political context.  (1, 7)



Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
50 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
50 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 PR Proposal Continuous Assessment Group Project 20 % Week 11 3
2 Individual assignment Continuous Assessment Assignment 30 % Week 8 5,7

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam 2 Hour exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 50 % End of Term 1,2,4,5,6,7

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Independent Learning Not Specified Self Study 3 Weekly 3.00
Lecture Lecture Theatre Lecture 1 Weekly 1.00
Lecture Lecture Theatre Lecture 1 Weekly 1.00
Tutorial Flat Classroom Tutorial 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2007-08-12 Public Relations: a practical approach (Second) Gill & Macmillan

This book introduces and positions the strategic roles and functions of PR within general marketing and business objectives. It uses numerous examples, case studies, quotations and current trends from established practices in Ireland and delivers a balanced presentation, illustrating practical advice and current practice. Both internationaal and Irish best practices are presented. Explores various elements of the media in relation to PR, as well as writing press releases, PR photography and event management. Covers the HETAC validated Higher Diploma in Arts in Public Relations syllabus and fully reflects the syllabus of examinations for the Diploma in Public Relations (Public Relations Institute of Ireland). Also suitable for those studying PR as part of a Communications or Marketing course at university/college level.

Recommended Reading
2009-08-19 Exploring Public Relations (2nd Edition) Prentice Hall
ISBN 0273715941 ISBN-13 9780273715948

The most comprehensive and engaging European Public Relations textbook available.

Recommended Reading
2013-01-08 Public Relations Practices (8th Edition) Prentice Hall
ISBN 0133127648 ISBN-13 9780133127645

Directed primarily toward undergraduate marketing college/university majors, this text also provides practical content to current and aspiring industry professionals.

Written by two of the most respected individuals in the field, Public Relations Practices presents timeless case studies to help future practitioners develop agility in the principles and applications of effective two-way communications likely to confront them and their employer.

Recommended Reading
2003-12-17 Public Relations Routledge
ISBN 0750657243 ISBN-13 9780750657242

Public Relations: contemporary issues and techniques offers a definitive guide to public relations management. It provides comprehensive analysis and explanation of a full range of modern PR techniques, spanning both inhouse and agency practice.

The text has involved fundamental restructuring and updating of existing material and the incorporation of the new techniques and strategies, for instance:

* The use of multimedia techniques in PR
* Overseas media and the globalization of media communications
* The latest case examples - notably New Labour's rebranding and media management since 1997, government PR during the 2001 war against Afghanistan, and the 2002 football World Cup

The book presents the core strategies for successful PR combining this with indepth advice on implementation and the everyday techniques that every PR person needs to grasp.

With a range of new user-friendly textual features, the book's practical, how-to focus, wedded to firm theoretical analysis, makes it the ideal text for those studying for professionally accredited examinations such as the IPR, CAM and LCCI awards. It is also a useful aide-memoire for all practising PR professionals.

Recommended Reading
2008-10-01 Crisis Communication: Practical PR Strategies for Reputation Management and Company Survival Kogan Page
ISBN 0749454008 ISBN-13 9780749454005

No company or organization is immune to crisis.  A crisis, however, does not necessarily have to turn into a PR disaster.  Crisis Communications provides readers with advice on how to limit damage by acting quickly and positively.  Moreover, it explains how to turn a crisis into an opportunity by communicating efficiently via a successful public relations strategy.


Crisis Communications is a thorough guide to help prepare an organization for unexpected calamities.  It provides information on accountability, planning, building corporate image, natural disasters, accidents, financial crises, legal issues, corporate re-organization, food crises, negative press, media training and risk managers.


Contributors include: Kathryn Blanchard (USA); Roger Bridgeman (USA); Willem Buitelaar (The Netherlands); Marianne de Bruijn (The Netherlands); Tom Gable (USA); Kathryn H Tunheim (USA); Jerry Hendin (USA); Stuart Hyslop (United Kingdom); Nick Leighton (United Arab Emirates); Thom M Serafin (USA); Bob Oltmanns (USA); Steven Pellegrino (USA); Silvia Pendas de Cassina (Mexico); Nuria Sanchez (Spain); Elizabeth Seigenthaler Courtney (USA); Tony Shelton (USA); Odile Vernier (France); Jim Walsh (Ireland); Tim Wallace (USA); Mania Xenou (Greece).

Recommended Reading
2014-08-28 Internal Communications: A Manual for Practitioners (PR in Practice) Kogan Page
ISBN 0749469323 ISBN-13 9780749469320

Bad company communication can result in high staff turnover, poor results and low morale. Internal Communications draws on examples of best practice in the private, public and non-profit sectors, with case studies of high profile international organizations. The book defines and explains internal communications (IC), providing practical, ready to implement guidance on planning and organizing the IC function and IC teams; understanding audiences; deciding and developing messages; channels, outcomes and  approaches; line managers and leadership; evaluating and reporting; advising leaders; and change and transitions.

The advice in the book is accompanied by downloadable templates for communications in a variety of special situations -- from crises to mergers to business strategies and rebranding. Covering all the core concepts and models, skills and processes, Internal Communications offers a refreshingly practical introduction for students and practitioners alike.

Recommended Reading
2006-05-03 Ethics in Public Relations: Responsible Advocacy SAGE Publications, Inc
ISBN 1412917980 ISBN-13 9781412917988

Ethics in Public Relations: Responsible Advocacy is the first book to identify universal principles of responsible advocacy in public relations. In this engaging book, editors Kathy Fitzpatrick and Carolyn Bronstein bring together prominent authorities in the field to address theoretic and practical issues that illustrate the broad scope and complexity of responsible advocacy in 21st-century public relations.

Recommended Reading
2013-03-05 Crisis Communications: The Definitive Guide to Managing the Message McGraw-Hill Education
ISBN 0071799214 ISBN-13 9780071799218

The Definitive Guide to Communicating in Any Crisis

When facing an already difficult crisis, the last thing a company needs is to make it worse through its own communications or lack thereof. As one who has lived through a number of [business] crises and served as an independent investigator of the crises of others, I consider Steven Finks book to be an excellent guide to avoiding collecting scar tissue of your own by learning from the scar tissue painfully collected by others.Norman R. Augustine, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lockheed Martin

There are few guarantees in business today. Unfortunately, one of them is the inevitability of a crisis having a potentially major effect on your business and your reputation. When your company finds itself in the midst of a crisis, the ripple effects can disrupt lives and business for the foreseeable future if public opinion is not properly shaped and managed.

Skillfully managing the perception of the crisis determines the difference between a companys life or death. Because in the pitched battle between perception and reality, perception always wins.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Crisis communications and crisis management legend Steven Fink gives you everything you need to prepare for the inevitablewhether its in the form of human error, industrial accidents, criminal behavior, or natural disasters.

In this groundbreaking guide, Fink provides a complete toolkit for ensuring smooth communications and lasting business success through any crisis. Crisis Communications offers proactive and preventive methods for preempting potential crises. The book reveals proven strategies for recognizing and averting damaging crisis communications issues before its too late. The book also offers ways to deal with mainstream and social media, use them to your advantage, and neutralize and turn around a hostile media environment Steven Fink uses his decades of expertise and experience in crisis communications to help you:


The explosion of the Internet and, especially, social media, has added a new layer to the business leaders skill set: the ability to handle a crisis quickly and professionally within moments of its occurrence. Livelihoods depend upon it.

With in-depth case studies of Toyota, BP, and Penn State, Crisis Communications provides everything you need to successfully lead your company through todays rocky landscape of businesswhere crises large and small loom around every corner, and the lives of businesses and management teams hang in the balance.

Every major executive in America ought to read at least one book on crisis management. In this way, he or she might be better prepared to deal with the disasters striking organizations at an ever-increasing rate ... The question is: Is Steven Finks book one that busy executives ought to read? The answer is a resounding yes.LOS ANGELES TIMES, FRONT PAGE SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW

Recommended Reading
2008-07-01 Risk Issues and Crisis Management in Public Relations: A Casebook of Best Practice (PR in Practice) Kogan Page
ISBN 0749451076 ISBN-13 9780749451073

The reputation of an organization influences whether or not we buy from, work for, supply to and invest in that organization. This fourth edition of Risk Issues and Crisis Management in Public Relations defines reputation, explores how to value it, and provides practical guidelines for effectively managing it.


This latest edition features new sections on the effects of recent world events, Corporate Social Responsibility, climate change and sustainability, legal revisions and the use of the Internet in a crisis. Featuring new case studies on Oxfam & Starbucks, Sony, Dell, BP, and Wal-mart, the book charts how rapidly the reputation management agenda moves and yet how slowly business learns.

Recommended Reading
2013-10-04 Public Relations: The Basics Routledge
ISBN 0415675839 ISBN-13 9780415675833

Public Relations: The Basics is a highly readable introduction to one of the most exciting and fast-paced media industries. Both the practice and profession of public relations are explored and the focus is on those issues which will be most relevant to those new to the field:

  • The four key phases of public relations campaigns: research, strategy, tactics and evaluation.
  • History and evolution of public relations.
  • Basic concepts of the profession: ethics, professionalism and theoretical underpinnings.

Contemporary international case studies are woven throughout the text ensuring that the book is relevant to a global audience. It also features a glossary and an appendix on first steps towards a career in public relations making this the book the ideal starting point for anyone new to the study of public relations.

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