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COM 227 (Campus) Public Relations

This guide is designed to accompany the campus-based COM-227 course taught by Professor Boroshok.

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Karin Heffernan
 WLLC 222A

Welcome to COM-227: Public Relations

Word cloud of terms related to Public Relations like Public, Many, Presentations, etc.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of public relations in the United States. Students study the major figures in this field as well as organizations, their behaviors, and the relationships between organizations and their publics.

Learning Outcomes

  • COM-227-01: Recognize historical patterns and trends in the field of public relations, and their relevance to the current and future profession (Critical thinking)
  • COM-227-02: Apply basic vocabulary, principles, and concepts of public relations theory and practice
  • COM-227-03: Evaluate a variety of basic public relations activities (Critical thinking)
  • COM-227-04: Select media appropriate for engaging with a given target audience (Technology)

About this course

This is an introductory course and is required for the Communication major as well as the Public Relations minor. This will be an overview of the field of public relations, broken into four segments: Theory, Tactics, Planning, and Measurement. Emphasis will be on the strategic thought process and skills needed by today’s practitioners in U.S. business. We’ll examine what PR practitioners can and can’t do, when not to use PR, and how PR can be applied to either your current job or one you’d like to have in the near future.

What you will learn

By the time the course is complete, you will have learned what PR is (and what it is not), from its ancient origins to its role today as a vital part of marcom and social media. We’ll discuss target audiences, and why knowing who you are communicating with is essential to any successful PR campaign. You will leave the course with a solid overview of the tools and resources used in PR today.

What this guide is for

Each page of this guide provides resources to research required in public relations as well as resources such as news outlets and databases of news/newspaper articles. Use the tabs in the left margin to find resources for target audience research, media outlets/social media platforms research or other resources for assignments in COM-227 Public Relations.This link opens in a new 

PR Research & Messaging

Target Audience(s)

A target audience is the group of people who (you hope) are interested in your product, service, charity or campaign. They are the people who will connect with your cause, buy-in to your brand and care about what you are selling, or how the service you provide can impact their lives. Your audience has a set of characteristics or demographics that they share, they have similar behaviors and can be grouped by their personal preferences. Understanding your target audience is essential for business success. The better you understand your target market, the more impact you will generate with any marketing or PR campaign that you launch. Whether you are thinking about how to write a press release for an event, or you’re checking out the best marketing ideas for small business you need to know your target audience in detail. (Class:PR) To know your target audience you will need to research the various groupings and lifestyle data for each.

Key Messages 

Once you identify and understand your target audience, it is time to clearly design and write the key messages that your client needs to deliver to  those audience(s) to publicize their event/program/activity/service/offering/etc. Prove that these are the right key messages by using lifestyle data gathered about your target audience. 

Media Outlets, Social Media Platforms and Tools

 Once you identify and research the target audience(s) for your client's service/initiative/product/event/etc., and craft messages that will resonate with them, it’s time to match those up with appropriate media outlets, social media platforms and tools to convey that message to them. 

Inverted Pyramid Writing

The inverted pyramid structure simply means placing the most fundamental information in the lead paragraph of the story, and then arranging the remaining details, from most important to least important. 

Upside down triangle with blue, top third saying "most important info leads the story"; middle orange third saying "subsequent paragraphs give additional facts" and green bottom third saying "least important info closes the story."

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