Communications, as a management discipline, must not only be swift to react, but be forward thinking to anticipate and help solve future problems. Change Management Communications is increasingly where practitioners can demonstrate greatest value, as businesses, and their employees, navigate uncharted waters at a furious pace. This hands-on class will help prepare practitioners to identify and act on the communications implications of change. Using a mix of case studies, practical workshops, and group discussion, students will sharpen communications skills, from storytelling to consultative listening, by looking at them anew through the change “lens.” The forces driving change are not simply impacting individual companies but upending entire industries, and spawning entirely new ones. Such change compels companies to rethink their business strategy, reposition themselves in the marketplace, and redefine their value proposition to customers. Business leaders need to acquire new communications skills to help employees take actions to reach new goals. In-house communications teams must reimagine themselves to fulfill their new role. The class will address these, and other, aspects of change. Participants will be encouraged to explore communications, business and other readings – the point being that practitioners need to ‘connect the dots’ between information and issues beyond the traditional boundaries of communications be effective change partners.
Course #: MPPR-886-01
Dates: Jan 13 – May 15, 2021
Ongoing research and evaluation is crucial to every step in the public relations process--from gathering the initial information needed for campaign planning to
evaluating the effectiveness of the effort. This course provides students with an
overview of research methods and techniques including secondary, primary, and
informal research. Students also learn about the range of evaluation techniques. These include media analysis and measurement for both traditional and online media, competitive intelligence and fact-finding, focus group and custom survey research, and media segmentation and targeting. At the end of the course, students are prepared to prove the worth of communications and demonstrate value with solid data, projections and new insights for future campaigns.
Conversations About Ethics: Philosophical, Professional, and Personal
The MPS program aims to educate the whole person and believes that this process starts with the study of ethics. Looking at ethics through a professional lens, this course asks students to explore their own values and challenges them to codify and commit to their own code of ethics in relationship to professional codes of conduct and best practices. Students will gain a solid foundation in ethics and relate what they learn to their own professional situation through class discussions, case studies, and guest lectures conducted by Georgetown University ethicists as well as communications professionals. This course is required for all MPS students and must be completed by the second semester in the program.
Note: Core requirement for the MPS degree. Students must receive a grade of a "B" or better in this course.
This course is designed to provide communications professionals with a deep understanding of the interplay between the many corporate communications functions and best-practice approaches to their strategic integration. We will examine how successful communicators leverage the skills of influence, persuasion and organizational awareness to establish themselves as true business partners and, ultimately, maximize their contributions to and impact on the business. In addition to completing the assigned readings, students will survey – and challenge – a broad range of best practices as we consider case studies compiled from organizations of all types and size. Every third class will serve as a lab practical to reinforce the concepts discussed during the prior two sessions, and to give students a chance to apply relevant theories, principles and experiences to real-life scenarios. Working in small groups, the students will devise original solutions to address their assigned issues. The solutions will be submitted for comment and analysis, and some work will be discussed and presented during class time. Upon conclusion of the course, students will have a timely, finely-tuned perspective on how to sell themselves and their know-how to senior teams by partnering with a business and its leaders to build strategies that enable and support business goals.
This course examines the processes for gathering, interpreting, and presenting compelling digital data. Students will learn to use digital public opinion polling, specialized reports, social media platforms, digital analysis tools, and news aggregators to explain market research, audience trends, and social conversations. Students will also create data visualization tools to streamline data presentation into succinct, engaging formats.
Note: This course is cross-listed with MPMC 806 and MPJO 506.
Responding to scrutiny during a crisis is nothing new. Social media, however, amplifies the coverage and consequently the risk to reputation. Considering the magnitude, variety and lifecycle of these risks, traditional crisis responses that are limited to media relations responses no longer suffice. Today, communicators that are best-equipped for such crises are those who can develop and apply a multi-faceted and multi-channel strategy that not only protects their brand, but enhances it. This class equips students with the knowledge on how to use various tools, techniques and technology to successfully anticipate and navigate online firestorms and prepare themselves and their employers for the potential outcomes.
Mastering communications planning is a building block for success in MPS PR/CC and in your career. Students learn the Georgetown way of step-by-step communications planning. The course focuses on each of the elements in-depth and provides opportunities for practice and ultimately mastery. Each element of the model builds on the next starting with the research to create a situational analysis to learning the difference between a goal and objective and strategies and tactics. Students learn how to identify key publics and to create targeted messaging. Evaluation and creating a budget and timeline are also examined. At the end of the course, students understand the planning model and know how to apply it a range of communications challenges. Students are prepared for their capstone experience and other coursework.
Note: Foundation course requirement for the PRCC program. Students must receive a grade of a "B" or better in this course.
The average consumer is bombarded with thousands of messages every single day. Grassroots and word-of-mouth communications can cut through the clutter, make your message stick, and persuade people to take action. Grassroots is the oldest form of communications and among the most effective. But many marketing and communications professionals overlook these important, yet inexpensive, strategies. In this course we'll discuss the history of grassroots communications, the theories behind it all, and develop "how-to" tactics that can help any business, non-profit or political organizer succeed in the 21st century.
Note: The average consumer is bombarded with thousands of messages every single day. Grassroots and word-of-mouth communications can cut through the clutter, make your message stick, and persuade people to take action. Grassroots is the oldest form of communications and among the most effective. But many marketing and communications professionals overlook these important, yet inexpensive, strategies. In this course we'll discuss the history of grassroots communications, the theories behind it all, and develop "how-to" tactics that can help any business, non-profit or political organizer succeed in the 21st century.
This one-credit course is designed to give credit for students doing an internship with an organization that requires them to receive credit. The internships should be substantive and have the goal of providing relevant industry experience, portfolio items or other professional work for students to use when looking for jobs.
This course is also meant as a way to help support students who are doing internships. Students are expected to check in every week with the instructor about their experience so that the instructor can give guidance for the internship and for working within a professional organization.
Students must ask for permission to take this course.
Note: Extensive, documented academic activity and experimental learning
outside the classroom (min. 6-8 hours/week) required.
Needs Department Approval
This one-credit course is designed to offer students the opportunity work as interns with an organization that requires the student to receive academic credit for work performed during a given semester. The internships should be substantive and have the goal of providing relevant industry experience, portfolio items or other professional work for students to use when seeking future employment.
As an extension of MPPR 863: MPS PR/CC Internship I, this course is designed to help students solidify their career as a strategic communications professional. This course is also meant as a way to help support students during their internship experience. Students are expected to check in every week with the instructor about their experience so that the instructor can give guidance regarding the internship and working within a professional organization.
Students must ask for permission to take this course. The query email to the instructor should include the following:
Name of organization and internship supervisor
Contact information (email and phone number) for supervisor
List of internship duties
Hours expected to work each week
Proposed start and end dates
A completed Internship Agreement form
If needed, program administrators can generate a letter to send to the organization to confirm that the student is receiving credit.
Note: Internship II is for students who have completed Internship I. Extensive documented
academic activity and experimental learning outside the classroom (min. 6-8 hrs/wk) required.
Needs Department Approval
Note: Registration in the class requires department approval.
Course #: MPPR-876-01
Dates: Jan 13 – May 15, 2021
Thought leadership and personal branding are two essential, yet often ambiguous ingredients in a career strategy. This course will arm students with the resources to evaluate, improve, and employ personal branding strategies for themselves and for key members of their organizational team. The course will discuss personal branding strategies in both digital and event contexts – including social media platforms, presentations, and networking opportunities.
Note: This course is cross-listed as MPMC 891-01 and MPJO 891-01. Must have completed MPPR 505: Elements of Communications Planning to take this course.
Public Relations and Corporate Communications Capstone
Capstone is the final academic opportunity to assess and apply your strategic communications skills and knowledge. The course focuses on the comprehensive skills you have built throughout your time in MPS PR/CC by evaluating your writing, strategic thinking, creativity, and ethical framework in a real-time context. During your final challenge, you will apply your strategic communications skills to an existing communications challenge identified by a company/organization of your choosing. Working individually, you will respond to a communication problem or opportunity for your client. At the close of the semester, you will be expected to write and present a well-researched, insightful, creative plan that illuminates how your strategic considerations will lead to positive outcomes for your client. Your plan will tell the story of the original research, implementation plan, timelines and budget necessary to meet the client’s communication goal. Although the primary focus for the semester is on creating a comprehensive plan, there will be in-class assignments to review and diagnose your mastery of specific concepts in strategic communications planning and responsible communication. The capstone experience is intended to ensure you have the strategic skills and confidence necessary to be a leader in responsible communication, and provide a unique networking and career-enhancing opportunity. In addition to the minimum, cumulative grade point average of 3.0 required for graduation from the MPS PR/CC program, you must receive a minimum grade of a B in the capstone course to graduate. Students with a 3.0 cumulative GPA, who receive a final grade of a B- or below may receive one opportunity to retake the course, if approved by the associate dean.
Note: If you started the program fall 2017 and beyond, your additional pre-requisites are MPPR 502 Comms Research and MPPR 508 PR Writing. Students must receive a grade of a "B" or better in this course.
Despite Internet-driven mass communications' impact on public relations strategies, a core strength of any successful communications professional is a solid understanding of what is newsworthy, coupled with strong writing skills. T his course is designed to help students develop professional writing skills expected of PR practitioners, and covers many forms of public relations writing including press releases, statements, public service announcements, media correspondence, media advisories, newsletter articles, fact sheets, and talking points. Good writing takes practice, hard work, discipline, focus and persistence. Through in-class assignments and homework, students will learn to organize and plan their writing both with and without deadline pressure. Successful students will be able to continue in their PR career or pursue a job in public relations with the assurance that they have had professional exposure to a breadth of writing that will serve them well in their professional lives.
Note: Understanding where an industry came from is a key component of propelling in forward. This course will focus on understanding the people, stories, and theories that made public relations the powerhouse industry it is today. From the origins of the first press statement to philosophical concepts to historical influences to strategic communication theory to taking a critical look at current events, students will complete this course with a new-found appreciation and understanding for the communication industry through the critical context surrounding today’s most pressing issues. Students taking this course can expect weekly readings, debates, peer-to-peer learning, film and documentary analysis, lectures, guest speakers, in-depth conversations connecting theory and practice. This course is highly participatory and discussion-based with a focus on improving critical thinking, problem solving, thought articulation, and writing skills.
Course #: MPPR-700-01
Dates: Jan 13 – May 15, 2021
Public Relations Writing
Despite Internet-driven mass communications' impact on public relations strategies, a core strength of any successful communications professional is a solid understanding of what is newsworthy, coupled with strong writing skills. This course is designed to help students develop professional writing skills expected of PR practitioners, and covers many forms of public relations writing including press releases, statements, public service announcements, media correspondence, media advisories, newsletter articles, fact sheets, and talking points. Good writing takes practice, hard work, discipline, focus and persistence. Through in-class assignments and homework, students will learn to organize and plan their writing both with and without deadline pressure. Successful students will be able to continue in their PR career or pursue a job in public relations with the assurance that they have had professional exposure to a breadth of writing that will serve them well in their professional lives.
Every cause is driven by its supporters — from donors, to volunteer leaders, to advocates. We’ll use the latest in behavioral economics, program analytics, and brain science to show how you can inspire your audiences to support a non-profit cause and do good in the world.
This course will explore:
- how people are “wired” to support causes, and how to best persuade them to increase their support;
- how age impacts what people want from the causes they support;
- best practices for strategies and tactics that non-profits (and progressive brands) use to drive support.
In the end, students will know how to craft (and evaluate) a pragmatic conversion strategy -- acquisition, conversion, activation, engagement and retention -- that goes beyond just informing and educating, but actually drives behavior..
Note: This course is cross-listed with MPMC 841. Students must have completed MPPR 505 - Elements of Communications Planning & MPPR 502 Communications Research to take this course.
Speeches can be powerful tools not only of persuasion but also of inspiration, hence the work of speech writing is often seen as daunting. Yet speech writing is only another form of professional writing: it is subject to organization and is a function of critical thinking. Speech writing can be one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable kinds of writing given the very public employment of the work product, but perhaps the greatest satisfaction comes from the act of mixing subject expertise, critical analysis, arcane knowledge, wordplay, personality, and the ability to impose new structures on familiar ideas. In this course, students will learn the classic elements of speeches and will explore traditional and alternative formats for speeches and oratory. Through lectures, in-class workshops of assignments, and discussion, students will significantly enhance their ability to produce speeches matched to speaker, occasion, and subject.
History has shown that stories and storytelling are inextricably linked to what it means to be human. Before we had formal communication, storytelling was the method through which we made sense of the world and that core function of the phenomenon has never changed. We dream in stories, buy products and support charitable causes because of stories, vote for candidates in part because of their storytelling ability, and, yes, even close our office doors and gossip thanks to the help of stories! This experiential and client-facing course will provide students with an opportunity to think critically about the endless ways in which storytelling can be utilized in modern ways for both professional and personal usage and then apply that knowledge through practical applications. To help them do so, students will work with a variety of clients, engage with guest storytellers and attend local field trips in order to analyze, create and practice a wide range of storytelling strategies.