Public Relations Track

It’s no secret: When the term “public relations” is mentioned, many people associate with it the word “spin.” Yes, public relations pros are many times tapped to speak at press conferences when a crisis occurs. But the simple fact is that these communication professionals are vital to ensuring messages of all types are disseminated to various publics clearly and efficiently.

The Public Relations track at La Salle University pairs expert, world-renowned faculty with innovative courses to provide students with the tools needed to succeed in this profession. Relationships with local and national organizations allow access to outstanding internship opportunities at places like the American Cancer Society, the Philadelphia Phillies, and a number of agencies with specialties ranging from crisis communications to online reputation development.

Portfolio Piece

Students will work with a local organization to plan, develop, and institute public relations campaigns. These items can be packaged for individual portfolios that can be distributed to employers during job interviews. 

Curriculum Overview

Our coursework prepares students for careers in corporate, nonprofit, and agency public relations and related fields. Communication majors are required to take the courses below to complete the Public Relations track. You can also view full course descriptions.

Principles of Public Relations (COM 207)

This course offers an introduction to the field of public relations and examples of how the profession is much more than creating “spin.” Topics include:

  • Influence of public relations on culture, business, politics, and society
  • Role of public relations in organizational relationships
  • Communication, research, and interpersonal skills required for success
  • Case studies of one of the fastest-growing communication professions

Fundamentals of Journalism (COM 206)
This is a beginning journalism course that teaches the basics around news reporting and writing for various platforms. Topics include:

  • Reporting and writing for print, broadcast, and online media
  • News reporting best practices
  • Introduction to feature writing

Persuasion, Power, and Influence (COM 312)

This enlightening course offers insight into the ways people and messages can influence decision making. Topics include:

  • Persuasion theories and techniques
  • Persuasion in interpersonal settings and mass-mediated campaigns
  • Oral and written persuasion
  • How to enhance your abilities as both consumer and practitioner

Communication Research and Analysis (COM 316)

Research is vital to effective public relations, and this course teaches effective research practices. Topics include:

  • Strategic collection and analysis of information in professional settings
  • Using research to solve problems
  • Situational and content analyses
  • Designing and implanting surveys
  • Interviewing and focus groups

Organizational Communication (COM 317)

This course has a focus on historical and contemporary communication theories and practices and their impact on an organization’s success or failure. Topics include:

  • Contemporary organizational issues
  • Leadership communication
  • Interviewing and the job search
  • Organizational culture
  • Impacts of globalization and technology

Public Relations Writing (COM 357)

Solid writing ability is the cornerstone of being a successful public relations practitioner. You will be challenged to learn brevity and how to write to engage readers. Topics include:

  • Planning and pre-writing
  • Press release writing and distribution
  • Writing backgrounders, brochures, newsletter articles, and public service announcements
  • Writing to engage various publics as well as an organization’s internal key stakeholders

Public Relations Cases and Campaigns (COM 387)

In this course, students will take a deep dive into best practices for public relations campaigns and responses, including a look at specific case studies with positive and negative outcomes. Topics include:

  • Elements and touch-points of strategic public relations
  • Application of techniques and theories into communication programs and campaigns
  • Exploration of current trends and how they influence planning

Public Relations Management (COM 407)

This is a service-learning class in which students apply their knowledge and skills. Highlights include:

  • Collaboration with community organizations
  • Developing public relations plans and campaigns that can be used for portfolio pieces at interviews

Prerequisites: COM 207, 316, 357, 387