Public Relations Course
The purpose of this free course is to introduce you to the concepts of strategic public relations. It's based in current research and scholarly knowledge of the public relations discipline as well as years of experience in professional public relations practice.
To introduce the critical function of public relations to an organization and to show how public relations can work to prevent issues and crises, we begin with a case study of United Parcel Service in Chapter 1 "The Importance of Public Relations: UPS Case". Then we emphasize what was learned in this case from the failure of public relations in order to prepare in advance for any contingency. In Chapter 2 "What Is Public Relations?", we introduce the taxonomy of the profession and the concepts prevalent in the strategic management of relationships with publics, and introduce some different names associated with this function. Chapter 3 "Models and Approaches to Public Relations" is an exceptionally important chapter because it introduces the models and approaches to public relations that provide a taxonomy for evaluating communications efforts. The models of public relations are introduced through a brief history of the field, and we also examine the subfunctions or specialties within the profession. Numerous key definitions are provided to help you rapidly master the lexicon of public relations and its professional practice.
Chapter 4 "Public Relations as a Management Function" discusses the inclusion of public relations as a management function, roles and access to the C-suite, decision making, and the core competencies for working in business, including knowledge of strategy and profit motivations. We discuss how chief communications officers (CCOs) earn their seat at the executive table. Much real-world professional experience in business settings provide the backbone of the chapter. Chapter 5 "Organizational Factors for Excellent Public Relations" is extremely important because it discusses how public relations should be organized and structured, and how it should “fit” within the larger organizational culture in order to provide it with the maximum opportunity for success. The chapter draws on research from public relations scholars, business management scholars, and organizational theory. Chapter 6 "Public Relations and Organizational Effectiveness" provides an in-depth discussion of how organizations define success, and how the stakeholder management approach to public relations can provide a concrete strategy for enhancing organizational effectiveness and can contribute to the long-term sustainability of organizations.
How strategic public relations is practiced is covered in Chapter 7 "Identifying and Prioritizing Stakeholders and Publics". Strategic public relations begins with identifying and prioritizing your publics, and building ongoing relationships with them, based on the advanced concepts of stakeholder management. Research is an essential element in strategic public relations and an overview of those methods is provided in Chapter 8 "Public Relations Research: The Key to Strategy", as well as an explanation of the importance of research in strategy and in management. Chapter 9 "The Public Relations Process - RACE" gives an overview of the four-step process of strategic public relations management, abbreviated as RACE, and associated processes of analysis and planning.