B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communication
The shift from public relations to strategic communication has led to several new realities for both the academy and the profession of public relations.
The field of public relations is no longer solely a “technician” field. Successful managers of strategic communications are required to do more than engage in the technical skills of writing, production and promotion. Though central to their professional growth, writing and technical competency must now be paired with the ability to develop, coordinate and evaluate strategic communication messages and campaigns across multiple communication channels and contexts. The public relations professional is a communication strategist able to work with colleagues in the disciplines of marketing, advertising, journalism, human resources, finance and legal affairs.
Old curricular models emphasized skills and praxis. Today’s public relations and strategic communications professional understands foundations of theory, research and emerging media, and possesses greater recognition of the strategic differences between establishing an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders rather than just sending messages to them.
There is a cry in the industry for graduates who are excellent writers, thinkers and advocates, broadly educated and technologically astute. Organizations are looking for individuals who are able to conduct research, strategically position the organization to internal and external constituencies and emerge as valued counselors, decision makers and leaders.
The interdisciplinary major in Public Relations and Strategic Communications at Southern Methodist University is designed to prepare students for this new reality. The program prepares students to create and manage multi-media communication campaigns in support of the mission, values, brand and strategic objectives of a corporate, political, or non-profit organization, institution or client. Through coursework across advertising, communication studies and journalism, students gain both the strategic and practical skills necessary to engage in the art and practice of public relations. Coursework includes account and message management, multi-media writing, technology, media skills, research and metrics, communication law, ethics and public relations campaign development.
For more information about the B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communications, including degree requirements and how to enroll, please contact the Communications Studies office at 214.768.1574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.