Strategic Public Relations

Module description

This elective module is aimed at future CEOs, directors and senior team members wishing to understand their central role in their organisation’s reputation and to give them a framework with which to build a communication strategy and to shape all other strategies from a reputation standpoint.

Too few at the top understand how a reputation is developed and nurtured through the establishment of trust through relationships but they all too often see how easily they are squandered in a crisis.

The four day module will include masterclasses and challenges from leading chartered public relations practitioners as well as lectures, relevant and current case studies and interactive workshops.

Internationalisation:  the module will draw on recent scholarship in the areas of public relations and communication and case studies based on a variety of national contexts.

Sustainability: the module will look at sustainability as part of public relations in context, professional practice (especially CSR) and campaign planning.

External Engagement: external speakers will contribute to the module.

Employability: the module will offer an opportunity to acquire knowledge and develop analytical skills for those pursuing careers in leadership, public relations and communication

Ethics and Corporate Responsibility: the module will look at ethics specifically as part of professional practice but also throughout the course.

Research in Teaching: the module will draw on research articles in the first instance; use the module leader’s research expertise in the areas of discussion; and engage you in independent research to produce a case study.

Full module specification

Module title:Strategic Public Relations
Module code:MBAM933
Module level:M
Academic year:2015/6
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Nicolas Forsans - Convenor
Module credit:10
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 3:

4 days

Module aims

The foundations upon which reputations are built will be considered and analysed along with the threats and opportunities, which may be faced. The leading theoretical models within the PR body of knowledge will be employed to underpin the practicalities of working within fast moving news, social, legal, environmental and economic agendas. All of the presenters will be currently employed, at senior levels in PR practice and will draw upon live and recent case studies to enable students to feel confident in taking a lead role in the decision making frameworks required.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. apply a range of planning concepts to different public relations contexts
  • 2. develop strategic objectives aligned with corporate goals

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. critically evaluate a wide range of public relations theories, concepts and practice
  • 4. locate public relations theory and practice in wider academic and social contexts
  • 5. evaluate the impact of public relations on a range of public and private sector organisations
  • 6. articulate the role of leadership in the establishment and maintenance of reputation
  • 7. design effective internal and external communication
  • 8. review the risk register with reputation and relationships in mind
  • 9. be pro-active with issues and crisis management

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. analyse and prioritise the situation, environmental issues, and the needs and interests of public
  • 11. select appropriate research and evaluation tools
  • 12. lead the debate rather than react to those of others
  • 13. anticipate and be opportunistic to threats and every day occurrences

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities28Lectures, Interactive workshop,
Guided independent study72Reading, personal research exercise, writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Workshop activities3 x 15 minutes each1 - 13Oral and peer feedback
Presentation20 minutes1 - 13Written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
3 Workshop activities (Group)603 x 30 minutes each1 - 13Oral and peer feedback
Group Assignment40 3000 wordsDependent on assignment focusWritten feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group assignment and workshop activitiesIndividual assignment 3000 words1 - 136 weeks from briefing

Re-assessment notes

The above reassessment is applicable for those students who fail the module, If students are granted a deferral for a component, reassessment will be in that component alone.

Syllabus plan

Day One

Theory and practice of public relations

Definitions of public relations, applying theory, and reflective practice

Public relations in context: public relations and the organisation, communications theory, international perspectives, marketing and diversity

Day Two

Strategic public relations

Leadership, dialogue and persuasion models, different theoretical perspectives, reputation and relationship management, trust, branding, the challenge of the online environment

Professional practice

Ethics and professionalism, corporate social responsibility/community relations/sustainability and stakeholder theory, internal communications, professional roles, strategic media management

Day Three

Strategic planning and communication management

Risk, issues and crisis management, stakeholders and publics, the corporate context

Planning research and evaluation

Research to assess the situation, research to monitor progress, research to assess impact and return on investment

Day Four

Campaign planning

Planning models, objective setting, creativity, messaging, strategy and tactics, budgeting, timescales and resource

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Wolstenhome, S. (2013)  An Introduction to Public Relations, Pearson.

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date