Public Relations

Public Relations

Public Relations majors incorporate writing skills, digital media, creativity and strategic planning to produce PR campaigns. Emphasis is placed on understanding the theoretical foundation of public relations and using that knowledge to incorporate 21st century tools into strategic communication approaches.

Union’s public relations program is one of only 32 universities in the world  to receive Certified in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) status from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The program is one of two universities in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) to earn CEPR. The program also has a vibrant PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) chapter, making it one of only 7 schools in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) to earn this distinction.

Major Requirements: —48 hours

  • Requirements —33 hours
  • COM 121, 220 or 236,  242, 320, 323, 343, 356, 360,  416, 423, 430
  • Professional Electives— 15 hours
  • Select 6 hours from: COM 325, 329, 351, 415
  • Select 9 hours from: COM 399(x2), COM 210(x2), COM 488

Minor Requirements:—21 hours

  • COM 242, 323, 343, 423
  • Select 9 hours from: COM 121, 220, 236, 320, 329, 351, 360, 356, 415, 416


COM 121 Writing Across Media Platforms

 Introduction to news writing skills for the beginning media student to understand the differences and similarities of writing for print and broadcast media. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall, Spring.

COM 220 Digital Storytelling

 An introductory course to visual storytelling using a variety of digital media. Students will learn to create and deliver compelling and emotionally engaging narratives for a variety of purposes, combining video, still images, audio and interactivity. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall and Spring.

COM 236 Digital Photography

 The basics of seeing a story-telling photograph and learning to apply the basics of photography to help communicate a message. Emphasis will be placed on setting high standards of visual integrity and communication ethics and on developing an understanding of the role of photojournalism in shaping and reflecting contemporary society. The history of photojournalism, current trends, and the varied challenges found in this field will be explored. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall and Spring.

COM 242 Communication Theory and Research

 Major theories, models, and conceptualizations of communication with emphasis on practical applications of research. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Spring.

COM 320 Organizational Communication

 Organizational structure, communication networks, and employer-employee relationships. Emphasis: conducting interviews and performance appraisals, decision-making strategies, ethics, team-building, and the communication audit. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Spring.

COM 323 Principles of Public Relations

 Introduction to principles, practices, context, and structure of public relations examining both the process and its implementation in business, industry, and institutions. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall.

COM 343 Public Relations Writing

 Prerequisite: COM 121; Corequisite: COM 323. Practical application of public relations writing process for various media with focus on targeting publics using research, audience analysis, message design, and selection of communication channels. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall.

COM 356 Social Media Theory & Strategies

 An exploration of the theoretical foundations of social media and the relevant strategies necessary to understand, critically evaluate, and create in this emerging digital space. The course will be split between thinking critically about the ramifications of social media on personal and professional communication, and gaining fluency in the tools necessary to create a strategic digital identity. Credit Hours: 3. Offered in the Spring.

COM 360 Publication Design

 Using hands-on experiences to edit, design, layout, and develop camera-ready documents to provide practical knowledge of state-of-the-art publishing technology. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall and Spring.

COM 416 Persuasion

 A study of theories, strategies, and applications relating to persuasion. Students examine rhetorical address, advertising, public relations, interpersonal communication, and political communication. Topics include language, ethics, audience-analysis, imagery, culture, reasoning, credibility, and motivation. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Spring.

COM 423 Publication Relations Campaigns

 Prerequisites: COM 242, 323, and 343. Examines preparation of comprehensive public relations campaigns with emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving through use of case studies. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Spring.

COM 430 Communications Law

 Prerequisite: Senior standing. The legal controls and government regulations on mass media. Students will study case precedents involving the freedom and rights of the press and broadcasters. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Spring.

COM 325 Communication Training & Development

 An interactive experience emphasizing the process by which organizations help managers and employees improve performance and increase job satisfaction. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall, even years.

COM 329 Principles of Advertising

 An overview of the field of advertising, including its history in the United States, advertising as a business, current career opportunities in the field, and past and current trends in both traditional and new media. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall.

COM 351 Reporting for Print and Online Media

 Prerequisites:  COM 121 and 220. This course is designed to improve and expand the news gathering and writing skills of the media student, further developing understanding of print news writing, news judgment and construction of print news stories, as well as social responsibility and an ethical framework for print journalists.Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall.

COM 415 Magazine and Feature Writing

 Prerequisites: COM 351 and Senior standing. Practical experience in mastering the craft of writing the special feature; each student is encouraged to prepare an article for publication. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Spring.

COM 210 Journalism Practicum

 Prerequisites: COM 121. Application of journalism fundamentals to the Cardinal & Cream. Includes: writing, editing, layout, advertising, management and production. May be taken 2 times. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall and Spring.

COM 399 Advanced Communication Practicum

 Prerequisites:  Instructor Consent. Application of public relations fundamentals through Bulldog Communication Group. Includes: writing, editing, strategic planning, design, management and production. May be taken 2 times. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall and Spring.

COM 488 Internship in Public Relations

 Prerequisites: COM 323; 3 required courses in the major; Permission of Chair. Students are assigned as interns to obtain supervised practical work at a local business in public relations. Credit hours: 3. Offered in the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.