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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Contemporary Public Relations Issues
Module Code CM5014
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Martin Molony
Semester 2: Martin Molony
Autumn: Martin Molony
Module TeachersMartin Molony
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module will provide students with an awareness of the current issues that face public relations professionals in Ireland. The module is delivered online and centres around seven recorded discussion panels of Irish Public Relations practitioners. Each discussion panel covers a distinct topic related the contemporary practice of Public Relations. Each discussion is followed by a lecture and an online discussion, drawing together the issues raised by the panel. Each year a number of the discussions will be re-recorded to keep the material current. New topics will be added as they become relevant to contemporary Public Relations practice.

Learning Outcomes

1. Appreciate the continually changing environment within which organisations are operating and be able to anticipate the impact this might have on the practice of Public Relations.
2. Reflect critically on academic and professional aspects of Public Relations.
3. Appreciate the importance of professionalism in developing contemporary Public Relations strategies.
4. Consolidate knowledge and develop innovative approaches to handling contemporary issues.
5. Identify and explain the issues most pertinent to the practice of Public Relations.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Online activity15Recorded panel discussions: viewing and reviewing.
Online activity10Lectures: following each panel discussion.
Online activity25Engagement with forums on Loop.
Online activity50Engagement with digital materials.
Assignment Completion50Researching and completion of course assignments.
Independent Study100Sourcing and reading module-related materials.
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Public Relations Practice
The evolving role of Public Relations: How is it organised? What is the relationship between client and agency? What is the role and function of professional bodies? The trusted adviser and influencer.

Stakeholder Relationship Management
Stakeholder management is central to all effective communications and Public Relations planning and implementation. Leading practitioners will tell us about challenges of managing multiple stakeholders. This can range from local community engagements to national Government lobbying, which is increasingly regulated.

Social Media & Public Relations
The Impact and Rewards of Social Media on Public Relations: how it is impacting on the practice of Public Relations and communications and how practitioners are coping.

Practising in an Instant World
The right or wrong message can circulate around the world in an instant. While this has great potential, it can create enormous challenges. How do practitioners cope?

The Importance of Credibility
Honesty, integrity and consistency are essential to ethical Public Relations practice. How is the profession meeting these standards?

Measuring Public Relations Success
The measurement and evaluation of communication is an enduring discussion in public relations research and practice. How can Irish Public Relations practitioners handle accusations of a "smoke and mirrors" approach and prove Return On Investment (ROI) for their organisations and clients?

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reflective journalStudents should complete a reflective journal entry for each of the separate topics covered in this module. This journal should indicate intellectual progress, critical responses and links between the discussions, the lectures and appropriate reading.50%As required
Completion of online activityContribution to online discussions.20%Every Week
Report(s)Students are required to critique the annual conference of the Public Relations Institute of Ireland.30%Week 8
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • L'Etang, Jacquie: 2015, The Routledge handbook of critical public relations, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon,
  • Meerman Scott, David: 2015, The New Rules of Marketing & PR, 5th, Wiley,
  • Moss, Danny & DeSanto, Barbara: 2011, Public relations: a managerial perspective, Sage, London,
  • Rogers, Danny: 2015, Campaigns the Shook the World: The Evolution of Public Relations, Kogan Page,
  • Waddington, Stephen: 2015, Chartered public relations: lessons from expert practitioners, Kogan Page, London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
GDPRSCGrad Dip in Public Relations&Strat Comms
MSCPRMSc in Public Relations & Strategic Comm

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