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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Strategic & Integrated Communications
Module Code CM50220
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Madeline Boughton
Semester 2: Madeline Boughton
Autumn: Madeline Boughton
Module TeachersMartin Molony
Madeline Boughton
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module provides students with an appreciation of the use of communication as a strategic function by an organisation and how that guides the integration of available tools, channels and strategies to achieve a strategic outcome.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate an understanding of organisational strategy development processes.
2. Critically discuss the nature, contribution and value of communications as a strategic tool of management in organisations.
3. Critically review the current academic conversations in relation to strategic communications.
4. Critique the relationship between an organisation's strategy and its communications strategy.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of integration in communication planning and management.
6. Critically assess the uses and merits of different channel options in an integrated communication campaign or setting.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20Lectures on module topics
Online activity30Use of course-related material on Loop.
Independent Study40Daily, critical observation of advertising and promotions across a range of media and platforms.
Independent Study100Personal research, study and skills development.
Assignment Completion60Completion of module continuous assessment assignments.
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

Organisational strategy and strategy development
What is strategy? Characteristics, models, levels, types and forces that shape strategy. Strategy implementation and measurement.

Defining Strategic Communication as a strategic management function
Communications, strategy and the dominant coalition. What do managers / leaders do? Communication executives as managers and strategists. Public Relations / Communication as a strategic management function; what can public relations and communication executives contribute.

The goals and objectives of strategic communications
Communications strategist or tactician – your choice? The C-MACIE framework. Planning and specifying objectives.

Exploring the key themes and voices in the literature
What are the big themes in the academic literature and what are they telling us about the past, present and future of strategic communications?

Strategic Issues Mangement
Internal and external issues - the building blocks for strategic communications decision making. Why the way they are recognised and diagnosed will determine the response.

Wicked Problems
Slippery wicked problems and the opportunities for communications practitioners as chief sensemakers and sensegivers. Strategic communicators as the ethical conscience of the organisation.

Introduction to IC / IMC
Introduction to integrated marketing communications / integrated communications. Current definitions and introduction to its components (advertising, direct marketing, internet marketing, sales promotion, public relations & personal selling).

Integrating Public Relations
Integrating the various public relations practices and their various components. Planning, implementing and measuring integrated communications.

Public Relations in the Communications Mix
Where does public relations fit into the integrated communications mix? What is the role of the public relations practitioner? Connections between the objectives of public relations and the other components within integrated communications.

Strategic Communications - global and futurist perspectives
How communications executives practice in different parts of the world. What’s the future for public relations in the integrated world? Is public relations misunderstood and what’s its role and the challenges it faces in the new integrated environment where everyone is a communicator? Are public relations professionals being squeezed out?

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentPresent an analysis of the role of the communications function within a given organisation's overall strategy.40%Week 8
Completion of online activityStudents will complete a series of academic questions and quiz based short assessments based on the review and discussion of case studies and related readings.20%As required
Group project Develop a communication strategy which supports the overall strategy of a given organisation or business.40%Sem 2 End
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

  • Belch, George E.; Belch, Michael A: 2021, Advertising and promotion: an integrated marketing communications perspective, 12th edition, McGraw-Hill Irwin, Boston,
  • Berger, Bruce K. & Meng, Juan: 2014, Public Relations Leaders as Sensemakers: a global study of leadership in Public Relations and communication management, Routledge, New York,
  • Farwell, James P.: 2013, Persuasion and Power: The Art of Strategic Communication, Georgetown University Press,
  • Gartner, Ulich: 2021, Corporate Communications in Restructuring Phases: Successfully Shaping Change with Strategic Communication, Springer, Wiesbaden,
  • Grunig, James E.: 2013, Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management, Routledge,
  • Holtzhausen, Derina Rhoda: 2021, Principles of strategic communication, Routledge, New York,
  • Holtzhausen, Derina & Zerfass, Ansgar: 2015, The Routledge Handbook of Strategic Communication, Routledge, New York,
  • Lafley, A. G.: 2013, Playing to Win: How strategy really works, Harvard Business Review Press,
  • Moss, Danny & Desanto, Barbara: 2012, Public Relations: A Managerial Perspective, Sage Publications,
  • Noor Al-Deen, Hana S. & Hendricks, John Allen: 2013, Social Media and Strategic Communications, Palgrave,
  • Oliveira, Evandro, Goncalves, Gisela & Melo, Ana Duarte (Editors): 2019, Strategic communication for non-profit organisations : challenges and alternative approaches, Vernon Press, Wilmington, Delaware,
  • Percy, Larry: 2018, Strategic Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd edition, Routledge,
Other Resources

58081, Ted Talk, Sinek, Simon, 2009, How great leaders inspire action, Puget Sound, TEDx, https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_ho w_great_leaders_inspire_action?language= en,
Programme or List of Programmes
GDPRSCGrad Dip in Public Relations&Strat Comms
MSCPRMSc in Public Relations & Strategic Comm

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