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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Contemporary Communication Channels
Module Code CM5025
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Madeline Boughton
Semester 2: Madeline Boughton
Autumn: Madeline Boughton
Module TeachersMadeline Boughton
Craig Dwyer
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module introduces students to the strategic use of emerging communication technologies for effective Public Relations practice. The module will create an awareness among the students of the range of issues to be considered in the strategic use of digital communication channels within contemporary Public Relations.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically analyse emerging platforms in the digital arena.
2. Select the appropriate tools for effective digital communications in Public Relations practice.
3. Develop appropriate metrics to ensure the efficacy of digital media campaigns.
4. Evaluate the strategic role of digital media within a communications campaign.
5. Develop and defend coherent and persuasive arguments for the use of emerging technologies in contemporary Public Relations.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20Lectures on module topics
Online activity40Use of course-related material on Loop.
Independent Study40Daily, critical, observation of contemporary communications across a range of media and platforms.
Assignment Completion30Research, preparation, presentation and submission of module assignments.
Group work20Students will participate in groups on a project for a given client.
Independent Study100Personal research, study and skills development.
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

The Digital Landscape
The evolution of social media and digital communications; key players and emerging trends; Social media in a global context; User Generated Content.

The Social Media Players
An examination of the main players in social media; Successful strategies for participation in these sites; Key metrics for each; This would currently include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.

The Social Media Plan
Developing a plan for social media presence. Tools to monitor and manage across multiple platforms. Dealing with incidents and comments.

Email and Mobile Marketing
Permission-based marketing, email applied; Current mobile techniques, future directions.

Digital Content Strategies
SEO, the integration of owned, earned, and paid content, as well as inbound marketing, native advertising, mobile, local, and social advertising.

Digital metrics & ROI
How data and analytics can be used for strategic contemporary communications; How contemporary communications activities can be assessed in providing an appropriate return on investment (ROI); Evaluation, tools and best practices in integrating social media metrics into a strategic plan.

Digital & Social Strategies
Developing and implementing digital and social strategies;

Legal and Ethical framework
Development of the legal framework around digital communication for Public Relations. Rights and responsibilities in contemporary communications.

Case Studies in Contemporary Communications
Current case studies demonstrating the strategic use of contemporary communications.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Research PaperIndividual case study: a detailed analysis and assessment of a specific example of the use of contemporary communication channels as part of a strategic Public Relations strategy.40%Week 9
Completion of online activityWeekly online commentary on current developments / activities in the use of contemporary communications in Public Relations practice.20%Every Week
Group assignmentGroup project to develop a digital communications plan for a client.40%Week 12
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

  • Capozzi, Louis & Rucci, Susan: 2013, Crisis Management in the age of social media: instant crisis, Business Expert Press, New York, 1606495801
  • Holloman, Christopher: 2013, The Social Media MBA in practice, Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1119963230
  • Motion, Judy; Leitch, Shirley; Heath, Robert L (Robert Lawrence): 2016, Social media and public relations: fake friends and powerful publics, Routledge, New York, 0415856264
  • Noor Al-Deen, Hana S. & Hendricks, John Allen: 2013, Social Media and Strategic Communications, Palgrave,
  • Qualman, Eric: 2013, Socialnomics, 2nd, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1118232658
  • Scott, David Meerman: 2013, The new rules of marketing & PR, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1118488768
  • Sitrick, Michael S: 2016, Spin Faster: Saving your reputation in the age of social media, Regnery Publishing, 1621572862
Other Resources

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

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