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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Public Relations: Issues and Principles
Module Code CM5970
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Madeline Boughton
Semester 2: Madeline Boughton
Autumn: Madeline Boughton
Module TeachersMadeline Boughton
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

To enable students to define key concepts of public relations; To familiarise students with the workings of press relations and public relations campaigns; To encourage critical thinking in relation to the practice of public relations.

Learning Outcomes

1. Provide a critical understanding of public relations;
2. Evaluate the strategic role of public relations in the creation and maintenance of a corporate or organisational reputation;
3. Analyse a public relations campaign;
4. Illustrate a particular issue or principle of public relations in the practice of PR;
5. Identify and demonstrate the impact of integrated communications campaigns within public relations practice

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Weekly lecture over one semester
Class Presentation25Case Study assignment
Assignment Completion35End of semester essay
Online activity30Use of course related material on moodle
Independent Study127General research and reading
Seminars11Weekly class discussion over one semester
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

What is Public Relations?
"Spin, image and relationships": consideration of the understanding - and public impression - of the Public Relations industry.

Role & Function of Public Relations
Consideration of the role and function of Public Relations within an organisation and its relationship to advertising and marketing functions.

Journalism & Public Relations
Examining the relationship between Public Relations practitioners and journalists.

Poacher turned Gamekeeper
Journalists turned Public Relations practitioners.

Advocacy Public Relations
The role of Public Relations within the non-profit, campaigning and voluntary sector.

New Media
The impact of new media technologies on the practice of Public Relations.

Promises, Promises...
Consideration of the evaluation of Public Relations.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Group project Working in small groups, students will analyse and critique a crisis communications campaign. The students will deliver a presentation and written report on their findings.30%Week 12
EssayStudents will write an essay selected from a range of topics on current issues and trends in contemporary public relations practice which have been covered over the course module.70%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

  • Lloyd, John & Toogood, Laura: 2015, Journalism and PR: news media and public relations in the digital age, I. B. Tauris, London,
  • Capozzi, Louis & Rucci, Susan: 2013, Crisis management in the age of social media: instant crisis, Business Expert Press, New York,
  • Waddinton, Stephen: 2015, Chartered public relations: lessons from expert practitioner, Kogan Page, London,
  • Capozzi, Louis & Rucci, Susan: 2013, Crisis management in the age of social media: instant crisis, Business Expert Press, New York,
  • Fink, Stephen: 2013, Crisis communications: the definitive guide to managing the message, McGraw Hill, New York,
  • LLoyd, John & Toogood, Laura: 2015, Journalism and PR: news media and public relations in the digital age, I. B. Tauras, London,
  • Meerman Scott, David: 2013, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey,
  • Waddington, Stephen: 2015, Chartered public relations: lessons from expert practitioners, Kogan Page, London,
  • Anholt, Simon: 2010, Places, Identity, Image and Reputation, 1st, Macmillan, London,
  • Parsons, P.: 2008, Ethics in Public Relations: A guide to best practice, 2nd, Kogan Page, London,
  • Theaker, Alison: 2020, The Public Relations Handbook, 6th, Routledge, New York,
Other Resources

0, Website, Public Relations Institute of Ireland, 0, Public Relations Institute of Ireland website, https://www.prii.ie/, 0, Website, Chartered Institute of Public Relations, 0, Chartered Institute of Public Relations website, https://www.cipr.co.uk/, 0, Website, Stephen Waddington, 0, Stephen Waddington website and resources, https://wadds.co.uk/,
Programme or List of Programmes
GDSMCGrad Dip in Social Media Communications
MAPMA in Political Communication
MSMCMA in Social Media Communications

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