COM330: Intro to Public Relations
Fall 2007, Course 444, Section 001
MWF 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., 207 Self Hall
Instructor: Dr. Jeffrey Hedrick Office: 111 Self Hall
Office Phone: (256) 782-5399. E-mail address: email@example.com
Office Hours: MW 8:45-9:45, TR 2:15-4:00 Other times by appointment
Required text: Scott M. Cutlip, Allen H. Center, and Glen M. Broom.
(2006). Effective Public Relations (9th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice
Hall, Inc. ISBN # 0-13-008200-7
I. Catalog Course Description:
Intro to Public Relations (3). Prerequisites: EH 101, COM 200.
Basic concepts of public relations, including history, theory,
organization and ethics. Writing emphasized.
II. COURSE Rationale: This course provides a foundation for the public relations major. In
Intro of Public Relations you will learn about the theory and practice of public relations, how
public relations operates in organizations, its impact on publics function(s) in society. You will
study the professional development of the field; concepts, issues, and principles in the practice;
and models and theories guiding the practice. You will apply course materials to public relations
program (campaign) planning and/or preparation for strategic crisis management by working on
a research paper proposal that involves cultural or diversity issues in the public relations field.
For those seeking careers in public relations, the course addresses these needs as well as
those planning other professional and managerial careers that require an understanding of public
relations concepts and management practices, as well as providing a global understanding of the
language, gender, ethnic diversity issues as they apply to public relations areas.
III. Primary COURSE OBJECTIVES/Expected Outcomes for Class
After completion of this course, each student should be able to:
• write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications profession(s),
audiences, and purpose(s) they serve
• critically evaluate their own work and that of others, analyzing and editing it for accuracy and
fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness
• demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of public relations professionals and
institutions in shaping community
• demonstrate an understanding of diversity of groups in a global society, from an ethnic, gender,
economic, and political perspective, in relation to public relations communication activities
• demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of
truth, accuracy, fairness, and diversity
There will also be activities and writing exercises/papers that will assist you in:
• thinking critically, creatively, and independently
• understanding concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information
• understanding and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and the press, particularly
in the areas of privacy and libel as they concern public relations work/activities, as well as
internal legal issues and conflicts that professionals face.
IV. ATTENDANCE - Absence and Make Up Policy
Students are expected to attend lecture sessions on a regular basis. After the beginning
with the second unexcused, non-attendance will result in points deducted from the
participation-points grade. Those conscientious students who have zero (+10) absences will be
rewarded with bonus points. Students are expected to submit a special participation request when
asking for special permission not to attend, due to other university-related activity(s). This will
allow for the scheduling of alternatives (such as note-taking or making up exams). Other
personal extra-curricular activities do not qualify as an excused absence (such as attending the
wedding of a friend, a funeral of someone other than a relative, or any other social activity).
It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor, in the event that a graded quiz or
any testing date (see class schedule) is missed. Students are expected to contact the professor by
email, concerning any petitions for acceptance of non-attendance. Generally speaking,
extenuating circumstances of an unforeseeable nature will be the only instances that will not
count as unexcused absences
Late Work Policy
Unless you miss class for one of the valid reasons mentioned above, do not even think
about turning an assignment in late. Remember, you are taking a communication course, so you
will be expected to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively with your instructor,
either verbally or through GEM account email; email attachments sent before class starts are
accepted w/o deduction.
Assessing Your Learning: Tests and Quizzes
This course is a lecture/discussion course, and those who attend class regularly will have
less trouble understanding the concepts your professor identifies in class. The quizzes emphasize
what students will be expected to remember for exams, while serving as a study guide as well.
Grades for this course will be based on the following:
Graded Tests (two tests worth 200 pts each + final exam, worth 150 pts): 550 pts total
Multiple-choice and true-false questions on exams offer an efficient and reasonably
effective way to determine whether you know various concepts and terms that you should
be familiar with before you enter the workplace. An advantage of this format is it allows
for answer sheets that can easily graded. There will be three such exams this semester.
Graded Quizzes (15 total, worth 10 pts. each; top ten scores counted): 100 pts total
Also, you are expected to participate in daily quizzes covering the assigned readings that
assist in preparing you for the exams. Generally speaking, they will be administered at
the beginning of the course session, starting with the second session. Excused absences or
late attendance are not justification for makeup quizzes; such instances will be counted as
dropped quiz scores, grade-wise. Be aware that the majority of the quiz questions will be
replicated, many identically, some with revised order of answers, within your exams, and
this is designed as an attendance inducement.
Participation in Class Discussion/Attendance: 50 pts total
Dr. Hedrick promises to do his best to make the course interesting and even fun, and
there will be many opportunities for discussion. Learning is a collaborative effort
between instructor and students. It is not simply a process whereby the instructor spouts
facts and you write them down and repeat them on an exam. You have to do your share
of the work, and one way to do that is by showing up for class.
Attendance will be taken at the beginning of class, around 7:35am. If you come after this,
you may or may not be not be counted as absent, but you will not be allowed to make up
any quiz(s)… such quizzes are usually administered in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the
class session. Late arrival will result in that quiz being one of the five lowest quiz scores
you are allowed to drop; Participation would involve some indication on your part of
your sincere desire to learn.
Penalty for unexcused absences: After the first absence, each student will be penalized 5
pts each for the second through fifth absence, and 10 points for each subsequent absence.
History and Diversity Essay (due Monday, Oct. 8): 125 pts total
A handout will be distributed detailing the grading criteria and instructor expectations for
this assignment; content that includes a History of PR and the identification of PR
Diversity issues will be worth 50 points each. Adherence to APA style guidelines, which
includes page format, the use of parenthetic embedded citations, and proper bibliography
format, will also determine your grade for this assignment; style will be worth 25 points.
Research Topic Proposal (due Wednesday, Nov. 29): 175 pts total
A handout will be distributed detailing the grading criteria and instructor expectations for
this assignment; the proposal idea itself will be worth 25 points, the paper 100 points, and
your powerpoint presentation will be worth 50 points. Adherence to APA style guidelines
will be a major factor in computing your grade for the written portion of this assignment.
Blackboard as a Communication Medium: Online Gradebook
Your instructor uses blackboard as a communication tool, and reminders of upcoming
exams, changes the class schedule, and other useful information can be found there. Your
progress as represented through your scores will be updated regularly in the online
gradebook, as well as documents/resources that might assist you with your program
proposal. Your grades are calculated on the level of knowledge displayed in the given
assignments. This class has no extra credit opportunities. The grading point range is
based on a standard percentage scale (90-80-70-60) that is the same for all my classes:
1000-900 A 899-800 B 799-700 C 699-600 D 599 and below F
VI. UNIVERSITY AND DEPARTMENTAL POLICIES
Departmental policy dictates that students who miss six (6) hours of class, excused or not,
will receive an “F.” If you miss a class, exam, or assignment deadline, you may get attendance
credit or make up an exam or turn in a late assignment ONLY with documentation (doctor’s
note, death notice or obituary, etc.) you were too ill to attend or had a death in the family.
General policy: I do not tolerate cheating, fabrication, or plagiarism. If you cheat,
fabricate, or plagiarize in this class you will be given a zero on the graded exercise in question on
the first offense. On the second offense you will be given a zero for the class or allowed to
withdraw failing. There are no other options.
As specified from the handbook, cheating on any exam will also not be tolerated, and is
defined as: “The use of unauthorized materials or the receipt of unauthorized assistance during
an examination or in the completion of any other assignment, exercise, experiment, or project
for academic credit. Unauthorized materials may include, but are not limited to, notes,
textbooks, previous examinations, exhibits, experiments, papers, or other supplementary items.”
Availability of Departmental Student Grievance Committee
The Student Handbook has available to it students a Students’ Grievance Committee
whose duty is to investigate and make recommendations to the department head. Any student
grievances/complaints should be submitted to the head of the department, Dr. Kingsley Harbor,
who will in turn forward such a complaint to the committee for necessary action. For questions
or information concerning this committee, please contact Dr. Harbor (department head).
Learning Disabilities Accommodation Statement
Any individual who qualifies for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with
Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 should contact the instructor
immediately. To learn more about university policies and procedures regarding learning
disabilities, consult the Disability Support Services Handbook, available online at:
Helpful Advice for those taking COM330.
What can you do to improve your chances of succeeding in COM330? Be aware that the majority
of the quiz questions will be replicated, some identically, some in revised order of answers,
within your exams, and this is designed as an attendance inducement. If you attend class
regularly, you will do better on exams and not miss out when the professor explains what topics/
concepts he expects students to remember for exams, as well as the program proposal assignment
later in the semester. Those of you skipping Fridays will regret it later, once you realize you at a
severe disadvantage, come examination time(s). Here are a few tips:
1. Read the book. Dr. Hedrick chose the Cutlip-Center-Broom textbook because it is
comprehensive, accurate, reasonably up-to-date, and easy to read.
2. Attend class. As mentioned before, you will be graded, in part, on your attendance.
Beyond that, lectures will be designed to help you understand the material you have
read and to help you make connections between various concepts raised by readings.
3. Visit Blackboard for info, and when in doubt, ask. Visit the course blackboard site
for schedule updates, deadline reminder, and study tips. Dr. Hedrick believes that
there is no such thing as a “stupid’ question, so he encourages students to come visit
him at his office, or interactively communicate through email if they have any
problems with the reading material, lecture material, or assignments.
4. Turn in work on time. One good way to get the instructor’s attention is to ask
thoughtful questions inside and outside of class. Another way to get the instructor’s
attention is to show up late, fail to turn in work on time, and complain about the
deadlines. Think of it this way – you might want Dr. Hedrick to write a letter of
recommendation someday. What kind of letter will it be if his only memory of you is
a negative one?.
5. Read the chapters as you go, study when the schedule alerts you to. You will find
you do better on exams and understand lecture material by NOT waiting to read the
textbook until right before the exam. A useful resource is the online website for the
textbook, which provides summaries as we move through the material.
Tentative Class Schedule
Contains TOPICS AND READINGS: The following are assigned readings from the text.
Aug. 29: Introduction to course, go over syllabus in detail.
Assigned Reading: Chapter 1 (for Friday)*
* this is the only day I am warning students in advance, of “assigned reading.”
Aug. 31: Introduction to Contemporary Public Relations
Quiz #1: Chapter 1
Sept. 3 NO CLASS – LABOR DAY
Sept. 5: Practitioners of Public Relations; Reading: Chapter 2
Sept. 7: Business and Industry Public Relations (lecture second half)
Quiz #2: Chapter 2
Sept. 10: Business and Industry Public Relations (cont.);Reading: Chapter 15
Sept. 12: Organizational Context; Reading: Chapter 3
Sept. 14: Organizational Context (cont.)
Quiz #3: Chapters 3 & 15
Sept. 17: Evolution of Public Relations
Reading: Chapter 4; HISTORY of PR discussed.
Sept. 19: Evolution of Public Relations (cont.); Reading: Chapter 4 (cont.)
Sept. 21: Review Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 15.
Quiz #4: Chapter 4
SEPT. 24: EXAM #1
Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 15.
Sept. 26: Ethics, Professionalism and Legal Considerations
DIVERSITY issues discussed; Reading: Chapter 5
Intro to PR Research. Library field trip (opt.)
Sept. 28: Ethics, Professionalism and Legal Considerations (cont.)
Reading: Chapter 6
Quiz #5: Chapters 5 & 6
Oct. 1: Theoretical Underpinnings—Adjustment and Adaptation
Reading: Chapter 7
Oct. 3: Theoretical Underpinnings—Adjustment and Adaptation (cont.)
Oct. 5: Quiz #6: Chapter 7
Oct. 8: Due: History & Diversity Essay
Communication and Public Opinion; Reading: Chapter 8
Oct. 10: Communication and Public Opinion/Government and Public Affairs
Reading: Chapter 16
Oct. 12: Government and Public Affairs
Quiz #7: Chapters 8 & 16
Oct. 15: Internal Relations and Employee Communication; Reading: Chapter 9
Oct. 17: TBD
Oct. 19: Quiz #8: Chapter 9
Oct. 22: External Media and Media Relations; Reading: Chapter 10
Oct. 24: TBD
Oct. 26: Review Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 16.
Quiz #9: Chapter 10
OCT. 29: EXAM #2
Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 16.
Oct. 31: Begin RESEARCH PROPOSAL PROJECT
Process Step 1—Defining Public Relations Problems; Reading: Chapter 11
Nov. 2: Process Step 1—Defining Public Relations Problems (cont.)
Quiz #10: Chapter 11
Nov. 5: Process Step 2—Planning and Programming; Reading: Chapter 12
Nov. 7: Process Step 2—Planning and Programming (cont.)
Nov. 9: Quiz #11: Chapter 12
Nov. 12: Process Step 3—Taking Action and Communicating; Reading: Chapters 13
Nov. 14: Process Step 3—Taking Action and Communicating (cont.)
Nov. 16: Process Step 4: Evaluating the Program; Reading: Chapter 14
Quiz #12: Chapter 13
Nov. 19: Process Step 4: Evaluating the Program (cont.)
Quiz #13: Chapter 14
Nov. 21-23: NO CLASS - THANKSGIVING Break
Nov. 27: FINAL RESEARCH PROPOSALS DUE Wednesday; First half of
presentations as determined through sign-up sheet/drawing.
NOV. 29: Turn in PAPER RESEARCH PROPOSALS; continue with second half of
presentations as determined through sign-up sheet/drawing.
Dec. 1: Lecture: Professionalism- Nonprofits, Trade Associations, and
Nongovernmental Organizations; Reading: Chapter 17
Quiz #15: Chapter 17
Dec. 4: Last Day of Class – Review for Final
Chapters 11, 12, 13, 14, and 17.
DEC. 6: EXAM #3 – Final Exam time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Chapters 11, 12, 13, 14, and 17. plus a few questions
from earlier chapters as noted on Blackboard study guide.
(File: Grad Reqmt inSyllab/HD/DeptAffairs/Delof)
Department of Communication
Dear Communication student, this form is for your own record. We want you to use this form to evaluate yourself to
assist you in knowing how far or how close you are to graduation. Note that this form is not a substitute for the
university catalog, the student handbook or for consultation with your advisor regarding your graduation status.
Keeping your own record here facilitates that process.
Student__________________________ Area__________________ Date___________
YES NO ---------COMMENTS--------
1. Completed 32 residency hours (i.e., at
2. Has no more than 12 hours of
3. Completed General Studies?
4. Completed Remedial courses (if
5. Has a minor area of study?
6. Completed 128 hours with 2.0 avg on all
7. Has “C” or better on each minor & major
8. Has 52 hours of courses in 300 or above
9. Has 12 hrs. advanced work in major at JSU?
10. Has 6 hrs. advanced work in minor at JSU?
11. Has 39 hours in communication?
12. Has passed the ECE?
13. Has taken the CBASE?
14. Has taken the Exit Exam?
15. Has met the 80/65 requirement? (Consult
with your advisor on this)
16. Has completed & submitted a capstone
17. Has had Exit Interview?
18. Has completed & submitted a portfolio?
19. Has satisfied all departmental requirements?
(Consult with advisor)