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Public Relations Principles

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2010
Fain Fine Arts Center
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF @ 11 - 11:50 a.m.

Liz Minden (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Effective Public Relations, 9th or 10th ed.
Course Objectives

This course examines the nature of public relations, how it functions in an organization, and its role in society.  The course is designed to give you a broad understanding of the development and practice of public relations, as well as the profession’s theory, issues and trends.  In addition to learning from lecture information and reading the text, students also will examine several cases, conduct research and analyze information designed to reinforce public relations principles.  By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. define public relations and explain the steps in the PR process.
  2. outline the evolution of public relations and explain its role in modern society.
  3. explain some of the PR profession’s legal and ethical responsibilities, as well as some of its regulations and constraints.
  4. conduct research and analyze an organization’s communication activities in order to plan, and implement communication strategies that help achieve organizational goals.
  5. apply the public relations process to a variety of organizational situations
  6. distinguish between PR’s communication activities and its strategic management function.
Course Expectations


      These will be based on the assigned readings.  They will be unannounced and given at the discretion of the instructor.


  1. ASSIGNMENT DATES are:  Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 12, Dec. 3.
  2. These are in-class writing assignments for which you will develop ideas to address a particular public relations problem or situation.  Thought in applying the readings and lecture material is key to doing well on these assignments.

C.   HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS:  100 points each

      A handout explaining each assignment will be provided.  Students must work independently of each other on each of these assignments.

1.   Assignment #1, Research = due date:  October 4

2.   Assignment #2, Analysis/Planning = due date:  November 1

3.   Assignment #3, Communication = due date:  November 22

4.   Assignment #4, Evaluation = due date: Monday, Dec. 6 (during final exam period)

Grading Standards


  1. Late work will not be accepted.  If you know you’ll be out of town on a due date, turn in your work early.  A late assignment earns a zero for points. 
  2. Fabricating information or using another’s work as your own earns you an “F” for the course.  (See “Course Policies” #2.)
  3. Points will be deducted from homework assignments that have numerous grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.
  4. Homework assignments must be typed, double-space.
  5. Students are expected to come to class having read the assigned chapters upon which quizzes are based.
  6. The ability to make up any missed assignment is at the discretion of the instructor.
  7. Numerical grades are awarded for each quiz and assignment.  To determine your grade for the course, quiz and assignment grades will be totaled and then divided by the total number of possible points to derive your percentage. The grading scale is:

A   =          90% -100% of the total possible points

B   =          80% - 89% of the total possible points

C   =          70% - 79% of the total possible points

D   =          60% - 69% of the total possible points

F    =          Less than 60% of the total possible points

**NOTE:  The instructor reserves the right to add or cancel assignments as the course progresses.  If for some reason the number of assignments total more or fewer than the original number set for the course, the method of calculating your final grade will remain the same:  the total points a student achieves for all submitted assignments will be divided by the total possible points for all the assignments to obtain a percentage, and a grade will be assigned according to the percentage scale outlined above.

Final Exam 12/06/2010 10:30-12:30
Submission Format Policy
  1. Homework assignments must be typed, double-spaced.
  2. Typed assignments must be as free as possible of typos, misspellings, poor grammar, and other writing errors.
  3. Assignments must be submitted at the beginning of the class period in which they are due.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

Late work will not be accepted.  If you know you’ll be in class when an assignment is due, turn in your work early.  A late assignment earns a zero for points.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance:  Students are expected to attend, be on time for, and participate in class.  The instructor reserves the right to drop any student who misses more than three class periods.  Makeup work for any absence is at the discretion of the instructor.

Other Policies


  1. Plagiarism and cheating:  The MSU Student Honor Creed, found in both your student handbook and the university catalog, includes the statement:  “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.”  Plagiarism, lying and cheating include, but are not limited to:  fabricating information and sources, copying material from publications without crediting the author, turning in another student’s work as your own, and copying quiz/exam answers from another person.  STUDENTS FOUND CHEATING, PLAGIARIZING OR MAKING UP INFORMATION WILL RECEIVE AN “F” FOR THIS COURSE.
  2. Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act: Any student with a disability that may prevent full participation in this course should notify the instructor at the beginning of the course to ensure that alternatives may be found to provide the student with full class participation.
  3. Limited Right:  By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course. This “limited right” shall include, but shall not be limited to, the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.
  4. FERPA:  The instructor abides by the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  The instructor also will not release a student’s academic information or discuss a student’s academic progress or class attendance with his/her parent or guardian.  Additionally, the instructor will not discuss a student’s grades with him/her in class, over the phone or by email.  Students who have questions about their grades must make an appointment with the instructor.
  5. Disruptive Behavior:  Anyone disrupting the class – or violating any other Standard of Conduct applicable to the classroom environment – will be dropped from the course.  (See MSU Student Handbook, “Standards of Student Conduct.”)
  6. You may be asked to provide your assignments on a portable computer medium (e.g., jump/thumb drive) or by email.
  7. Turn off the sound on your cell phone during class.  No text messaging either.  If your phone rings or you’re found sending a text-message during class, you will be dropped from the course.
  8. Turn off your iPods, MP3 players and similar technology.  Like ringing cell phones, this is a class disruption issue and you will be dropped from the course if you do not comply.

BE AWARE THAT the instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus for any reason, and will give sufficient notice if changes are necessary.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at