The practice of Public Relations in many young democracies like that of Ghana is experiencing a shift in direction and is becoming more strategic than ever. Publics are also getting sophisticated by day mainly as a result of the expansion in internet infrastructure. This means that practitioners ought to begin figuring out how to meet the increasing demands of the stakeholders of the organizations they represent. Therefore, the Department of Public Relations has been created to focus on training students in understanding the demands and aspirations of an organization’s stakeholders, analyze possible gaps in meeting these aspirations as well as proposing strategic directions on how to communicate in resolving these gaps.
It is also tasked with the responsibility of training students to have an appreciation of sociological and cultural insights into the practice of Public Relations and how they affect their core publics.
Courses taught by the department
- COD 112 – Introduction to Public Relations
Course Description: The course seeks to give an overview of Public Relations to the student to understand the subject. The qualities and desired qualities of a qualified PR practitioner will be brought to bear on the student at the end of the period of study.
- COD 213 – Methods of PR Communication
Course Description: This course is designed to equip students with practical Public Relations tools with the aim of bringing to the fore its relevance, effectiveness, challenges and complementary communication methods that must be applied in ensuring communication effectiveness in the workplace.
- COMS 209 – Introduction to Public Relations
Course Description: This course seeks to develop the professional and academic interest of the student in the communication industry, particularly the Public Relations profession. It further seeks to give the student an all-embracing overview of Public Relations and how it dovetails into other social science subjects.
- COMS 305 – Media Relations in Public Relations
Course Description: Media Relations (MR) is a strategic Public Relations function with the goal of establishing relationships with media for accurate, balanced and timely information release. This course introduces students to the theory and practice of media relations. It focuses on the role of media relations in a rapidly changing media environment, with an emphasis on the needs and expectations of different media, how to build effective media relationships, and the communication strategies used in different contexts and sectors. The course discusses current issues and topics in the context of both old and new media in order to explore the historically complex relationship between media and public relations practitioners.
- CSPR 302 – Public Relations and Society
Course Description and Objectives: Public Relations has become a discipline that serves organizations in their attempt to communicate with the publics (the society). The true state in the practice of PR demands that it benefits the core of societal businesses and engagements. The publics who form the receivers of organizations’ products/services reside in the society and as such PR activities should endeavour to underpin societal transformations and partner them to enjoy a mutual realization of benefits.
This module therefore enhances students’ understanding of the societal dynamics and how PR can be practised with this knowledge in mind. The objective of the course is to make students appreciate the role of PR to the growth of societies and the need to be responsible PR practitioners guided by theoretically tested principles and also for student to interrogate, debate and assess the various intercultural and inter disciplinary situations a PR person must employ in his relationship with the society. Finally, the course is aimed at exposing students to various models and concepts that would guide their interactions with stakeholders, communities, opinion leaders, etc.
- CSPR 405 – Strategic Public Relations
Course description: The course introduces students to the strategic planning process involved in putting together and coordinating organizational public relations efforts. In this course, students will learn what is involved in developing, implementing and evaluating public relations strategies. The course provides insights on understanding an organization’s internal and external environment; as well as identifying and addressing public relations situations that emerge in these environments. The course is also designed to show students how to develop critically informed tactical responses to public relations problems, to demonstrate an understanding of the link between public relations strategies and tactics.
- CSPR 407 – Counselling for Public Relations
Course Description: Public Relations situations such as major crises, stakeholder dissatisfaction and senior executives’ lack of knowledge in the field often lead to serious perception problems for a lot of organisations. As such, entities need PR practitioners to offer top executives and internal publics as well as their clients proper and strategic PR counseling. Issues such as disasters, new market entry, hostile takeover bids, lawsuits, competitive behaviour, environmental pollution, and new product launches, all require counseling from PR experts.
This course therefore prepares students to take up entry roles in PR agencies with key focus on consultancy services.
- CSPR 402 – Speech Writing and Public Speaking
Course Description: In contemporary societies, speech writing and public speaking are not just an added advantage but key to one’s success or even ‘survival.’ For public relations practitioners, speech writing and public speaking are the stock-in-trade. This course, therefore, seeks to equip students with the necessary skills for the public relations industry. It is modelled on two interlinking parts—speech writing techniques, and oral presentation skills. To achieve the objective of the course, students will be exposed to acclaimed public speakers within Ghana, and internationally. Through mentoring and practice, students will sharpen their writing and stage presentation skills to prepare them to offer speech services in the world of work and social partnership. The course is expectedly highly interactive and includes practical presentations and exercises, video and textual illustrations, etc. Exercises including speech drafting, analysis and presentations are tailored to enrich students’ knowledge and mold their attitudes to communicate with presence.
- CSPR 406 – Conflict Management in Public Relations
“Leaders approach conflict with an eye for resolution. When handled effectively, successful confrontations raise team performance. To manage conflict effectively, you must begin by recognizing there are three sides to every story: Yours/Theirs/The Truth” – Angie Morgan
This course is aimed at enhancing the skills of students to make them leaders in the area of conflict management. Through teaching and intensive class participation, students will learn to appreciate the principles of conflicts and how conflicts can be harnessed for the benefit of organizations. The course draws on case studies from Ghana and beyond to explain the effects, consequences and benefits of conflicts to organizations.