Strategic Communications

Strategic Communications - Advertising and Public Relations

The strategic communications major teaches students how to develop and produce persuasive and educational messages and integrated communications campaigns that employ both public relations and advertising tactics. Students in this major select an area of emphasis (AOE) in either advertising or public relations to complement their integrated strategic communications coursework. Both majors require advanced skills in writing and oral communication.

Students build skills in writing, research, graphic design, event planning, direct marketing, media planning, and campaign development and management. Students plan and produce promotional and educational campaigns and materials for actual clients, which include nonprofits, small communities and University projects, gaining real-world experience that can lead to careers in advertising and public relations agencies, corporations, nonprofits, government, education, entertainment, sports, healthcare, and other public-sector fields.

The College boasts an active faculty-advised and student-run integrated communications agency, Martin-Hall Agency, an active American Advertising Federation chapter and an award-winning Public Relations Student Society of America chapter. These organizations offer students professional networking opportunities and application of advertising and public relations knowledge into campaign experience. Members participate in the national American Advertising Federation Competition, among others.

Advertising Area of Emphasis

Students who select the advertising AOE within the strategic communications major obtain a solid foundation in creative copywriting and design, media planning, audience insights and analysis, and campaigns. Additional courses in interactive marketing, strategic social media and account management are available to round out students’ individual interests. They go on to work at advertising and marketing agencies, in media advertising sales, within corporate communications offices, as media planners, or as consultants and business owners. The advertising curriculum affords a solid foundation for law or other specialized graduate programs.

Public Relations Area of Emphasis

Students who select the public relations AOE within the strategic communications major take courses in strategic writing and social media, media design, audience research and analysis, and campaigns. Other courses that apply to the major include special event planning, multi- and interactive media, integrated marketing communications for sports, and planning and management. Students go on to work at communications agencies, in government, health care organizations, nonprofits, corporations and in politics. Those students who wish to go on to graduate school have a solid grounding in writing, research, analysis, and communications.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Degree Requirements

JRL 115College of Media Orientation2
General Education Requirements
GEF 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 722
Non-Journalism/Media Requirements
For all students in the major, required non-major courses include
BUSA 201Survey of Economics3
BUSA 330Survey of Marketing3
HIST 153Making of Modern America: 1865 to the Present3
POLS 102Introduction to American Government3
STAT 111Understanding Statistics3
ULIB 101Introduction to Library Research1
English literature or Creative Writing course3
Two semesters of any foreign language/computer coding course or one language/coding course + study abroad6
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Strategic Communications Core
A grade of C- or higher must be earned in all major courses.
JRL 101Media and Society (may fulfill GEF 4)3
JRL 215Media Writing (fulfills Writing and Communication Skills requirement)3
JRL 225Media Tools & Applications3
JRL 428Media Ethics and Law3
STCM 215Introduction to Strategic Communications3
STCM 315Strategic Advertising and Public Relations Writing3
STCM 421Advertising and Public Relations Audience3
STCM 459Strategic Communication Campaigns for Public Relations and Advertising3
Required Area of Emphasis
Select one of the following Areas of Emphasis (details below):9
Public Relations (PR)
Advertising (ADV)
Required Minor *15
General Electives **20
Total Hours120
English Literature or Creative Writing Courses
English Literature
ENGL 131Poetry and Drama3
ENGL 132Short Story and Novel3
ENGL 139Contemporary African Literature3
ENGL 154African American Literature3
ENGL 156Literature of Native America3
ENGL 225Western World Literature3
ENGL 226Non-Western World Literature3
ENGL 232Poetry3
ENGL 233The Short Story3
ENGL 234Drama3
ENGL 235Novel3
ENGL 236The Bible as Literature3
ENGL 241American Literature 13
ENGL 242American Literature 23
ENGL 251American Folklore and Culture3
ENGL 252Appalachian Fiction3
ENGL 253Southern Writers3
ENGL 254African American Literature3
ENGL 257Science Fiction and Fantasy3
ENGL 258Popular American Culture3
ENGL 261British Literature 13
ENGL 262British Literature 23
ENGL 263Shakespeare 13
ENGL 272Modern Literature3
ENGL 273Contemporary Literature3
ENGL 285Images of Women in Literature3
Creative Writing
ENGL 111Introduction to Creative Writing3
ENGL 212Creative Writing: Fiction3
ENGL 213Creative Writing: Poetry3
ENGL 214Creative Writing: Non-Fiction3
*

Students must complete an officially sanctioned minor outside the College of Media. However, students may pursue the Sport Communication minor, which is offered jointly by the College of Media and the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, or the Interactive Media and Design minor, which is offered jointly by the College of Media and the College of Creative Arts, or the Media Entrepreneurship minor, which is offered jointly by the College of Business and Economics. Students completing a dual-degree are exempt from the requirement to complete a minor. Students should consult their advisor before starting a minor. Some minors require 18 hours of coursework instead of 15 hours.

**

General Education and Elective Credits can vary - students must have a minimum of 120 credit hours total to complete the degree.

College of Media students must take a minimum of 72 credit hours outside of the College of Media in non journalism/mass communications courses.

Advertising (ADV) Area of Emphasis Requirements

Students learn how to develop and produce persuasive messages and advertising campaigns.  Students build skills in writing, research, graphic design, direct marketing, media planning, and campaign management. Advertising students plan and produce advertising campaigns for actual clients, gaining real-world experience that can lead to careers in advertising agencies, corporations and public-sector fields.

A grade of C- or higher must be earned in all emphasis courses.
Choose three 400-level classes from the following:9
Creative 1
Media Planning/Strategy
Interactive Marketing Communications
Creative 2
Strategic Social Media
Strategic Communication Strategy and Management
Total Hours9

Suggested Plan of Study for Advertising (ADV) Area of Emphasis

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3ENGL literature or Creative Writing course3
JRL 101 (GEF 4)3JRL 2153
STCM 2153GEF 33
Language course3Language course3
ULIB 1011Select one of the following:3
JRL 115 (Fulfills WVUE 191 requirement)2 
  
  
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEF 23GEF 63
GEF 53HIST 1533
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3BUSA 2013
BUSA 3303STCM 3153
JRL 2253GEF 2 or Elective3
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
STAT 1113STCM 4213
GEF 73400-level AOE course3
400-level AOE course3Minor course3
Minor course3Elective Courses6
Elective3 
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
STCM 4593JRL 4283
POLS 1023Minor course3
400-level AOE course3Elective courses9
Minor courses6 
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

Public Relations (PR) Area of Emphasis Requirements

Students learn how to communicate with multiple stakeholders to achieve business objectives, create media campaigns and plan events for nonprofit organizations, private firms, government agencies and businesses. Public relations students develop traditional communication and social media plans, public service announcements, videos, media kits, brochures, speeches, and press releases. While focusing on public relations, students also receive a solid education in writing, research, interviewing skills, and media and audience analysis.

A grade of C- or higher must be earned in all emphasis courses.
Select one of the following:3
Editing and Curation
Creative Design and Strategy
Web Development
Any two 400-level JRL, PR, or STCM classes6
Total Hours9

Suggested Plan of Study for Public Relations (PR) Area of Emphasis

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3ENGL literature or Creative Writing course3
JRL 101 (GEF 4)3JRL 2153
STCM 2153GEF 33
Language3Language3
ULIB 1011Select one of the following:3
JRL 115 (Fulfills WVUE 191 requirement)2 
  
  
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEF 23GEF 63
GEF 53HIST 1533
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3BUSA 3303
BUSA 2013Select one of the following:3
JRL 2253 
  
  
 GEF 2/Elective3
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEF 73STAT 1113
POLS 1023400-level AOE course3
STCM 3153Minor course3
Minor course3Elective Courses6
Elective3 
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
STCM 4213STCM 4593
400-level AOE course3JRL 4283
Minor courses6Minor course3
Elective3Electives6
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

Major Learning Goals

Strategic Communications

The Reed College of Media states as its learning goals the values and competencies of its national accrediting body, the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, which appear under information about the B.S. in Journalism degree. In addition, the College faculty have set other specific educational outcomes deemed critical for success as professional communicators. These additional educational outcomes for strategic communications majors are:

  1. Strategic communications graduates will understand how to serve diverse publics and will be prepared to either work in the field or to pursue advanced educational opportunities.
  2. Strategic communications graduates will demonstrate professional competency in preparing campaign plans, including obtaining, analyzing and interpreting data; establishing goals and objectives; identifying appropriate strategies; developing creative tactics; and understanding budgeting, timeframes, and success indicators/evaluation.
  3. Strategic communications graduates will demonstrate the ability to professionally present ideas in all forms: written, verbal, and with the use of appropriate digital/electronic audio-visual materials.
  4. Strategic communications graduates will understand the working relationship between advertising and public relations, as well as related marketing communications vehicles (e.g., direct marketing, sales promotion), and demonstrate specialized knowledge of media planning and placement.
  5. Strategic communications graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of communication ethics and law as it applies to advertising, media and public relations.
  6. Strategic communications graduates will be able to work effectively in teams and work collaboratively to create messages, solve problems and develop and implement integrated communication strategies. 

Advertising Courses

ADV 201. Advertising and Society. 3 Hours.

As a social institution, advertising plays a critical role in our daily lives. This course examines the social, economic, and legal aspects of advertising.

ADV 215. Principles of Advertising. 3 Hours.

(Open to all University students.) An introduction to all sides of the advertising field and to the process, quantitative, strategic and aesthetic, by which the sales message is planned, produced and delivered. This is the first advertising course for advertising majors and must be taken as a pre-requisite for other courses in the sequence.

ADV 293A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ADV 298A-Z. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study, or research.

ADV 309. Advertising and Creativity. 3 Hours.

PR: (ADV 201 or ADV 215) and JRL 101. (Advertising minors only.) Examines advertising copy and design concepts. Students develop their own advertisements and learn to critically analyze existing ad campaigns.

ADV 315. Advertising Copywriting. 3 Hours.

PR: ADV 215 and admission to School of Journalism. Writing advertising copy and designing effective layouts. Elements of effective advertising: creating strategies, building campaigns, writing and rewriting, and preparing roughs and comps. Developing a portfolio. Emphasis on print advertising. (Should be taken in combination with ADV 403.).

ADV 393A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ADV 401. Creative 1. 3 Hours.

PR: STCM 215 and STCM 315. Principles and practices of advertising creativity. Focuses on creative ideation process and includes advertising graphics, copy preparation and layout, evaluation and selection of media.

ADV 403. Media Planning/Strategy. 3 Hours.

PR: STCM 215 or ADV 215. Theory, evaluation and selection of advertising media for a variety of market situations. Market analysis, media characteristics, sources of media data, and development of a media plan.

ADV 409. Advertising Research and Media. 3 Hours.

PR: (ADV 201 or ADV 215) and JRL 101. (Advertising minors only.) Introduces the selection and evaluation of different media used in advertising campaigns. Students learn to analyze and select audiences, compare media, and conduct media research.

ADV 410. Graphic Design. 3 Hours.

PR: ADV 215. Design layout for print media. Includes buying, supervising, and scheduling of art, typography, and print material. (2 hr. lec, 2 hr. lab.).

ADV 419. Advertising Strategies. 3 Hours.

PR: ADV 201 or ADV 215 and JRL 101. (Advertising minors only.) Introduces students to the concept of branding. Students learn how to use advertising to help create powerful brand loyalty by analyzing case studies of successful and unsuccessful branding attempts.

ADV 421. Advertising Research. 3 Hours.

PR: ADV 315 and ADV 403. A broad study of scientific and critical research methods; relevant sources of historical data gathering, relationship, and audience analysis; evaluation of marketing and public opinion research.

ADV 450. Audience Psychology and Behavior. 3 Hours.

PR: STCM 315. This course introduces students to the audience psychology and behaviors that influence advertising and PR strategies and campaigns.

ADV 451. Interactive Marketing Communications. 3 Hours.

PR: STCM 215 and STCM 315. An examination of the concepts, strategies and applications involved in direct marketing. Measurability, accountability, lists, data and the integration of direct marketing program into total marketing efforts are discussed.

ADV 455. Creative 2. 3 Hours.

PR: (STCM 215 or ADV 215) and STCM 315 and ADV 401. This course builds on the strategic and creative processes for strategic communication introduced in Creative 1, including design for print, digital broadcast mobile and other media.

ADV 459. Campaigns. 3 Hours.

PR: ADV 315 and ADV 403 and JRL 421 and senior standing. The capstone course in the undergraduate advertising curriculum. The course is designed to give students the opportunity to integrate all prior learning and apply it to the development of an advertising campaign for a real-world client. The actual output of the course will be a written plans book and a formal campaign presentation. (Should be taken the final semester before graduation.).

ADV 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant. (Course will be graded pass/fail.).

ADV 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hrs.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development. (Course will be graded pass/fail.).

ADV 492A-Z. Directed Study. 1-3 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

ADV 493A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ADV 494A-Z. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

ADV 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

ADV 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

ADV 497. Research. 1-6 Hours.

Independent research projects.

Public Relations Courses

PR 215. Introduction to Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Introduces the principles of public relations. Examines the definition and historical development, opportunities and challenges, and techniques and management of public relations.

PR 293A-B. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

PR 301. Writing for Public Relations. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and PR 215 and Public Relations Minor Candidate. Provides an introduction to writing for a wide range of public relations purposes. Students improve writing skills as they become prepared to effectively communicate with various audiences in multiple formats.

PR 319. Creative Design and Strategy. 3 Hours.

PR: STCM 215. Editing and production techniques for public relations media (brochures, reports, newsletters, etc.,) including copy preparation, typography, graphic design, layout and desktop publishing.

PR 324. Public Relations Writing and Applications. 3 Hours.

PR: PR 319 or JRL 319. Writing, design, graphics, and desktop publishing as major tools of public relations practitioners and planners.

PR 333. Web Development. 3 Hours.

PR: STCM 215 or PR 215. Using the web in PR campaigns, hand-coding HTML, design concepts, layout, hyperlinks, images, tables, web production software, establishing and maintenance of web server account, uploading files.

PR 401. Applied Public Relations. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and PR 215 and Public Relations Minor Candidate. Covers in-depth case studies of public relations programs. Primary emphasis is placed on successful campaigns; however, unsuccessful efforts are also examined for causes of failure.

PR 410. Integrated Marketing Communications for Public Relations. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or STCM 215). Describes the essential role of public relations in integrated marketing communication. Examines successful IMC campaigns and "the campaign mindset" as it applies to employee relations, government affairs, reputation management, corporate social responsibility, and more.

PR 412. IMC for Sport. 3 Hours.

PR: ADV 201 or ADV 215 or PR 215 or STCM 215. Describes the essential role of public relations in integrated marketing communication using sport-specific examples to examine the attributes of successful IMC campaigns and the campaign mindset as it applies to sport promotion and communications.

PR 431. Promotion for Entertainment Media. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or STCM 215). This online course offers an exploration of the foundations of entertainment promotion and the various opportunities and channels available.

PR 432. Entertainment Media Branding. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or STCM 215). This course offers an examination of the issues facing entertainment brands with case studies that illuminate both successful and unsuccessful instances of entertainment branding.

PR 433. Entertainment Media Campaigns. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or STCM 215). This course offers students the opportunity to apply accumulated knowledge to various real-world entertainment promotional campaigns via case studies.

PR 436. Event Planning. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or STCM 215). This course offers an exploration of the foundations of event planning including an examination of the uses and purposes of events to clients.

PR 437. Event Promotion. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or STCM 215). This course offers an examination of the issues facing events and the promotional tactics used to ensure they are successful.

PR 438. Event Execution. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or STCM 215). This course offers an application of knowledge of how events operate and an examination of what tactics can lead to success.

PR 458. Health Public Relations. 3 Hours.

PR: STCM 421 or consent. In-depth research, study, and development of active PR campaigns in the healthcare field. Students serve as the PR agency for a healthcare-related organization.

PR 459. Public Relations Campaigns-Capstone. 3 Hours.

PR: PR 422 or consent. Capstone seminar designed to give students the opportunity to integrate prior to learning in developing a PR campaign for an actual client.

PR 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant. (Course will be graded on a pass/fail basis.).

PR 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development. (Course will be graded on a pass/fail basis.).

PR 493A-Z. Special Topics. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

PR 494A-Z. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

PR 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

PR 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. (Course will be graded on a pass/fail basis.).

PR 498. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study or research.

Strategic Communication Courses

STCM 215. Introduction to Strategic Communications. 3 Hours.

PR: College of Media majors only. This introductory course in strategic communications provides a broad overview of professional advertising and public relations practices and their role in society. (Course is equivalent to ADV 215 & PR 215.).

STCM 315. Strategic Advertising and Public Relations Writing. 3 Hours.

PR: (STCM 215 or ADV 215 or PR 215) and JRL 215. This class provides exposure to the kinds of writing required in advertising and public relations careers. (Course is equivalent to ADV 315 & PR 324.).

STCM 421. Advertising and Public Relations Audience. 3 Hours.

PR: STCM 315 or ADV 315 or PR 324. This course focuses on in-depth examination of the multi-faceted world of advertising and public relations research, and the array of complex tools used to produce meaningful results. (Also listed as ADV 421, PR 422, & STCM 521).

STCM 438. Branded Content and Narrative. 3 Hours.

An introduction to how the role of content is evolving in the modern marketing landscape and how to apply different types of content generation to new and traditional marketing channels. Additional topics cover the pros and cons of content marketing vs. traditional marketing as well as an introduction to the processes and tactics to create and implement content marketing strategies.

STCM 439. Strategic Social Media. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or ADV 201 or ADV 215). This online majors only, course is an accelerated examination of the social media landscape with a focus on crafting messages and successful case studies.

STCM 452. Strategic Communication Strategy and Management. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and JRL 215 and STCM 215. This course covers strategic communications from a client's perspective and includes campaign planning and management of various marketing communication agencies.

STCM 459. Strategic Communication Campaigns for Public Relations and Advertising. 3 Hours.

PR: STCM 315 and STCM 421. This capstone course synthesizes knowledge from all prior major courses and applies it to the development of a Strategic Communications (Advertising and Public Relations) campaign in a real world environment. (Also listed as ADV 459, PR 459 and STCM 559).

STCM 493A. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

STCM 499. Global Service Learning. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Theory and practice of global service learning. The main objective will be to pair the experiential aspects of meaningful and sustained service in the host community with work from the student's anchor course by offering a methodological framework for cultural immersion and community service as well as adding to the content of the anchor course.


Faculty

Chair

  • Sang Lee - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
    Associate Professor, Advertising

Associate professors

  • Dana Coester - M.A. (University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Advertising
  • Rita Colistra - Ph.D. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
    Public Relations
  • Diana Martinelli - Ph.D. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
    Widmeyer Professor in Public Relations

Assistant Professors

  • Hongmin Ahn - Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin)
    Advertising
  • Julia Fraustino - Ph.D. (University of Maryland)
    Public Relations
  • Geah Pressgrove - Ph.D. (University of South Carolina)
    Public Relations

Teaching Assistant Professors

  • Catherine Mezera - M.S.J. (West Virginia University)
    Advertising
  • Elizabeth Oppe - Ph.D. (Ohio University)
    Public Relations

Senior Lecturer

  • David Howell - B.A. (Purdue University)
    Advertising