Strategic Communication (STCM)

STCM 130  Fundamentals of Public Relations and Advertising  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): WRIT 105 or HONP 100. This explores some key issues and principles in the fields of public relations and advertising. Topics include media relations; media assessment; promotions; public relations strategies and tactics; relationship-building; and ethics. Students learn the basic theories, history, ethical codes, and practices of public relations and advertising. Students will also begin to grapple with the challenges of strategic communication through cases, scenarios, and applications. Equivalent course CMST 130 effective through Summer 2021.

STCM 140  Multi Media Production for Strategic Communication  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): CMST 110. This course is designed to provide students the fundamental principles and skills for designing, producing, and evaluating content published for the Web and other digital delivery platforms. In a hands-on class, students will learn expansive and engaging storytelling techniques through using the essential elements of multi-media production, such as audio recording and editing, basic photography, video production and editing, interactive infographics, or mobile animation for various groups of targeted audiences. Students will develop strong media professional skills as well as critical and analytical abilities in multi media production.

STCM 145  Influencers and Opinion Leaders  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): CMST 110. Reaching a brand’s target audience in the right place, at the right time, with the right message is more challenging than ever. The growth of social media has led to fragmented audiences across a digital landscape that features nearly-unlimited ways to find news and information. Enter the Social Media Influencer, whose specialty is call-to-action, whether for driving sales, clicks, or votes; amplifying a message; or enhancing a brand’s credibility. Finding the right influencer or building a strong following requires a complex combination of research, analysis, management, measurement, and money. This course explores the nuances of vital media industry.

STCM 230  Brand Storytelling in Strategic Communication  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 130. The course aims to develop students’ ability to develop brand narratives. It will cover the steps/processes of building brands, methods of measuring brand equity, ways to leverage brand equity, strategies in managing brand portfolios (brand iterations and extensions), and management of brands over time, geographic boundaries, and market segments.

STCM 233  Public Relations Writing Across Media  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 130; and WRIT 106 or HONP 101. Restriction(s): For majors of the Advertising BA program and the Social Media and Public Relations BA program. This course aims to enhance the skills and careers of public relations students in the media industry through developing the competency in writing. Students will become more proficient in various forms of public relations writing targeted to specific audiences. Particularly, this course addresses basics in writing, styles, language, and formats for various media platforms (print, radio, television, web, social media, etc.) for a variety of contexts including small business enterprises, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Students in this class will build expertise on how to write effectively, concisely, and persuasively for different target audiences, how to create the “voice” of a brand, how to build and manage content for various media platforms, and how to incorporate strategy and creativity into all writing pieces. Meets the Graduation Writing Requirement for majors in Social Media and Public Relations Management. Equivalent course CMST 233 effective through Summer 2021.

STCM 237  Ethics in Digital Media  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 130. The course introduces students to the concepts of ethics and professional responsibility in strategic communication, particularly in the career fields of public relations and advertising. In this course students develop their awareness of the ethical responsibilities inherent to digitally mediated public communication, increase their abilities to recognize and understand moral communication issues, acquire skills and knowledge to reach and justify ethical decisions, and cultivate a sense of personal and professional responsibility. Equivalent course CMST 237 effective through Summer 2021.

STCM 240  Social Media Analytics  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 130. The proliferation of social media has created a powerful tool that enables insightful, strategic, and informed decision-making for organizations and brands. Social Media analytics tools have become critical in understanding the human behavior, consumer sentiments, and emerging issues in organizations’ online environment. This course introduces concepts, frameworks, and methods for analyzing and understanding how organizations and brands can employ social media analytics tools in strategizing, implementing, and evaluating viral public relations, advertising, and marketing campaigns. Students in this course will learn various analytics tools and techniques for analyzing and interpreting various types of social media data.

STCM 320  Special Topics in Public Relations and Advertising - Junior Seminar  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 130, STCM 140 and STCM 230. This is a special topic course for juniors in public relations and advertising. This course addresses crucial and emergent topics related to industry practices. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

STCM 326  Integrated Communication  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 230. The course introduces students to the fundamentals of integrated communication. Students will understand the complex communication mix of today to promote theoretical knowledge; learn how to strategically plan integrated campaigns to ensure consistency of creative strategy employing disciplinary writing; explore complementary use of traditional and digital media, and measurable objectives; focus on the integration of marketing, advertising, and public relations messages along with the strategic use of channels and content by looking at disciplinary works of excellence. Equivalent course CMST 326 effective through Summer 2021.

STCM 330  Public Relations Investigation and Strategy  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 233. The purpose of this course is to familiarize public relations majors with effective social science investigation/research methods used to diagnose and solve communication problems, to identify measurable objectives, to inform strategic planning and message development, and to perform program evaluations in order to optimize organizational decision making and improve effectiveness for communication strategies. This course will cover the following main topics: major research approaches, research ethics, formulating research questions and testing hypotheses, conceptual and operational definitions, measurement, sampling, research design, interpretations of qualitative findings, SPSS data analysis, and report writing. Equivalent course CMST 330 effective through Summer 2021.

STCM 333  Public Relations Cases  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 233. This course uses a case-study method to learn about theoretical and applied principles of public relations campaign management. Students examine successful/unsuccessful examples of public relations in order to learn how to plan more effective campaigns and to evaluate completed campaigns. As part of the course, students continue to hone their discussion/writing skills and learn to be more critical of the role played by the media, opinion leaders, and multiple publics in the public relations process. Equivalent course CMST 333 effective through Summer 2021.

STCM 339  Digital Techniques in Strategic Communication  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 230. The rapidly evolving digital media landscape is transforming how communication professionals integrate digital media into their practices. This course explores advanced topics related to vital digital techniques applied in the strategic communication industry. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Equivalent course CMST 339 effective through Summer 2021.

STCM 340  Crisis Communication  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 230. The purpose of this course is to examine the role that communication plays in organizational crisis management. An emphasis will be placed on understanding how communication practitioners can help organizations plan, respond, and recover from crises. Emphasis will also be placed on the impact of social media on how crises evolve and are managed. Issues that will be examined include how a communication practitioner can help organizations or brands prevent crises, how to interact with media during a crisis, how to engage with various online stakeholders on social media, how to respond ethically to stakeholder concerns, and how to promote organizational learning so a similar crisis can be prevented. Equivalent course CMST 437 effective through Summer 2021.

STCM 381  Consumer Insights  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 230. This course is an investigation into the actions and motivations that define choices made by consumers. Exploration of the cognitive, affective, and social dimensions of consumers will be explored. Techniques of investigating consumer behavior will be considered with application to elements relevant to advertising.

STCM 401  Advertising Media Strategies  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 381. Restriction(s): Advertising BA majors only. This course introduces you to basic concepts, strategies, tactics and procedures of media planning. You will learn how to evaluate and decide where and when to buy and place advertisements to achieve your marketing, advertising and media objectives. We will also consider the challenges strategic communicators face in today’s highly niched media market and increased consumer control. The focus of the course will be on building a strategic approach to ensuring content is placed in the most relevant outlet, platform, publication, etc. The interaction between placement and consumer action will be considered with an emphasis on activating consumers through strategic media placement.

STCM 430  Public Relations Campaigns  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 330 and STCM 333. The campaigns course is developed using an agency-team approach, with approximately five students per team. This team will approximate the team approach currently used in the PR industry. Team efforts will include research, writing, media strategies, content, and engagement. Resulting content should reflect strong theoretical knowledge, disciplinary writing, and create disciplinary works of excellence. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Equivalent course CMST 430 effective through Summer 2021.

STCM 431  Advertising Campaign  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 401. Restriction(s): Advertising BA majors only. This is the capstone course in the Advertising major of the Strategic Communications area. The course will teach students how to work with clients and develop a comprehensive advertising plan for the client and/or its products.

STCM 439  Global Strategic Communication  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): STCM 333 or STCM 381. Cross-cultural communication has become an integral component in strategic communication. Even the most experienced organizations face challenges when they try to engage strategic publics in cross-cultural communication. Dominant theoretical frameworks of public relations, advertising, or marketing communication, which for decades have been developed primarily in the U.S. and Western Europe, are now challenged with the new standards and norms across cultures. Issues regarding ethics, effectiveness, and diversity are being transformed during globalization. This course examines this transformation and provides students with the insight to strategic communication across cultures. Equivalent course CMST 439 effective through Summer 2021.