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Public Relations

The public relations major prepares students to research, plan, execute, and evaluate communication between an organization and its publics, monitor the organization's environment, and counsel management on policies and programs. The major is designed to prepare students to help private industry and public organizations improve the quality of communication among themselves, their employees, the general public and government.

Students have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes that are necessary for their development as ethical and competent public relations professionals. Students will see how public relations complements advertising and marketing and the importance of managing organizations’ images and reputations in the 21st Century.

Program Highlights

• First PR Major in Illinois and first accredited program in the state of Illinois
• Inspire students to own their learning and drive them toward a vision of excellence in public relations.
• Faculty credentials, experiences, networks and research demonstrate expertise and knowledge of public relations.
• Integrated learning balances theory and practice through all core courses, providing students with avenues to understand both the why and the how of effective public relations practice in the “real world.”
• Writing excellence is expected in all courses required for the major, striving for perfection in content, form, style and presentation.
• Critical and strategic thinking are nurtured in all courses, especially upper-level courses, so students know how to make good and ethical decisions and provide effective counsel to management and other organizational areas.
• Courses beyond the introductory course require hands-on activities, team projects and personal behaviors that are representative of “real world” PR practice.
• Comprehensive program from which our students graduate with an understanding of PR that includes research, measurable objectives, strategies, tactics, evaluation, and management.
• Courses build sequentially from a foundation of knowledge and skills to higher-order cognitive challenges in upper-level courses.
• Complete writing labs are in place for class meetings and student work, including software tools for PR-specific skills and tasks.

Recent News

The ISU PRSSA has won several prestigious awards, including:

• 2012 Bateman Competition Honorable Mention
• 2012 Good-to-God Commuter Challenge winner
• 2012 Registered Student Organization Advisor of the Year
• 2011 Star Chapter Award
• 2011 Good-to-Go Commuter Challenge winner
• 2011 FUNdraising Bowl winner for “Chicago Blackhawks Fundraiser”
• 2010 Civic Engagement Award for the Bateman Campaign for the 2010 US Census
• 2009 Star Chapter Award
• 2009 National President’s Citation for Chapter President and Vice President
• 2007 National Ethics Advocacy Award, 2nd Place
• 2006-07 Teahan Outstanding Community/ University Services Award
• 2006 Bateman Competition Award, 5th Place
• 2006 FUNdraising Bowl winner for Fashion Show “Lights, Camera, Fashion”
• 2005 National Ethics Advocacy Award Champion
• 2001 Top Illinois State Student Organization Event

Student Activities

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)—The Illinois State University chapter of PRSSA was established on Feb. 5, 1979. For the 2011-2012 academic year the ISU PRSSA chapter had 104 dues-paying members from various majors. The ISU PRSSA chapter is a great complement to the PR major because it provides members with opportunities to develop and learn about the public relations industry, network with students and professionals and execute public relations campaigns, programs and events. ISU PRSSA is open to all majors, making it a valuable and valued outlet for communication learning for all students.

Public relations students may also choose to be involved in other on-campus organizations, lending their knowledge and skills in PR to groups like COMM Club, School of Communication Promotions & Development Team (internship), Lambda Pi Eta, University Program Board, and others.

For more information on these activities, visit our Student Organizations page.