JOUR-J 428 Public Relations Planning & Research

MW 11:30 – 12:45. Putting their knowledge to work, students will research, develop, and present their fundraising plans to a community non-profit.


Instructor – Dr. Alec R. Hosterman, Senior Lecturer and Chair of Communication Studies
Phone – 574.520.4883
E-mail –
Office – Northside 033K
Office Hours – Tuesdays 11-1; Wednesdays 1-2

Day/Time – Mondays/Wednesdays, 11:30 – 12:45 am
Course Location – Northside 111
Required Text – Strategic Planning for Public Relations, 3rd edition by Ronald D. Smith
Prerequisites – JOUR-J 319 Introduction to Public Relations

Link to application for group assignment

Link to specific course policies

Read this: Writing a Paper for Dr. Hosterman


  • Group 1 – Danielle Miller, Lisa Bonadies, and Shuntriece Hughes
  • Group 2 – Donald Brown, Kyle Meckley, and Ashley Plencner
  • Group 3 – Ashley Katlun and Alex Gloff
  • Group 4 – Chelsea Kronewitter and Alisenne Turner
  • Group 5 – Courtney Catanzarite and Kate Smith
  • Group 6 – Rachel Altum and Polina Guimaraes

prrevisedAs an extension of the introductory course, JOUR-J 428 Public Relations Research and Planning focuses on two specific areas: research methodologies and special event planning. In doing this, students expand their ability to work with tactics, hone their critical thinking skills, practice different research methodologies, and create a working plan for a non-profit organization. Likewise, the class will discover how creativity (both written and visual) plays an important role in the public relations process.

As such, our goals are:

  • To engage your instructor and fellow students in problem solving techniques
  • To develop an in-depth understanding of research, message development, and programming related to public relations
  • To provide practical experience in public relations problem solving
  • To provide practical experience in leadership, group work, and client relations
  • To produce a working fundraising plan for a special event

Throughout the semester, you will produce deliverables (assignments) that gauge your level of comprehension and application of the material in the course. These include:

  • Research Project – Groups will engage in field research for their client, developing an appropriate instrument, utilizing the tool, and reporting on the results. Worth 150 points.
  • Project Proposal – Groups will submit a written proposal outlining the goals for their project as well as potential strategies, tactics, and benefits. Worth 50 points.
  • Project Plan – The culmination of the semester-long project will be a working, in-depth public relations plan which adheres to the concepts and strategies covered in class. Worth 300 points.
  • Client Pitch – Each group will present a short 10-15 minute pitch to the client. Worth 100 points.
  • Group Member Analysis – Group members will submit a written analysis of their fellow members, along with a grade of their performance for the semester. Worth 100 points.
  • Examinations – There are 2 exams in this course, each worth 100 points. Worth a total of 200 points.
  • Attendance and Participation – The easiest part of your grade is assessed by your attendance in class and participation in discussion and activities: don’t fall asleep, be respectful of others, and contribute. Worth 100 points.

Here is more specific information regarding these deliverables.

The following schedule is tentative.  I reserve the right to change it depending upon our pace through the course, however I will give advanced notice.

01.13  Introduction to the Class
01.15  Interviews

01.20  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – no class
01.22  Overview of Public Relations (Introduction)

01.27  Snow Day – no class
01.29  Client Introduction and Presentation

02.03  Analyzing the Situation (Step 1)
02.05  Research Methods (Appendix A)

02.10  continued
02.12  continued; Project Proposal due

02.17  Work Day – no class
02.19  Analyzing the Organization (Step 2);

02.24  Analyzing the Publics (Step 3)
02.26  continued (if needed); Establishing Goals and Objectives (Step 4)

03.03  continued
03.05  Midterm Exam (Steps 1-4, Appendix)

03.10  Formulating Action and Response Strategies (Step 5)
03.12 Snow Day (again…sheesh) – no class 

03.14  Research Project due

03.17  No Class: Spring Break
03.19  No Class: Spring Break

03.24  Mid-Semester Project Analysis (mandatory attendance)
03.26  Implementing the Strategic Plan (Step 8); Example of a Tactic Page.

03.31  continued
04.02  Pgs. 178-180 (Step 6); Choosing Communication Tactics (Step 7)

04.07  Instructor at Conference – no class
04.09  Evaluating the Strategic Plan (Step 9)

04.14  continued
04.16  Work Day – no class

04.21  Client Pitch discussion; Project Plans due
04.23  Prep Day – no class

04.28  Client Pitches
04.30  Course Debriefing; Group Member Analysis due

05.05  Final Exam (Steps 5-9)


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: