Students pursing a M.A. in Public Relations or M.A. in Strategic Communication within the College of Communication and the Arts will have the opportunity to collaborate with Stillman School of Business graduate students this summer in an accelerated web-based course titled Reputation Management.
The course, which will run May 22–July 3, will explore integrated marketing communication strategies and tools that allow public relations professionals to best manage conversations about their brands. Students will analyze case studies and develop a crisis management plan. Dr. Kristen Koehler, assistant professor of public relations, will teach the course.
“In today’s digital age, it is integral that there is constant environment scanning, monitoring, and both proactive and reactive communication,” Koehler said. “My goal is to instill both the knowledge and confidence in ethical, thoughtful public relations practitioners who are capable of driving reputation management best practices.”
Reputation Management was developed in 2013 as part of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)’s MBA/Business School Program. Dr. Kathleen Rennie, the chairwoman of the PRSA MBA/Business School committee, explained that the course originated to prepare Strategic Communication and Public Relations graduate students for life in the corporate world and to teach business school students exactly what it means to strategically communicate.
“It allows Public Relations and Strategic Communication students to experience what it is going to be like when they have a seat at the management table,” Rennie said. “It enlightens them to the business impact of communication.”
Giuseppe Barone ’09/M.B.A’13 is one former student who recommends the course to Public Relations, Strategic Communication, and business students. Barone, who took the course while pursuing a M.B.A. after previously graduating from the University with a B.A. in Public Relations, said it is crucial for public relations and business professionals to understand each other’s fields. As a senior account executive at MWWPR, he explained that his business knowledge allows him to readily comprehend clients’ business goals and tie in any public relations plans to overall business strategies. Likewise, he pointed out that businesses with a grasp of public relations are easy to work with because there is no need to initially explain what public relations is – collaboration can happen immediately. Barone, who now serves on the PRSA MBA/Business School Program committee, also stressed that reputation management is a concept every Public Relations, Strategic Communication, and business student should know.
Summer 2018 registration is currently open. Interested students are encouraged to meet with their academic adviser to discuss if Reputation Management fits in their graduate program plan.
The College currently offers three Master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, Strategic Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered. A Ph.D. program is currently under development.