Public Relations and Social Media Administration

The major in Public Relations and Social Media Administration is designed to develop students’ theoretical and practical skills related to this technologically evolving field. This major offers a strong Communications core linked with a series of PR training and development courses that range from introductory to advanced preparation for PR professionals. Career options include, journalism, digital communication, social media management, marketing, PR, and political campaign/ executive relations, athletic communications and so much more. Students in this major are required to take a minor.

Learning Outcomes

  • Write effectively as a PR professional
  • Market the event or institution they represent through targeted PR
  • Access and engage social media as a tool for connection and community building
  • Ethically write and prepare PR material
  • Communicate effectively
  • Integrate media platforms



What You’ll Learn

Expert communication skills – from press releases to streamlined posts on current social media platforms.

Real-World Experience

Learn from industry leaders how to best manage and enhance the image of corporate brands through strategic communications.

Career Opportunities

Pursue fields like journalism, digital media, marketing, communications, and more.

Major Requirements 42 credit Major

  • COM 1403 Public Relations I (3)
  • COM 1282 Media Literacy (3)
  • COM 1410 Digital Photography I (3)
  • COM 2403 Public Relations II (3)
  • COM 2630 Writing for Media (3)
  • MKT 2710 Integrated Marketing Communications (3)
  • COM 3240 Media Law and Ethics (3)
  • COM 3403 Public Relations 3: Crisis and Communication Management (4)
  • COM 3450 Feature and Opinion Writing (3)
  • MKT 3620 Social Media Marketing (3)
  • MKT 3725 Digital Marketing (3)
  • COM 4201 Public Relations Practicum: Internship Preparation (1)
  • COM 4403 Public Relations IV: Campaign and Executive Reporting (4)
  • COM 4899 Internship (3)

Minor Requirements 18 credits

  • COM 1403 Public Relations I (3)
  • COM 1281 Media Literacy (3)
  • COM 2403 Public Relations II (3)
  • COM 2630 Writing for Media (3)
  • COM 3240 Media Law and Ethics (3)
  • MKT 3620 Social Media Marketing (3)

All Course

This course is the first of a four-course progression in Public Relations and Social Media Management. This course will offer students a theoretical and historical perspective while introducing them to the foundational elements of PR. Students will be trained on software used to compile and edit the Yellow Jacket Newspaper and will write an article for one issue during the semester in which they take this course.  Students will explore theories of Public Opinion, Mass Communication and Audience Research and apply that learning toward creating targeted messages in media such as print, direct mail, broadcast and cable television, web, and mobile applications.  PREREQUISITES: None

Students will study theories of mass communication and the role that the media and content creators play in modern society. The rise of print, electronic and digital media will be discussed and analyzed. Students will learn that media literacy is vital in today’s environment and will critique forms of mass communication including music, TV/movies, software applications and news. Special attention will be given to the rights, responsibilities, merging trends and practices of mass media. PREREQUISITE: None

Fundamental visual art principles constitute the basis of effective visual communication. This hands-on course explores these fundamentals while applying the creative approaches unique to digital photography. Students will learn how to use advanced digital cameras (DSLR) to create an on-line portfolio, as well techniques to manage and archive media. In addition, students will develop a framework to analyze and evaluate photographs, whether created by themselves or others. . PREREQUISITE: None

This course is the second of a four-course progression in Public Relations and Social Media Management. Students will learn how to research and write investigative journalistic pieces. Investigative reporting assignments will contribute to the Yellow Jacket Newspaper. The class will edit each issue of the Yellow Jacket in small groups. Particular attention will be paid to sources, public records, and global searches, as well as privacy and ethical issues. Students will write and develop a series of projects that prepare for, respond to, and reflect upon investigative journalistic pursuits. PREREQUISITES:  COM 1403

This course introduces a model of the IMC (integrated marketing communications) planning process and the steps taken in developing a marketing communications program. Research-based examinations of organizations needs for programs that can meet the global challenges and their impact. Promotions Management, Communication Process, and Ethical Issues will be discussed.

An introduction to the basic principles and techniques of writing for the media. Formats include informational, persuasive and entertainment content for a variety of audiences across different types of media and platforms. Students will write scripted material for traditional media (radio, TV, and print) and produce written content across various digital platforms, including podcasts, streaming audio/video, social media and other web-based industries. PREREQUISITE: None.

This course covers the rights and responsibilities of mass media practitioners, such as reporters, editors, moderators, influencers, etc., as well as the impact of conglomeration on mass media. This course looks at the values of those who work in the news/information business and the moral dilemmas they face in an increasingly complex and litigious society. The course includes lectures, case studies and guest speakers. Topics covered include privacy and an overview of libel law and the impact of conglomeration on the news business in general. PREREQUISITES: ENG1202 or ENG1602

This course is the third of a four-course progression in Public Relations and Social Media Management. Students will learn how to best respond to Crisis in the world of PR Management. Crisis offers the opportunity to think critically and creatively while compiling the information necessary to effectively respond. Units will include navigating cancel culture, DEI&B, political, legal and tragedy/ devastation communication. Students will be offered case studies and will individually and in groups prepare crisis responses. Students will also learn how to manage crisis across twenty-first century platforms and modes of communication to ensure consistency. PREQUISITES: COM 2403

Students will learn to write feature stories and opinion pieces for newspapers and magazines. In addition to learning the elements of good feature and opinion writing, this course shows how to take story ideas and turn them into published articles for newspapers, magazines, and literary journals. Current feature and opinion stories will be discussed. Students will write a minimum of 15 pages (4500 words) in the genres. PREREQUISITE: None

Social media has changed the much of the playing field in marketing and advertising. Through social media, customers now have access to the vast experiences of other customers to guide their purchase behavior. Conversation and participation are the norms in social media and social communities. Marketers now must embrace this new relationship with customers to be successful. In this course, students will learn about the different types of social media, create social media marketing strategy, and create content and engagement strategies for various social media and sites platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and YouTube.

Digital marketing strategies and techniques are critical to success today. Businesses now spend more money on digital marketing strategies and related marketing technology than traditional advertising and promotion. Students will learn a variety of essential digital marketing strategies in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM and PPC), Digital Display Advertising, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Marketing Automation, and Email marketing.


This one-credit experience will prepare students for their required professional internship. Students will develop PR resumes and will seek internship placement and navigate the process of securing placement. Class times will focus on deadline-based assignments including inquiries, cover letter and interview. Students will also develop an internship statement of purpose and a portfolio of their written PR work to best showcase their abilities in the field of PR. Schedule and goal setting for internships will also be core experiences in this course. PREREQUISITES, Junior/ Senior Status.

This course is the fourth of the four-course progression in Public Relations and Social Media Management. This course will focus on Campaign and Executive Reporting. It is vital to success of any political campaign or executives’ office to have clear, concise, and branded PR. Political campaigns succeed or fail on the quality of its branding and consistency. From Obama’s success with “Yes We Can” to George H. W. Bush’ failure with “A Thousand Points of Light”. Mock press briefings will be a core experience as well as watching an analyzing the effectiveness of various campaign and executive briefings throughout modern history. PREQUISITES: COM 1282, COM 1403 COM 2403, COM 2630, COM 2710, COM 3403, COM 3450.

One of the strengths of the communication program is the close relationship the program enjoys with the local, regional, and national media. Communication students are required to take at least three credits of professional learning experience in the media and are encouraged to take as many as 12 credits. Students document their professional learning through a compilation of published stories, podcasts, blog entries and other forms of media. Students have completed internships at 91.9FM/New England Public Media, WWLP TV-22, Western Mass News,102.1FM/WAQY, as well in many local/regional video production studios, public relations firms, and marketing agencies. Summer internships can be arranged so that students continue their professional growth during recess and the program already has a proud record of graduates being placed in media jobs. PREREQUISITES: Permission of the department chair and approval of the dean of the School of Arts, Education and Sciences. PREREQUISITE: None

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