"Public relations is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering—it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape," says author Ronn Torossian. Maybe you enjoy the challenge of persuading someone through writing. Perhaps you love sharing the stories of an organization you’re passionate about. If that description fits you, consider a public relations emphasis at Dordt.Request Info
Dordt’s public relations emphasis will help you learn to tell the story of an organization in a way that connects with the right audience. We’ll also equip you to inspire people through a uniquely-crafted, Christ-centered framework. Project-based classes open new ways of learning about the ever-changing PR industry.
What You'll Learn
You’ll learn different methods of persuasion. You’ll develop and craft dynamic speaking skills. You’ll refine your writing style. And by working with real clients and building your own campaigns, you’ll learn more than just the basics of public relations.
What You Can Do With A Public Relations Degree
With a public relations emphasis, you’ll be ready to create attention-grabbing, quality content. You’ll learn to represent an organization in a dynamic, engaging way. And you’ll be equipped to use your faith to impact an industry in desperate need of more Christ-followers.
Public Relations Specialist
Public Relations Specialists use media and social programs to create a positive public image of the company they represent.
A Communications Planner uses strategy to implement an organization's creative and media ideas.
Students who choose the public relations emphasis will complete courses in the communication, art, and business administration programs in addition to completing the general requirements for a communication degree. As a part of these courses, students earn three credits by performing an internship, by performing an individual study project, by participating in debates, and/or by writing for the Diamond, Dordt's student newspaper.
- Organizational Communication: The analysis of formal and informal communication in such organizations as corporations and institutions. Included will be considerations of communication problems related to grapevine, rumor, channels, perception, power, status, roles, structures, etc.
- Emerging Media: In this course, we explore technology’s role and influence in media, communication, and faith. Through the study of communication theories, marketing techniques, entertainment vocabulary, technology applications, and Scripture, we will consider social change at various levels (from the individual to the world). Students will use digital communications tools creatively to apply practical concepts to organizational settings, professional roles, and special areas of interest.
- TV and Radio Broadcast Production: This television and radio broadcasting course strives to obediently communicate God’s unfolding creation, equipping and encouraging students to use their video and radio broadcasting skills to live according to His Word. Students will learn the basic fundamental skills in radio and television news reporting, interviewing, commercial production and broadcast remote production.
- Introduction to Film/Video Production: In this introductory course, students will gain working knowledge of sophisticated cameras and equipment, a beginning knowledge of editing on the Avid platform, and in-depth discussion of what it means to be a Christian in the communication and entertainment industry today. Students will work in teams to produce films during the semester.
- Public Relations: As an introduction to public relations, this course will set the background for additional courses in communication and business administration. After a study of the history of public relations, students will learn what is expected of public relations workers, study the various publics, become familiar with current problems and issues in public relations, analyze several cases, and develop a Christian perspective for the continued study of public relations.
- Public Relations Writing: This course is, above all, a writing course. Focused on public relations writing that serves overall organizational goals, the course readings and assignments allow students opportunities to further develop their writing, research, and critical thinking skills and creativity in one of the most culture-shaping industries.
- Campaigns and Cases: An advanced course that focuses on public relations as a management function in organizations. A key component of the course is planning and implementing a public relations campaign for a local organization. Students also will examine specific public relations contexts and analyze case studies that exemplify how real organizations successfully apply communication to take advantage of public relations opportunities and to solve public relations problems.
- Design Theory: Manipulation of two-dimensional design through the use of the basic art elements: line, shape, value, color, texture, and space. The course is intended to develop a visual vocabulary and an imaginative approach to design.
- Principles of Marketing: A study of marketing institutions, product development, channels of distribution, price determination, promotion methods, government influences, and ethical problems facing marketing personnel. Includes a foundational study and discussion of business from a Christian perspective.
- Marketing Research: A study of the various techniques used to assess the wants and needs of consumers, including focus groups and market surveys. Both qualitative and quantitative procedures will be studied with emphasis on questionnaire development and interpretation using SPSS. Business market and not-for-profit research will also be discussed. The value of secondary sources will be explored. A Christian response to the use of this analytical tool will be developed.
- Diamond Workshops: This workshop provides hands-on practical experience working as a team on the campus newspaper and website, the Diamond. Joining the staff of the student-led publication offers opportunities to apply multimedia storytelling and design skills learned in class, hone deadline-reporting expertise, and develop management and leadership abilities. This workshop is required of all journalism majors and may be completed for credit up to four times.
- Forensics: Forensics includes individual events and debate for the continued development of public speaking skills. Active participation involves weekly practice and coaching, as well as formal evaluation in a collegial, competitive environment at regional tournaments. Graded on a pass/no record basis.
- Dordt Media Network: Dordt Media Network strives to obediently communicate God’s unfolding creation, equipping and encouraging viewers to live according to His Word. Students apply for 1-3 hours of academic credit for work with the Dordt Media Network in two areas: video production and live stream/remote broadcast production. Registration for credit is required in the semester in which you are on the Dordt Media Network team. Student work will include producing promotional videos for the university and sports highlight videos of Defender athletic events. In addition students can work on the live stream/remote broadcast team as camera operators, graphic, replay and audio operators.
- Communication Internship: A supervised work experience in the areas of communication, public relations, journalism, digital media, or with the Digital Media Network designed to provide the student with the opportunity to apply principles and skills gained through coursework. Open to all communication students.
- Individual Studies: Communication Studies students will be expected to take a two-credit communication individual study to create an interest-centered project that applies the communication principles they have been studying.
- Introductory Statistics: An introductory course in statistical techniques and methods and their application to a variety of fields. Topics include data analysis, design of experiments, and statistical inference including confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. Exposure to statistical software and a substantive student project are also part of this course.
Ready to take the next step?
With experience in a variety of fields, our faculty members are equipped and ready to help you succeed.
Dordt students and alumni use their gifts to make a difference in the world. Check out their stories to see how Defender Nation lives out our mission to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.
The endless opportunities that Dordt English and Communication departments allowed Ashley to pursue helped prepare her for all the different encounters she faced after college.
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