CQUniversity Unit Profile
COMM11110 Introduction to Public Relations
Introduction to Public Relations
All details in this unit profile for COMM11110 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

In Introduction to Public Relations, you will demystify public relations practice and investigate the strong future of the PR industry by exploring the wide range of careers available to you. As the core unit for students studying a PR major, you will engage with the fundamental concepts and key theories which underpin the discipline. You will consider ethical public relations practice through the investigation of real case studies. You will also apply your knowledge by creating and pitching your own authentic public relations campaign.

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 1
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

There are no requisites for this unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 1 - 2021

Online
Rockhampton

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Self assessment
Weighting: 15%
2. Reflective Practice Assignment
Weighting: 35%
3. Report
Weighting: 50%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Student satisfaction survey

Feedback

Students found value in the unit having a strong industry focus, with industry-relevant content and real-world application of knowledge

Recommendation

Continue to strengthen content with further industry-relevant links and real world knowledge application (such as the use of a real client for assessment items)

Feedback from Student satisfaction survey

Feedback

Students felt they would benefit from assessment requirements being clearer. In particular, assessment milestones (tasks to be completed prior to the final due date) should be clearer

Recommendation

Make all relevant task due dates clearer for students through assessment design and Moodle organisation

Feedback from Teaching staff

Feedback

The unit could focus more specifically on professional orientation, particularly PR as a discipline in 2020 onward. There is repetition within other units with regards to the creation of a public relations campaign.

Recommendation

Replace project based assessment items with other professional orientation activities to better situate the students in their discipline and prepare them for project based assessment items in later units, and careers beyond university.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Define and situate public relations in contemporary society
  2. Apply ethical reasoning, standards and codes of practice through case study analysis
  3. Explain the elements of a public relations campaign using real-world examples
  4. Pitch and develop an authentic public relations campaign
  5. Identify methods of evaluation used within a public relations context.

Not applicable

Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Presentation - 20%
2 - Case Study - 35%
3 - Report - 45%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Presentation - 20%
2 - Case Study - 35%
3 - Report - 45%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

There are no required textbooks.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Adobe Spark
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: American Psychological Association 7th Edition (APA 7th edition)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Amy Johnson Unit Coordinator
a.johnson2@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 08 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Defining Public Relations & the Contemporary Sector 

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2 Begin Date: 15 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

The Public Relations Content

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3 Begin Date: 22 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Public Relations Campaigns

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Infographic Due: Week 3 Friday (26 Mar 2021) 11:59 pm AEST
Week 4 Begin Date: 29 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Communication in Public Relations

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 5 Begin Date: 05 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Communication Pathways

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Vacation Week Begin Date: 12 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6 Begin Date: 19 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Campaign Logistics and Written Plans

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Campaign Elements Due: Week 6 Friday (23 Apr 2021) 11:59 pm AEST
Week 7 Begin Date: 26 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Monitoring and Evaluating Public Relations Campaigns

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 8 Begin Date: 03 May 2021

Module/Topic

Public Relations and Journalism

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 9 Begin Date: 10 May 2021

Module/Topic

Public Relations and Social Media

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 10 Begin Date: 17 May 2021

Module/Topic

Writing for Public Relations

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 11 Begin Date: 24 May 2021

Module/Topic

Other Types of Public Relations Campaigns

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 12 Begin Date: 31 May 2021

Module/Topic

Review Week

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 07 Jun 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Campaign Plan and pitch Due: Review/Exam Week Monday (7 June 2021) 11:59 pm AEST
Exam Week Begin Date: 14 Jun 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Tasks

1 Self assessment

Assessment Title
Infographic

Task Description

Learning Outcomes

This assessment is designed to evaluate your;

  1. Understanding and awareness of contemporary public relations roles
  2. Understanding of your own strengths and skills relevant to the public relations sector as well as your ability to identify areas of personal improvement
  3. Capability in collecting and visually representing data to a non-expert audience

Overview

COMM11110 Introduction to Public Relations is the first unit in the Public Relations major. It is expected that you may have an interest in pursuing careers in the public relations industry after graduation. This assessment item will encourage you to consider what roles might be suitable for you post-graduation. It will also make you consider where your areas of strength are, and what opportunities you might wish to pursue during your studies to make yourself more competitive for public relations roles.

Task Description

This assessment has two key activities. The first will be collection of data, and the second will be the presentation of that data in an infographic.

You will conduct research about public relations roles by searching job advertisement sites such as seek.com.au. You will need to set your own search parameters. You should aim to review at least 20 job advertisements to collect information, which you will then use to create a visually pleasing infographic. The aim of this infographic is to communicate information about the contemporary public relations sector to a non-expert audience.

Your infographic might show one, some, or all, of the following:

1. The most common job titles

2. Key skills desired by employers

3. Top employers (i.e Govt, Non-Profit, Private/Corporate sectors)

4. Common job tasks

Your portfolium submission should also include a short (single sentence or two) assessment of your own skills and experiences, identifying areas of focus or improvement you will focus on during your degree. For example, you might identify that experience is important to employers, so you'll look for opportunities to build practical experience through your degree. 

Other Information

Your portfolium submission should indicate which job advertisements you used to create the information shared in your infographic. The infographic itself should also make reference to where you sourced your information from (in small text, non-formal referencing is fine).

Information and resources for creating infographics will be provided on Moodle. You will be encouraged to use an infographic generator to create this piece of visual communication. As public relations professionals you will be required to create visually-pleasing graphics for distribution on social media and web platforms. As such, your infographic will be assessed generally for effectiveness and suitability, however this is not a graphic design unit, and you are not expected to produce a professional-quality piece. An example will be provided for you on Moodle.

It is suggested you use Adobe Spark for creating your infographic. You have free access to the premium version of this tool as a CQU Student, and all images from Adobe Spark are copyright-cleared. Instructions will be given on Moodle for using Adobe Spark. Adapting an existing Adobe Spark template is perfectly acceptable for this assessment. You do have the choice to use alternative platforms and/or tools if you would prefer, provided you check copyright restrictions.

Submission Instructions

This assessment will be submitted via Portfolium, CQUniversity’s ePortfolio platform. To complete this task, you are required to complete each item and submit through Portfolium. Links to this will be available on the unit website. Information about submitting assessments via Portfoliium will be provided on Moodle.

Marking Criteria

A full marking criteria will be provided on Moodle, however you will be assessed based on your attention to completion of requirements of task, presentation & structure, research and reflection.


Assessment Due Date

Week 3 Friday (26 Mar 2021) 11:59 pm AEST

To be submitted via portfolium (link in Moodle)


Return Date to Students

Week 5 Friday (9 Apr 2021)

Feedback and grades to be returned via portfolium (link in Moodle)


Weighting
15%

Assessment Criteria

A full marking criteria will be provided on Moodle, however you will be assessed based on your attention to completion of requirements of task, presentation & structure, research and reflection.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
To be submitted via portfolium (link in Moodle)

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Define public relations and the evolution of public relations tasks


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Ethical practice

2 Reflective Practice Assignment

Assessment Title
Campaign Elements

Task Description

Learning Outcomes

This assessment is designed to evaluate your;

  • Understanding and awareness of contemporary public relations campaigns
  • Understanding of individual public relation campaign elements, and how these elements are combined to successfully deliver public relations goals
  • Ability to consider a real-world example in the creation of campaign goals and plans

Overview

COMM11110 Introduction to Public Relations is the first unit in the Public Relations major. It is expected that you may have an interest in pursuing careers in the public relations industry after graduation. The second and third assessment items provide you with the opportunity to produce a real-world campaign plan for a real client. This assessment covers the individual elements of a campaign, allowing you to build your understanding of campaign plans and receive feedback prior to producing your own campaign plan in assessment three.

Task Description

This assessment covers individual elements of a campaign based on a real-world client (who will be the focus of Assessments 2 and 3). Details of the client brief will be available on Moodle prior to the end of Week 2.

You are required to complete a series of seven campaign-related exercises provided on the Moodle website. All seven exercises must be attempted in order to successfully pass the assessment. The elements which will be addressed are:

  1. Goals and Objectives
  2. Target Publics
  3. Key Messages
  4. Ethical approaches
  5. Communication pathways and tools
  6. Timeline and budget
  7. Document structure

Other Information

The first four exercises require justification of your choices, and these justifications must be referenced with at least two formal sources in the APA format, with a reference list at the end of your document.

The completed exercises in this assessment will form the basis of your final assessment (Campaign Report and Justification). It is expected you may repeat some (but not all) of the information produced for this assessment in your final item of work, building on feedback.

You will have the opportunity to meet directly with the client via Zoom. The arrangements for this meeting will be shared on Moodle. While this meeting is not-compulsory, it is strongly encouraged you attend. You will be able to ask questions and test ideas.

This client meeting will be recorded and made available on Moodle. You should submit all seven exercises via Moodle as a single word document. It is expected your final word count should be between 1200-1500 words, approximately.

Submission Instructions

This assessment will be submitted directly to Moodle. Additional instructions about submitting your assessment is available on the Moodle Support for Students site, or by asking the unit coordinator.

Marking Criteria

A full marking criteria will be provided on Moodle, however you will be assessed based on your attention to completion of requirements of task, writing standard, evidence of learning and research and referencing.


Assessment Due Date

Week 6 Friday (23 Apr 2021) 11:59 pm AEST

Submission via Moodle


Return Date to Students

Week 8 Friday (7 May 2021)

Feedback and grades via Moodle


Weighting
35%

Assessment Criteria

A full marking criteria will be provided on Moodle, however you will be assessed based on your attention to completion of requirements of task, writing standard, evidence of learning and research and referencing.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Submission via Moodle

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Consider the ethical implications of decisions, actions and outcomes to reflect the professionalism of the industry
  • Explain the elements of a public relations campaign using real examples


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence

3 Report

Assessment Title
Campaign Plan and pitch

Task Description

Learning Outcomes

This assessment is designed to evaluate your;

  • Understanding and awareness of contemporary public relations campaigns
  • Ability to consider a real-world example in the creation of campaign goals and plans
  • Use of theory and frameworks to justify the choice of public relations activities
  • Ability to effectively and persuasively communicate campaign plans through the creation of a campaign pitch

Overview

COMM11110 Introduction to Public Relations is the first unit in the Public Relations major. It is expected that you may have an interest in pursuing careers in the public relations industry after graduation. This assessment builds on the previous assessment to provide you with the opportunity to produce a real-world campaign plan for a real client.

Task Description

This assessment has three major components. The first is a public relations campaign plan, the second is a justification. The third is a presentation of your campaign plan- what we call a pitch. Your total mark for this assessment (50%) will be split across Part A (20%), Part B (20%) and Part C (10%). 

Part A: Public Relations Plan (11-15 pages, 20%)

Using the real-life client brief provided to you (the same client is used for Assessment 2 and 3) and using your Assessment 2 campaign elements as a base, develop a campaign based on the concepts introduced and discussed during the term.

You will present the plan as a professional public relations report. The content of the plan should include:

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Situation Analysis (research about the organisation & industry may be required)
  3. Goals and Objectives
  4. Target Publics
  5. Key Messages
  6. Communication Pathways and Tools
  7. Timeline
  8. Budget
  9. Measurement & Evaluation
  10. Appendices (if needed) and References

While every report will be slightly different depending on your choice of formatting, we find most students produce reports which are around 11-15 pages- aim for this as a general guide. Graphs/tables/images can be used where appropriate.

Part B: Justification (1,500 words, 20%)

Explain and justify your campaign plan. Your justification will be in the format of an academic essay, including an introduction, conclusion and references. Minimal headings may be used. The following aspects must be incorporated into your response:

  • Explain how the campaign is Public Relations.
  • What were the issues that your campaign addressed?
  • Justify your identified goal, objectives, communication pathways and tools, target publics, timing and budget. For example, your timing may have been selected in order to reach a specific target public or to coincide with a national event.
  • What problems might arise during the implementation of your plan? For example, the key message may not be consistent across strategies, or the strategies may not reach your target public. Perhaps a potential issue might arise that would not be addressed in the campaign.
  • How does your plan meet ethical standards of Australian public relations practice? Refer to the PRIA’s Code of Ethics.

It is expected that research will be undertaken, using credible and professional references outside of the unit content. A reference list is required in APA style for both Part A and Part B.

The word count for this section is deliberately challenging. It will be hard to condense your thoughts into 1,500 words. You will have to think about what you write very carefully in order to meet the word count requirements. You may have to be selective in how you justify your campaign plan, rather than trying to cover everything.

Part C: Pitch (10%)

In this final part, you will visually and/or orally present your campaign plan. Presenting campaign plans to clients is a key skill for public relations professionals. You will need to decide how you will deliver your pitch: you might record a video, or put together a PowerPoint presentation with voice over recordings, or you might visually present your plan in an Infographic (or similar visual tool). If you are creating content which includes audio or video, this should be no more than 3-5 minutes of content (i.e four slide PowerPoint with a voiceover of three minutes).

If you are creating visual-only content, using tools such as Adobe Spark is strongly encouraged. Adapting an existing Adobe Spark template is perfectly acceptable for this assessment.

Other Information

If your plan meets professional standards, it may be submitted to the client organisation for feedback and potential implementation. This is an excellent resume-building opportunity for those interested in a PR career.

You may also consider submitting your pitch for consideration in the CQU PR Student Awards. More information about this award scheme will be available on Moodle.

Submission Instructions

This assessment will be submitted directly to Moodle. Additional instructions about submitting your assessment is available on the Moodle Support for Students site, or by asking the unit coordinator.

Marking Criteria

A full marking criteria will be provided on Moodle, however you will be assessed based on your inclusion of the situation, goal and objectives, communication pathways and tools, target publics, key messaging, evaluation, timing and budget, recognition of public relations and how it relates to your plan, appropriate identification of issues, justification of campaign elements, writing standard and document structure, research and referencing standard, attention to requirements of task and presentation quality.


Assessment Due Date

Review/Exam Week Monday (7 June 2021) 11:59 pm AEST

Submission via Moodle


Return Date to Students

Exam Week Friday (18 June 2021)

Feedback and grades returned via Moodle


Weighting
50%

Assessment Criteria

A full marking criteria will be provided on Moodle, however you will be assessed based on your inclusion of the situation, goal and objectives, communication pathways and tools, target publics, key messaging, evaluation, timing and budget, recognition of public relations and how it relates to your plan, appropriate identification of issues, justification of campaign elements, writing standard and document structure, research and referencing standard, attention to requirements of task and presentation quality.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Submission via Moodle

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Develop an authentic public relations campaign plan for a real client
  • Identify methods of evaluation used within a public relations context.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice
  • Social Innovation

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?