Strategic Communication/Public Relations Concentration in the MS in Communication Degree

The Strategic Communication/Public Relations concentration consists of 3 courses, 9 credits, that build critical skills in public relations and help prepare you to take on advanced management roles and become the communications authority for your organization. You’ll use a new global perspective to master crisis communications in the 21st Century, and learn how to build an integrated strategy that properly identifies, then involves, all key stakeholders.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program you’re able to:

  • Use your understanding of the key issues in managing organizational relationships with stakeholders to gain buy-in and create messaging faster and more effectively
  • Develop plans tailored to the unique needs of specific publics so they are readily heard and acted upon
  • Create responses to organizational crises in an ethical way
  • Understand and overcome global challenges associated with strategic communication initiatives


The three courses for the Strategic Communication/Public Relations concentration are:

  • Seminar in Global Strategic Communication
    Gain a global perspective in strategic communication issues with international audiences. The class emphasizes questions such as how strategic communication plans can be successfully implemented in other countries and demonstrates how plans should be measured and evaluated. You’ll hone these skills through assignments like a global case analysis, where you’ll provide a comprehensive critique of a communication campaign, and a real-world project, such as developing an international communication plan for a specific organization. More Course Details »
  • Seminar in Crisis Communication
    You’ll learn how to communicate in a time of crisis to manage threats to organizational identity, reputation, or financial security through assignments like a mock crisis drill that addresses three key publics and completing a crisis case study of your choosing using research and theory. More Course Details »
  • Strategic Public Relations
    You’ll build your skills in applying public relation’s theories, ethics, concepts, and principles, within integrated marketing communications on the foundation of general strategic communication. As a final testament to your new skill level, you’ll complete a final project and presentation based on one or two public-relations related issues for a real organization as you take them on as a "client." You’ll gain hands-on experience collecting data and research and use it to create a strategic communication plan that you’ll pitch as you would in the workplace. More Course Details »

Careers in Public Relations

Within the communications field, public relations is a specialty that demands nuanced skills and experience. Given the ease of sharing news and reaching numerous publics at once, it’s also a growing field — the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment in public relations to grow faster than average over the next 10 years.

Job Titles in Public Relations Include:

  • Public Relations Specialist1
    Earning a communications degree with a PR concentration is a smart move for candidates who’d like to use their communication skills in a public relations role or at a PR firm. You’ll gain a much-needed edge over candidates, especially at firms with large media exposure where there’s stiff competition amongst candidates.
    $59,300 Average Salary I 9% Job Growth Through 2026
  • Public Relations and Fundraising Managers2
    Professionals with these management titles are growing at an equal rate. Amidst the growth of social media and technology, the need for organizations to maintain their public image has grown as well. And, the increasing need to raise funds for nonprofit organizations requires more skilled fundraising managers.
    $111,280 Average Salary I 10% Job Growth Through 2026

More Titles in Public Relations Include:

  • Media Relations
  • Corporate Communication Specialist/Manager
  • Communication Practitioners
  • Social Media Specialists/Managers/Marketers
  • Public Affairs Specialists/Managers
  • Public Relations Specialists/Managers
  • Internal Communication Specialists/Managers
  • Employee Relations Specialists/Managers
  • Consultants
  • Human Relations Specialists/Managers
  • Communication Specialist

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If you’re curious about how the Strategic Communication/Public Relations Concentration in the online MS in Communications degree from Purdue could further your career goals, call us today: 877-497-5851 or request more information.