JOUR 4420
Public Relations Case Studies
3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

Public Relations Case Studies is a practical studies course. With the understanding that the functions of public relations must be to mediate in changing circumstances, we  will seek, with case studies and problems, to help future practitioners develop agility in the principles and the application of effective two-way communications in a wide variety of situations likely to confront them and their employers. The purpose of this course is to help you prepare to deal with a variety of public relations problems/opportunities by working out a planned effort to deal with them...with in the PRSA code.

Course Objectives:

This is a case studies course.  You will be exposed to the purposes of public relations and the manner in which the function deals with problems and issues. Your text contains real-life case studies that will allow you to experience actual issues. The course will provide you with the knowledge to:

  1. To be able to apply public relations principles to problems and opportunities which occur in a variety of work situations.
  2. To be able to develop a strategic public relations plan to deal with real world public relations problems and opportunities.
  3. To be able to apply ethical decision-making in a variety of case study situations.

Instructor Information:



Prerequisites and Co requisites:


Course Topics:

Our text uses the first two chapters to describe the purposes of public relations. The bulk of the book contains real-life case studies. Each chapter starts with a definitive introduction and closes with a case problem.

Specific Course Requirements:


Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware, and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course:

All text books for this course should be purchased.

Supplementary Materials:

All or any supplemental material will be made available for purchase or provided.

Hardware Requirements:

See TBR Online Degree Programs Minimum Hardware and Software Requirements.

Software Requirements:

Browser:  you must be running Internet Explorer 5 or higher. To determine what browser version you have, select from the browser menu Help > About.

Your word processing software must be able to produce a .doc extension document to be used in this class.

Assessment and Grading

Testing Procedures:

This class will require students to complete, quizzes, tests, and individual written assignments. In addition the students will be required to complete group or team assignment/s.

Grading Procedure:

***ONLINE SUCCESS: Your success in this online course will depend on your willingness to read the textual material, successfully complete quizzes, and complete written assignments as scheduled. Success in taking quizzes and handling written assignments can be enhanced by studying the case problems at the end of the  chapters as well as chapter content.

Assignments and Participation

DESIGN: This course will emphasize problem solving in case studies. You will work individually, on many of the work requirements and in groups to accomplish other requirements.

Analysis is required in this course. Assignments will require you to analyze and make sense of data. Conducting secondary research is left to your ingenuity and the legal limits of the law.

FOCUS AND DEDICATION: This course requires focus and dedication to meeting all quality requirements and deadlines. Attention to planning and execution is absolutely essential to your success in completing this course. If you are not dedicated to completing assignments you will miss deadlines. If you miss deadlines you will fall behind. The result will be that your grades will be severely impacted.

WEEKLY LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Through reading, browsing the Internet, reviewing text materials, you become familiar with each week's key learning points. By doing so you will build a knowledge base required to complete assignments and pass each test.


Group Cases: Each person will be assigned to work in a Group. Each group will be

responsible for investigating, planning, and presenting a case via the discussion board to the class during the term.

Individual Case: You will be assigned to work on an individual case that will be due during the last week of the term.

Group Exercises: Special group discussions will be given approximately every three weeks,

Chapter Exercises: You will have chapter exercises from the readings, that will be accomplished by each student;

Quizzes: There will be  quizzes scheduled during the course of the semester.

Class Participation:

You will be expected to participate in all interactive aspects of the course.  Students must check the course bulletin board and email frequently for announcements and should actively participate in threaded discussion events. Those students not actively participating in the group activities will receive a zero grade for their efforts.


The course is divided into weeks to help manage your progress through the course material. You need to meet deadlines or due dates of projects, discussions, assignments, quizzes and all aspects of the course. DETAILS AND POINT DEDUCTIONS DUE TO LATE SUBMISSIONS ARE NOTED IN THE SYLLABUS

Course Ground Rules

Basic Rules

Online participation is required.  You will be expected to...

  • submit assignments in WebCT (place your name on each assignment)
  • communicate with other students in team projects
  • learn how to navigate in WebCT, and to attach word documents for assignments and case study questions.
  • keep abreast of course announcements
  • use the assigned  e-mail address in WebCT (as opposed to personal e-mail address) 

Be sure to address technical problems immediately and observe course netiquette at all times. 

Guidelines for Communications


  1. Always include a subject line.
  2. Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. We will address a protocol for this at the beginning of the course.
  3. Use standard fonts.
  4. Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. MUST  be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  5. Respect the privacy of other class members.

Discussion Groups:

  1. Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  2. Maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  3. Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other's ideas.
  4. Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  5. Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  6. Be positive and constructive in group discussions. 
  7. Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


  1. Introduce yourself to the other learners in the chat session.
  2. Be polite. Choose your words carefully. Do not use derogatory statements.
  3. Be concise in responding to others in the chat session.
  4. Be prepared to open the chat session at the scheduled time.
  5. Be constructive in your comments and suggestions.
Library Services

U of M Virtual Library:


TBR Virtual Library:

The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in the Regents Degree Program. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading must be included in all courses. 

Technical Support

TBR Regents Online Degree Programs Help :

Web Site:
AskRODP Telephone Help Desk: 1-866-550-7637 (toll free)

Students With Disabilities

The Tennessee Board of Regents is committed to serving all students, including students with disabilities, and adheres to the guidelines set forth in Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  If you have a disability and need special circumstances, please contact your home institution's counseling office. Be sure to let the instructor know of any special needs you have to fully access course materials.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes in the syllabus if necessary due to time constraints or other unforeseen events.   If this is necessary, members of the class will be notified as soon as possible BY E-MAIL and or posted on the MAIN bulletin board and posted on the Announcements Page.