Public Relations Department Mission

The mission of the major in public relations at Franklin College is to provide students with the intellectual grounding and the practical experiences needed to launch a long and rewarding career in communications.

Through a mix of high-challenge and high-help, Franklin’s PR faculty in the Pulliam School of Journalism get to know students one-on-one, and teach them and challenge them to reach their potential as communications professionals.

The key benefit of studying public relations at Franklin College is the broad-based liberal arts education students receive from professors teaching in the fine arts, humanities, lab sciences, social sciences and other academic areas, all of which build the strong academic foundation upon which the PR major stands.

Student Learning Outcomes

The public relations curriculum is built from national recommendations of the Commission on Public Relations Education, which is made up of PR professionals and PR professors from throughout the United States. The recommendations fall into the broad categories of public relations principles, content creation, strategic communications planning, media relations, social media, campaign management, case studies, research methods and measurement/evaluation. The top-ranking, most important topic recommended by the Commission is public relations writing, which is a key area of emphasis at Franklin. The list below is a sampling of the targeted learning outcomes in the public relations major at Franklin College.

  • Students will know how to write the most common print and digital products created by public relations professionals.
  • Students will know how to design the most common print and digital products created by public relations professionals.
  • Students will have a nearly graduate-school-level knowledge of public relations history.
  • Students will demonstrate entry-level knowledge of and skills in using social media in professional settings.
  • Students will demonstrate entry-level skills in integrating communications strategy into multi-media platforms.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to research, plan, execute and evaluate public relations campaigns.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to research, plan, execute and evaluate reputation management strategies and tactics for organizations.
  • Students will demonstrate introductory knowledge of public relations research methods.
  • Students will demonstrate entry-level knowledge of best practices in media relations.
  • Students will demonstrate entry-level knowledge and practical applications of crisis communications principles.
  • Students will demonstrate entry-level knowledge in strategic communications planning.
  • Students will know general best-practices principles in the profession of public relations profession.
  • Students will have professional-level knowledge of public relations terminology.
  • Students will know the variety of practice areas in which public relations professionals work and in which career opportunities exist.
  • Students will have entry-level skills in digital photography and digital photo editing.
  • Students will have entry-level skills in videography and video editing.
  • Students will understand key elements of communications law.
  • Students will understand how ethical decision-making is required throughout all elements of public relations practice.
  • Students will appreciate and embrace the importance of diversity and inclusion in all public relations settings.
  • Students will demonstrate on-the-job public relations competencies through at least one internship.
  • Students will develop three versions – book, digital and leave-behind – of a professional portfolio.

Public Relations and the Franklin College Family

PR students are quite engaged in campus activities, athletics and social organizations. Requirements for the PR major were designed to enable students to double-major if they wish, and/or to study abroad in the sophomore or junior years.

Did You Know?

Franklin College is the alma mater of one of the most prominent PR professionals in American history – Elmer Davis, who directed the Office of War Information in World War II for President Franklin Roosevelt.