Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Public Relations

Main Topics of Study

Management and Organisation of Public Relations

  • Public relations definitions
  • External environment
  • Internal environment
  • Systems theory
  • Location of public relations department
  • Future of public relations department

Role of Public Relations Practitioners

  • Types of public relations practitioners
  • Role of the communicator
  • Skills of ideal practitioner
  • Role of theory in practice
  • Education, professionalism and research

Media Context of Contemporary Public Relations and Journalism

  • Contemporary media context: the UK media industry
  • Theories of media
  • Regulating the media
  • Issues for public relations arising from the global media environment
  • Ethics of journalism and public relations

Public Relations and Democracy

  • Conditions for representative democracy
  • Elections and voting
  • Criticisms of modern democracy
  • Pressure groups and democracy
  • Democracy and multilevel governance
  • Public relations and modern democracy

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • The social responsibilities of organisations
  • Community and environmental responsibilities
  • The demands of public opinion
  • Discharging the organisation’s social responsibilities
  • Ethics and business practice
  • Regulatory frameworks

International Public Relations

  • Definition of international public relations
  • Factors and driving forces behind internationalisation
  • Global and local approaches to international public relations
  • International public relations agency networks
  • Public relations as a global profession
  • Public relations for supranational organisations

Public Relations as Planned Communications

  • Systems theories: emergence of public relations research
  • Diversity in public relations
  • Systems context of planning
  • Setting objectives
  • Identifying publics
  • Messages, content, strategy and tactics
  • Timescales and resources

Public Relations Research and Evaluation

  • Context of research in public relations
  • Designing research
  • Research methods
  • Designing research instruments
  • Research applications
  • Evaluation of public relations campaigns

Audiences and Corporate Image

  • Passive and active audiences
  • Stakeholders and publics
  • Organisational public relations
  • Organisational reputation, image and identity
  • Personality and culture
  • Organisational identity, strategy and process

Ethics and Professionalism in Public Relations

  • Importance of ethics and professionalism in public relations
  • Ethics and morality
  • Ethical theories and ethical issues in public relations
  • Ethical decision-making models and their application

Media Relations

  • Role of media relations
  • Media relations principles
  • Negotiated news: media relations in practice
  • Media partnerships
  • Media relations techniques

Internal Communications

  • Purpose of internal communication
  • Segmenting internal publics
  • Organisations: culture, leadership and strategic change
  • Communication channels
  • Employee perspective
  • Ethical communication

Issues and Crisis Management

  • Introduction to issues management
  • Context of issues management
  • Action planning: a framework for managing issues
  • Crisis public relations management
  • Communicating during a crisis
  • The internet and public relations crisis management
  • Key principles in crisis management

Managing Community Involvement Programmes and Consumer Public Relations

  • Corporate Community Involvement (CCI) programmes
  • Employees and community programmes
  • Cause-related programmes
  • Evaluating community programmes
  • Consumer public relations: tools and techniques
  • Branding and value of public relations

Business-to-Business and Financial Public Relations

  • Core principles of business-to-business public relations
  • Trade journals and journalists
  • Building corporate reputation
  • Scope and contexts of public affairs
  • Knowledge, skills, behaviour and ethics
  • Financial public relations practice
  • Emerging issues and trends

Integrated Marketing Communications and Sponsorship

  • Strategic marketing communications planning
  • Branding and integrated marketing communications
  • Integrating the marketing communications mix
  • Introduction to scope and context of sponsorship
  • Management of sponsorship
  • Features and characteristics of sponsorship
  • ‘Emotional marketing’ and the emerging sponsorship age

Corporate Communications and Public Sector Communications

  • Context and principles of corporate communications
  • Interface of corporate communications and overall corporate strategy
  • Corporate communication objectives
  • Theories of public communication
  • Central, local government and health sector communication
  • Communication planning framework

Campaigning Organisations and Pressure Groups

  • Types of campaigning organisation
  • Campaign tactics
  • People, politics and globalisation
  • Building and evaluating consensus
  • Practical guidelines for campaigning public relations

Arts, Leisure, Entertainment and Celebrity Public Relations

  • Overview of the creative industries
  • Role of public relations in the creative industries
  • Public relations objectives, strategies and tactics for arts organisations
  • Heroes, celebrity and the global celebrity industry
  • Reasons for ‘buying into’ celebrities
  • Development and maintenance of celebrity image

Future of Public Relations

  • Future trends and issues for public relations
  • Campaigning and pressure groups
  • Internationalisation of public relations
  • Practitioner roles and professionalism in public relations
  • Specialisation of public relations practice
  • Media fragmentation

Example Candidate Response Booklet

Example Candidate Response (ECR) Booklets are a source of crucial information for Centres and Candidates as they use real candidate responses. We ask Senior Examiners to comment on five or more responses in terms of why the mark was awarded with commentary about how to improve the answer (if necessary).

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

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Exploring Public Relations, R. Tench & L. Yeomans, Pearson

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

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Planning and Managing Public Relations Campaigns: A Strategic Approach, 3rd edition, A. Gregory, Kogan Page

Public Relations: Principles and Practice, P.J. Kitchen, Thompson Learning