Public Relations and Corporate Power

Subject MECM40006 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment: 120
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: None


Dr Umi Manickam Khattab


Sean Cubitt

Subject Overview:

This subject examines the practice of public relations in a globally corporatised environment and pays special attention to its historical and theoretical development in the context of large business corporations. The role of public relations as a human agency in sustaining a balance between competing and opposing forces in complex environments is explored. Lectures will present a critical assessment of the reactive and unethical approaches of selected business corporations towards various publics and inform students of corrective and pro-active forms of building corporate culture, managing (media) relationships, designing corporate campaigns and community sponsorships, analysing risks and issues and networking through coalitions in global terms. Students will debate mainstream and critical theoretical perspectives and engage with actual public relations cases by critically investigating problems and issues in the contemporary practice of corporate public relations.

Objectives: Students who complete this subject will:
  • be able to recognise the development of public relations in relation to the historical rise of large corporations;
  • be able to understand the expansion of public relations in the context of contemporary forms of media practices;
  • be able to apply different theoretical frameworks in critically examining the practice in a global corporate context; and
  • be able to design and implement a public relations program of action and evaluate issues and problems in relation to corporate citizenry and community development.

A written essay of 2500 words 45% (due mid-semester), a case study report of 2500 words 45% (due at the end of the semester), a 20-minute oral team presentation of a news story or campaign 10% (commencing mid-semester). Students must attend at least 80% of classes to be eligible for assessment.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Students who successfully complete this subject will:
  • be able to demonstrate a high level of understanding of key communication issues in the industry;
  • be able to demonstrate skills in research procedures and critical evaluation;
  • be able to present ideas in both verbal and written form and in conformity to professional and academic conventions; and
  • be able to apply pro-active strategies in identifying and solving communication problems at various levels.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Honours)(Media and Communications)
Master of Arts (Science, Communication and Society)
Master of Global Media Communication
Master of Publishing and Communications
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Editing and Communications)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Media and Communication)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Media and Communication

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