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Public Relations Leadership

The Public Relations Leadership Area of Emphasis will prepare IMC graduate students for careers leading the public relations department for a company or running their own PR firm. Students are exposed to course work focused in applied public relations, crisis communication, internal communications and C-suite leadership.

You'll learn to:

Public Relations Leadership Guide
Download the Public Relations Leadership Guide
  1. Define the role of public relations in executive leadership, including methods to analyze an organization, identify and develop favorable messages to persuade a variety of internal and external publics, and disseminate messaging through available digital, social and traditional media.
  2. Develop a comprehensive organizational public relations plan to support C-suite thought leadership and business objectives.
  3. Utilize market research and data analysis to plan PR activities and improve PR effectiveness.
  4. Plan and develop content, including research briefs, SWOT analyses, speech writing, account pitches, and media relations materials.
  5. Learn to anticipate and differentiate among different types of crisis and how to communicate effectively about them to both internal and external stakeholders/audiences.
  6. Incorporate crisis and internal communication planning into IMC campaign strategy.
  7. Explain digital and social media effectiveness as it relates to reputation management and persuasion. Learn how to manage negative opinions and feedback online.
  8. Evaluate and report ROI results of PR, crisis and other communication campaign efforts, including executive communications.


To satisfy the requirements of the Public Relations Leadership Area of Emphasis, a student must complete the four required courses shown above. Three of the courses required for an AOE may also be applied to an IMC student’s elective requirement, with the fourth taken in addition to the general IMC master’s degree requirements. Note, that a cumulative GPA of 2.75 is required for graduation from the IMC program. Courses and grades from the Area of Emphasis will be counted towards a student's cumulative GPA (a C- or better is required in courses, with an overall cumulative GPA of 2.75) in the IMC program.

Questions? Contact our Enrollment Specialist at or 304-293-6278.