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PRL8006 Strategic Communication Project

Semester 2, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities and Communication
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Alison Feldman
Moderator: Barbara Ryan


Pre-requisite: PRL8003

Other requisites

Recommended pre-requisite: That you complete at least four other public relations courses in the program before attempting PRL8003 and PRL8006.
Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


Contemporary organisations operate in a dynamic environment, and are faced with an increasing arrange of challenges. Through exercising strategic choices, organisations emerge, maintain, change, and survive in this complex environment. Organisations which are effective in achieving goals and objectives consider the communications implications at every point in the decision-making process. Ensuring that goals and objectives are coherent and understand creates fully engaged internal and external stakeholders, who are critical to the development of strong organisational reputation. The strategic imperative of communication requires Public Relations professionals to demonstrate high level capability for conceptualising, implementing and managing integrated communication across the organisationís environment.


As students draw closer to meeting the full requirements for graduating from the course, it is absolutely essential that they have the opportunity to integrate and synthesise the knowledge and competencies developed to date in relation to their professional responsibilities. Students will be able to draw upon some of the critical concepts, techniques and information from other courses studied in order to develop informative and comprehensive responses to a major communication or public relations project and/or campaign. The planning, documentation, production, and management of the project will be the major activities of the course. Students are encouraged to explore the practical and experimental application of communication techniques and their theories to their project. The course highlights the importance of project planning and considers the processes of planning, scheduling and resource allocation. It also includes descriptors on project monitoring and performance measurement, in the project environment. It provides a framework for planning, scheduling, analysis and resource allocation and integration by focusing attention on the development of an organisation's strategic directions, strategic capabilities and internal and external dynamics. Students will be responsible for all aspects of the project development phases.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. source an appropriate client organisation for the purpose of offering professional public relations services through provision of a complete strategic communication plan;
  2. obtain a comprehensive client brief, and conduct a comprehensive analysis of the client organisation's background, culture, dynamics, public relations approaches, strategic directions, and strategic capabilities in order to develop the program;
  3. plan and undertake where possible primary research on which to base the aims and objectives, the selection of strategies and the prioritisation of stakeholder groups;
  4. develop a comprehensive plan for each corporate plan objective that is influenced by communication: aim, objectives, deliverables and strategic outcomes for the organisation;
  5. develop public relations tools for implementation;
  6. implement, monitor and manage the strategic communication plan . Plan and conduct in-process and end-process evaluation;
  7. demonstrate a high level of understanding of public relations theory and practice, key issues and insights through the development of a complete Strategic Communication Plan.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Deciding upon a topic 5.00
2. Research - getting started 20.00
3. Research - situational and organisational analysis 10.00
4. Research - stakeholder and public analysis 10.00
5. Research - putting into perspective 10.00
6. Adaptation 15.00
7. Implementation strategy 10.00
8. Evaluation 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Smith, RD 2009, Strategic planning for public relations, 3rd edn, Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, Mahwah, New Jersey.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Austin, E & Pinkleton, B 2006, Strategic public relations management: planning and managing effective communication programs, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.
  • Diggs-Brown, B 2011, Strategic public relations: an audience-centred approach, Wadsworth, Boston, USA.
  • Gregory, A 2010, Planning and managing public relations campaigns: a strategic approach, Kogan Page, London and Philadelphia.
  • Watson, T & Noble, P 2005, Evaluating public relations: a best practice guide to public relations planning, research and evaluation, Kogan Page Limited, London.
  • The course materials for PRL8003 Strategic Communication Planning will be critical for your progress in this course.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 140.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROJ PROPOSAL & ETHICS APP 15 15 29 Jul 2013
RES METHODS & RESULTS RPT 35 35 16 Sep 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  2. This public relations course maintains high standards of spelling, grammar, syntax and style. Faults in any of these could render a project or proposal unacceptable

  3. This course should be completed during the student's last year in the program.