This unit of study looks critically at the theory and practice of different genres of public relations writing within a context of problem-solving and managing public relations writing for intervention in different contexts. Students will consider issues of rhetoric and power, different writing strategies and how these might relate to different forms of public relations writing such as the media release, backgrounder and position paper. The unit also covers theories of publics and theories of the media as they might apply to writing, media relations and writing for the media. Course work will be supported by practical instruction in the forms of public relations writing and exercises in class time.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Deconstruct public relations as a form of writing and communication and discuss the way it is practised by different agents, political organisations, corporate groups and social movements in the public sphere;  
  2. Troubleshoot and manage public relations problems through written responses;  
  3. Analyse media relations and the form and design of media writing;  
  4. Analyse the methods of persuasion in public relations and critique how this persuasion works in public relations messages; and  
  5. Formulate high level public relations writing for persuading different audiences including the media, publics and organisations.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Media release exercise 10%
Project Group media kit and work report 40%
Presentation Seminar leading exercise 10%
Portfolio 4 x detailed portfolio exercises 40%
Minimum effective word limit 5000 words

Required reading

The following text is mandatory.

Public relations writing in Australia 2nd edn,
Mahoney, J 2013
Melbourne/Oxford University Press.

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