M.S. in PR Spring Semester at Newhouse

Geoff Campbell Newhouse SU

Hey everyone. I’m just finishing up my first week of the spring semester of classes at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. I’ve had every class at least once and well, I’m very excited. I had been planning on sharing with you some of what will be keeping me busy this semester but my friend and fellow PR grad student Megan Christopher beat me to the punch. Take a look at her newly redesigned blog here.

Below is some information about the classes everybody in our cohort are taking. I’m also auditing a class in Visual and Multimedia Journalism that will help me tremendously in creating content at my internship this semester as a Digital and Social Media Intern in the marketing and communication office here at SU. I’ll update this blog with some of my work in that class once I have something worth sharing.

I’m enjoying all of my classes so far. It’ll be quite a bit of work but I’m ready and eager to do it. Here’s the information about the semester I’m borrowing from Megan who borrowed it from the course syllabi. There are also bi-weekly classes (PR Practicum) that focus on professional development and complement our internship.

Understanding Financial Statements


  • To be able to understand and prepare basic financial statements.
  • Become comfortable with accounting terminology.
  • Develop the ability to communicate the implications of various financial reporting issues.
  • Develop the ability to make reasonable estimates of firms’ financial health.

Major Assignment:

Research project: In a group, complete an analysis of a publicly held company. Groups will analyze the profitability, asset and liability utilization, liquidity, solvency, and debt coverage of the company by making comparisons of (1) the company’s performance over time and (2) the company in comparison to a single other competitor as well as the industry average.

Public Relations Campaign Planning and Execution


  • To understand the four stages of campaign planning.
  • To become familiar with the message development process.
  • To become familiar with public relations tactics and social media platforms.
  • To learn how to evaluate a strategic campaign.

Major Assignments:

Campaign project: Groups will be assigned to design, execute and evaluate an appropriate integrated campaign for the client (The Lerner Center) and will present the campaign book to the client.

Case study assignment: An individually written paper describing, analyzing and evaluating a public relations case relative to the group campaign project.

Public Relations Management


  • To appreciate the value of both the art and science of management.
  • To become familiar with the functions of management.
  • To understand the evolution of public relations as a function of management.
  • To identify the “best practices” in public relations/communications management.

Major Assignments:

Best practices paper: This paper will capture the assessment and insights provided by an in-depth analysis and research based on 3 – 5 key “best practices”. The paper will also address key findings on areas where public relations professionals can make a significant difference in organizations by employing the best practices.