Wayne State University

Public Relations

Public Relations

About the major:  Public Relations is an exciting and challenging field that demands individuals with excellent communication skills and training. The practical applications of ethics are carefully considered. Special attention is given to effective written and oral communication as well as fundamental understanding of human communication and research methods.

Mission Statement: The Public Relations Program teaches students about the role of public relations in the private, nonprofit and agency environments. It treats the profession as a management function that includes anticipating, analyzing and interpreting public opinion; building and maintaining relationships with all key publics; developing programs that engage and support public understanding; and planning and implementing an organization's efforts to influence or change public opinion. The Program also provides access to professional development opportunities through its PRSSA chapter and through a strong relationship with the PRSA Detroit Chapter. Several courses actively engage the community through service learning components. Ultimately, we seek to serve the public relations profession by helping to develop highly qualified, well-prepared professionals. 

Learning Outcomes:  

1. Public Relations majors should have an understanding of how the history of public relations has influenced the development of ethical codes of conduct in the practice of public relations. 

2. Public Relations majors should be able to use research methods and tools to develop public relations strategies. 

3. Public Relations majors should be able to use communication theories in the practice of public relations. 

4. Public Relations majors should be able to prepare appropriate communication materials for use in all media (print and digital). 

5. Public Relations majors should understand all the management functions of public relations. 

Career opportunities: Public relations employment is diverse. Communications companies, television and radio stations, theaters, sports teams, corporations and non-profit organizations, trade associations, government and educational institutions all need people with management skills in public relations and communication.

Student Experience: Wayne State's program combines theory and practice - students learn the principles and concepts of the professional practice of public relations and are required to perform many of these tasks. Students are exposed regularly to the industry through Wayne State's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and through guest lectures by professionals and community service work. Internships are strongly recommended, and the Department of Communication's internship coordinator organizes a broad network with many interesting opportunities for students. We have a very close relationship with the Detroit chapter of PRSA.

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is a national pre-professional organization which was established in 1968. Membership in Wayne State's PRSSA chapter offers many opportunities and benefits. Some of these opportunities include luncheons with the Detroit Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) group, attending workshops and district or national conferences. Members can also participate in national PRSSA competitions and are eligible for scholarships. The Wayne chapter also has its own newsletter which members may involve themselves in writing and producing. However, they may choose to write for PRSSA's district or national newsletter. Contact the faculty sponsor, Dr. Shelly Najor, for more information at m.a.najor@wayne.edu.

Minor in Public Relations