JMS 595 (Fall 2013)
Hongmei Shen, Ph.D., APR
Class Time & Place: 19:00 – 21:40 Monday, PG 244
PSFA 340 (619-594-5120)
[email protected]
Office Hours: 13:00 – 14:30 (Mondays) and by appointment
(1) Graduate standing and completion of JMS 480: Principles of Public Relations or JMS 602:
Military Public Affairs or equivalent course in public relations principles, as deemed equivalent
by the instructor; or (2) Undergraduate standing and completion of JMS 585 with grades of C
(2.0) or better.
Course Description:
Examines, analyzes, and critiques diverse theoretical approaches to public relations, including
management, rhetorical, critical, relational and marketing approaches.
Overview of the Course:
This course enables the advanced public relations student to delve more deeply into theoretical
aspects of public relations scholarship and practice. Students with the appropriate grounding in
public relations principles will learn a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of public
relations, i.e., alternative ways to think about and analyze the managerial function that creates
and maintains relationships between organizations and their stakeholders.
The goals of this course are three-fold: First, students will gain exposure to different paradigms
of theoretical thinking. Second, students will have the opportunity to critique each of these
paradigms or worldviews. Finally, students will construct alternative paradigms or articulate new
nuances to existing paradigms, as they complete scholarly project of their own.
Learning Outcomes:
 Synthesize information from journal articles/book chapters and present it to class
 Analyze current issues and trends through the lense of one or more public relations
theoretical approaches
 Differentiate a “comprehensive literature review” paper from “applied research” paper
 Summarize and differentiate mainstream and alternative theoretical approaches to public
relations, including primary scholars in each theoretical approach
 Participate in weekly on-line discussions of reading materials
 Write an academic “literature review” paper, with appropriate citations and references
Course Format:
This course is a seminar, the success of which depends on the participation of its members.
Although I will introduce the topics and relevant readings, students are expected to contribute
their experience, questions, and their beliefs to all discussions. It is extremely important that you
become familiar with each reading assignment so that you understand the broad body of
knowledge in public relations.
Course Philosophy:
We will work within a climate that fosters mutual respect, dialogue, and interaction. It is
expected that students in this class will comport themselves with prudence, courtesy, and dignity
in all course-related activities.
Required Texts:
Dozier, D. M., Grunig, J. E., & Grunig, L. A. (1995). Manager's guide to excellence in public
relations and communication management. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Ledingham, J. A., & Bruning, S. D. (Eds.). (2000). Public relations as relationship management:
A relational approach to the study and practice of public relations. Mahwah, NJ:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Schultz, D. E., & Schultz, H. F. (2003). IMC, the next generation: Five steps for delivering value
and measuring returns using marketing communication. New York: McGraw-Hill.
American Psychological Association. (2009). Publications Manual of the American
Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological
E. L. Toth. (Ed.) (2007). The future of excellence in public relations and communication
management: Challenges for the next generation. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Other articles and manuscripts as assigned.
Pair Discussion Facilitation
Memos (1, 2)
Final Paper Outline with Bibliography
Final Paper
45 (including peer evaluation)
Grading Scale:
General Class Policies:
 Classes should not be recorded unless special arrangements are made with the
instructor’s approval.
 Cell phones should NOT be used, unless approved by instructor.
 Laptops can only be used for note-taking purposes. Students engaging in
activities not related to note-taking, such as texting, IM, Facebooking,
Twittering, and emailing, will be denied further use of laptops.
 Assignments must use Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced. APA Style
should be followed. Five percent of assignment grade will be deducted if standards are
not met.
 Assignments are due at the exact time and on the dates specified in the
syllabus. The first day any assignment is late, 20% is taken off of your earned
total. On day 2, 50% is taken off your earned total. On day 3, the assignment
will receive a score of zero.
1. Participation and Facilitation:
a. Participation (10 points): Given the seminar format of this class, your
participation is critical. You are required to post at least two discussion
questions on Blackboard (“Discussion Board”) by Sunday 7 p.m.
prior to class. You lose 1.5 points for the week if questions are NOT
submitted on time. No exceptions. Your discussion questions will serve
as the impetus for our class discussion. Students are expected to read
each other’s questions before class meeting. Your questions should be
thought provoking and demonstrate that you have spent time considering
the readings. The other component of your participation (8.5 points) is
graded based on your contribution to class discussion. Instructor will
select “good” questions and post them on Facebook Class Page for a
class vote. Winning question will receive 0.5 bonus point.
b. Pair Discussion Facilitation (15 points): You will participate more
formally as a facilitator. On our first day of class, you will self select
yourself into a pair. The two of you will facilitate one-week class
discussion. You will provide a handout for each classmate and your
instructor. The handout should include: 1) definitions and outline of
readings, 2) discussion questions, 3) a case (hypothetical or real) that
demonstrates the practicality (if any) of the approach in discussion during
that week, 4) anything else you’d like to include. Creativity is encouraged
and rewarded. You should submit the handout to Blackboard
(“Discussion Board”) by Sunday 7 p.m. prior to class. The instructor
will grade your facilitation and provide feedback by next class meeting.
During the office hours on Monday, your pair will meet with the instructor
for half an hour to go over your plan of facilitation. You are encouraged to
contact the instructor prior to the Monday meeting.
2. Memos (20 points):
You will produce two memos, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-pt font, 1inch margin, two pages maximum. During the assigned week, students select one
reading and produce a commentary discussing the theoretical pros and cons as
well as real-world applicability of the selected reading. All citations should
comply with the APA style. You should submit your memo to the Blackboard
assignment folder created for you by the instructor.
3. Final Project (55 points):
You will self select yourself into a group of 3 to work on the final project.
The end product of the project is a critical literature review of the
relational, rhetorical, critical, integrated marketing communication,
feminist, or postmodern approaches to public relations in which you
compare this approach with the managerial approach to public relations
and critique both approaches in light of the other. Your paper should be of
convention paper quality following APA style. Students are encouraged to
submit their papers to the National Communication Association or the
Eastern Communication Association.
The student will submit: 1) a 3-page paper outline with bibliography (i.e.,
list of references); 2) a 15-page final seminar paper. Your papers should
NOT exceed the page limit provided above (excluding references). A
10% grade reduction applies when the page limit is exceeded. An example
outline and grading rubric of the two papers will be posted on Blackboard.
All team members receive the same grade, which will be subject to peer
evaluation. Individual students’ grades are adjusted based on peer
evaluations. Peer evaluation forms will be posted on Blackboard.
Class Attendance:
This is a graduate seminar; you are expected to come to class. Class attendance
also involves being ON TIME to attend ALL of the class. If you miss class, you
are responsible for obtaining the information covered in that session from your
When a student does not attend class, the absence is excused ONLY IF it was
caused by (1) religious observance, (2) participation in University activities at the
request of University authorities, (3) debilitating illness, or (4) compelling
circumstances beyond the student’s control. Students claiming excused absences
are responsible for demonstrating to the instructor that their failure to attend was
on account of one of these four causes. Such demonstration shall take the form of
a letter signed by a person in a position to make an authoritative determination as
to the validity of the cause of absence claimed by the student. Letters related to
any planned absences must be presented to the instructor by the end of the second
week of classes; letters related to any unplanned absences must be presented to
the instructor within one calendar week of the date of absence, regardless of any
holidays during that one-week period. The instructor reserves the right to verify
the content and authority of such letters.
Academic Integrity:
Students are expected to behave honorably in an academic environment.
Academic dishonesty, including cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic
dishonesty and plagiarism, will not be tolerated. Confirmation of such incidents
can result in suspension or expulsion from the University. Students who are
uncertain as to what constitutes academic dishonesty should consult the
University’s Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities (
or check with the instructor. Specific definitions for terms pertaining to academic
dishonesty, as well as procedures for handling such cases, are defined in the
SDSU Senate Policy file, available from the Center for Student Rights and
Responsibilities. You are responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by
this policy.
Basically, plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation of another
person’s idea or product as one’s own. Students can avoid unintentional
plagiarism by following carefully accepted scholarly practices. Notes taken for
papers and research projects should accurately record sources of material to be
cited, quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, and papers should acknowledge these
sources. The penalties for plagiarism include a zero or a grade of “F” on the work
in question, a grade of “F” in the course, suspension, or expulsion.
Policy on Incompletes:
The grade of “incomplete” is given only to a student whose work in a course has
been qualitatively satisfactory when, because of illness or other circumstances
beyond the student’s control, he/she has been unable to complete some small
portion of course work. In no case will an incomplete (I) be recorded for students
who have not completed major course assignments.
Documented Disabilities:
Students who need accommodation of their disabilities should contact me
privately by the second class period to discuss specific accommodations for which
they have received authorization. If you have a disability, but have not yet
contacted Student Disability Services, please do so before coming to see me
during my office hours or by appointment. Student Disability Services is located
in Suite 3101 of the Calpulli Center on Hardy Ave. (near Cox Arena), and their
phone number is 619-594-6473. More information is available at
*The instructor reserves the right to modify the course syllabus at any time during the
semester; students will be informed of the changes either in class or via email. For example,
topics listed in the syllabus may be covered on different days to accommodate guest speakers,
natural disasters, or class needs. Students who choose to remain enrolled in this course after the
regular schedule adjustment period indicate by their continued enrollment that they have read
and understood the syllabus for this course, and that they accept and agree to abide by its
procedures and policies.
Semester Schedule
Readings & Assignments*
Week 1:
August 26
Overview of the Course
Definitions of Public Relations
Introduction to Paradigms
Assignment of Facilitators
Week 2:
September 2
Week 3:
September 9
Labor Day: No Class
J. Grunig (2000)
Heath (2000)
Dozier & Lauzen (2000)
L. Grunig, Toth, Hon (2000)
Holtzhausen (2000)
Spicer (2000)
Week 4:
Management Approach: the
J. Grunig (2006)
September 16 excellence study, models of PR Dozier, J. Grunig, & L. Grunig, 1995 (Chapter
1- 9, 12-13)
Memo 1 Due by 7 p.m.
Week 5:
Management Approach (cont.): Dozier, J. Grunig, & L. Grunig, 1995 (Chapter
September 23 what does this mean to
14 - 16)
Class Facilitation 1
Week 6:
Relationship Approach: State
September 30 of OPR Research
Ledingham (2003)
Ki & Shin (2004)
Ledingham & Bruning (2000) (Chapter 1-2)
Hung (2007) in E. Toth (Ed.)
Class Facilitation 2
*Form final paper groups in class
Readings & Assignments*
Week 7:
October 7
Relationship Approach (cont.):
Ledingham & Bruning (2000) (Chapter 3, 4, 7)
Ki & Hon (2007)
Yang (2007)
Shen & Kim (2012)
Class Facilitation 3
Week 8:
October 14
Rhetorical & Critical
Week 9:
October 21
Marketing Approach
Memo 2 Due by 7 p.m.
Roper (2005)
Heath (2006)
Karlberg (1996)
Berger (2004)
Pal & Dutta (2008)
Class Facilitation 4
D. Schultz & H. Schultz (2003) Chapter 1-12
J. Grunig & L. Grunig (1998)
L. Grunig, J. Grunig, Dozier (2002) Chapter 7
*Seminar Paper Outline Due by 7 p.m.
October 20 (Sunday)
Week 10:
October 28
Week 11:
November 4
No Class (Instructor attending
PRSA International
Conference in Philadelphia)
Feminist Approach
Aldoory (2005)
Aldoory & Toth (2002)
Dozier, J. Grunig, & L. Grunig, 1995 (Chatper
L. Grunig (2006)
Week 12:
Veteran’s Day. Campus
November 11 Closed: No Class.
Week 13:
Activism and Organizational
November 18 Environments, Postmodern
Holtzhausen & Voto (2002)
L. Grunig, J. Grunig, Dozier (2002), Chapter
Toth (2002)
Murphy (2000)
Week 14:
Inside the Organization; New
November 25 Directions for Research in PR
Dozier, J. Grunig, & L. Grunig, 1995 (Chatper
L. Grunig, J. Grunig, Dozier (2002), Chapter
Student presentations of papers
Readings & Assignments*
Week 15:
December 2
Open office hours for final
feedback on paper
*Final Seminar Paper Due in Digital
Dropbox by 10 p.m. December 9