Public Relations

PROGRAM OVERVIEW Public relations professionals work to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between an organization/client and its constituents. They work in a variety of settings: corporate, small business, government, and political campaigns, non-profit organizations agencies and PR counseling firms. Drake PR students exercise the research, planning and communication skills they are developing as they work with "real world" clients in each of their PR classes.

Accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Drake is among 113 accredited programs nationwide. To earn accreditation, schools meet 9 standards, which address such issues as class size, diversity within the faculty and curriculum. Accreditation reviews occur every six years. Drake's program has been continuously accredited, most recently in 2004.

FACULTY Ronda Menke, A.P.R., associate professor of public relations, has experience in corporate, non-profit and political public relations, and was the Iowa coordinator for national media coverage of elections for 10 years. She continues to consult for corporate, nonprofit and governmental clients. Menke received her B.A. and M.A. from Drake.

Dr. Kelly Everling teaches courses in public relations copywriting, collateral materials and research. Brining years of public relations agency experience to the classroom, Everling creates real-world situations that prepare her students for top internships and positions globally.

Everling’s research interests include public relations pedagogy, international public relations, and agency-client relationships in public relationship agencies. Everling is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism and Mass Communication National Honor Society.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION No specific courses are required; however, students are encouraged to take business and writing courses in high school. Business literacy, writing and editing are important skills for all Public Relations majors.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR The Public Relations major requires 35 journalism credit hours with three journalism elective hours (optional) and seven non-journalism courses.

DRAKE CURRICULUM The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.

The Drake Curriculum also requires first-year seminars, which foster development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus; and a Senior Capstone, in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills and ideas to bear on one project.

INTERNSHIPS & OPPORTUNITIES Excellent internship opportunities exist in state and city government, corporations, arts, drama, sports, hospitals, associations, PR agencies and nonprofit organizations. Students have worked in Drake Marketing, for Drake Athletics, at the Iowa Natural Resources Council, Meredith Corporation, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and for state, local and national political parties and campaigns.

CAREER OPTIONS The range of job opportunities for qualified PR professionals includes media relations, special events, fund raising, speech writing, employee relations, investor relations, corporate communications and counseling, strategic planning and crisis communication management.

HONORS Kappa Tau Alpha membership for qualifying top 10 percent of seniors (some juniors) who meet all requirements for membership.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA): Affiliated with the Central Iowa professional chapter of PRSA.


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