Strategic Political Communication

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All SJMC majors must complete the Requirements for SJMC Majors. In addition, Strategic Political Communication majors must complete the courses outlined below.

Required Strategic Political Communication Courses

  • JMC 85 Public Relations Principles – This course explores the role of public relations in today's organizations. Students will develop an appreciation for and understanding of the critical thinking, research, planning and communication skills necessary for the effective practice of public relations. Students will acquire a solid foundation in the basic theories and concepts of communication, persuasion, motivation and learning which are integral parts in the success of public relations and in engaging people. Pre-req: Sophomore standing.
  • JMC 88 Introduction to Strategic Political Communication – This course will provide an introduction to the practical understanding and application of modern strategic political communication in candidate and issues campaigns. Using the current media environment as a foundation, students will learn the strategies and tools needed to successfully advocate on behalf of a client in the political context. Students will also analyze the implications of ethical political campaign communication practice in a diverse society, and will understand the different careers in which political communication skills will be required, and how those skills vary depending on audience, client, and venue. Coursework includes the original assessment of communication strategies employed in a contemporary political campaign, ballot initiative, or issue.
  • JMC 123 Public Relations Writing – Objective and persuasive writing for print, broadcast and social media and internal communication channels. Pre-req: JMC 54 and JMC 85.
  • JMC 138 Organizational Public Affairs – This course examines the key skills required for work in government relations or public affairs in corporate and nonprofit settings, at the local, state, and national levels . This includes: the fundamentals of the lobbyist/client/ legislator relationship and how professionals can effectively communicate with the many audiences involved in the process; the development and implementation of effective advocacy strategies and campaigns in the public policy arena; and ways to affect regulatory/policy changes on behalf of organizations.
  • JMC 143 Public Relations Planning & Management – This course explores the role of strategic planning and issues management in public relations, helping you gain essential skills you will need to thrive as a practitioner. You will learn how to identify and assess the ways in which emerging issues may affect public relations practice, and design and defend a comprehensive public relations plan on behalf of a community partner. Throughout the course, we will strive to balance proactive and reactive (i.e. crisis) strategies. Pre-req.: JMC 59 & JMC 123.
  • JMC 147 Strategic Political Communication Capstone – This capstone experience will require students to put their coursework into action in a meaningful and applicable way. Students will spend a semester studying a real-world issue or client. This study will include the identification of a key public policy challenge facing the organization or issue - through interviews with policymakers, activists, and professionals - creating a full environmental scan of the challenge and its obstacles and opportunities. Students will then develop a comprehensive strategic political communication plan, including objectives for different communications channels, message development, and key audience analysis and recommendations. In cooperation with the professor, students will then present research findings and recommendations to a representative of the issue or organization. Pre-req: JMC 88 and JMC 138.

Select six credits from the following:

  • JMC 76 Advertising Principles
  • JMC 99 Special Topics
  • JMC 132 Advertising Media Planning
  • POLS 114 Public Opinion
  • POLS 166 Compare Political Parties

Required Courses and Credit Hours Outside Major

All strategic political communication majors must include the following in their programs:

  • One methods course from the following: POLS 95, SCSS 159, or STAT 50.
  • SCSR 128 Argumentation & Advocacy
  • POLS 113 American Electoral Process
  • POLS 116 Media & Modern Politics

See the Forms page for downloadable checksheets.