The role of the professional communicator is undergoing intense transformation. Over the past 20 years, traditional marketers, public relations professionals, brand experts and advertisers have experienced the front-line benefits and costs of change in a world that is more connected and flattened by digital technologies and platforms. Now that professionals in each of the disciplines can reach the customer or community directly, the lines among the respective professions have blurred. This leads to both new opportunities and challenges, particularly where delivering a consistent company experience is concerned. No one is in charge of reaching and influencing the end customer if everyone is in charge. These changes promise to be even more intense as “The Internet of Things” and billions of connected devices transmitting and receiving personal data create even more intimate connections between companies and the people who matter most to them. This course introduces students to how organizations are grappling with the convergence of roles and how the successful ones are adopting integrated communication approaches that benefit internal and external audiences. In this course, we will step back and examine each of the functions that make up traditional communications-related roles. Students will get an historic overview of each discipline as well as a modern lens for how to develop strategies, plans and campaigns that include or consider each subfield. We’ll uncover the art and science of each role as students hear first-hand from industry experts how their careers have evolved and why taking an integrated communications approach benefits everyone regardless of organizational culture or purpose. Students will learn how leadership skills, business acumen, strategic thinking, creativity, endless curiosity, and passion are the hallmarks of successful communicators regardless of the business context.
COM 597: Mastering Professional Communication Today: The Convergence of PR, Branding, Marketing, and Advertising(Barnes)
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