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PRL2003 Writing for Public Relations

Semester 1, 2019 Online
Short Description: Writing for Public Relations
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 080509 - Public Relations
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Matt Grant

Other requisites

While there are no pre-requisites for this course, it is strongly advised that students who are pursuing a career in Public Relations also undertake JRN1020 Journalism Practice. Students in the Bachelor of Communication should complete JRN1000 Introduction to Journalism BEFORE taking this course.
Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


The ability to write for a range of document styles is one of the most sought after skills by public relations employers around the world, from news releases through to brochures, annual reports and advertising copy. Social media writing has emerged as top of the list of writing skills for many employers. All of these writing skills are covered in this course.


Students will be introduced to the basics of public relations writing including the concepts of good writing, techniques for persuasive writing and finding and generating newsworthy information. They will study how to write media releases for the print and electronic media, feature articles, backgrounders, brochures, newsletters and speeches. The major emphasis of the course is on developing practical public relations skills.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. examine the range of areas in which public relations writing skills may be employed
  2. demonstrate academic and professional literacy through a thorough understanding of the written word as a tool of effective, symmetrical communication
  3. expertise in the standard methods of writing for specific audiences using various mediums and channels including the news and social media
  4. demonstrate advanced written communication skills by planning and developing a major writing project for a particular purpose and for particular audiences/publics
  5. consider and apply ethical considerations as part of the planning and writing process.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Why is writing so important in public relations? 8.00
2. Writing technique 8.00
3. Organising yourself and measuring your success 8.00
4. Writing for mainstream media and media liaison 26.00
5. Writing for Web 2.0 26.00
6. Writing for controlled media newsletters, speeches, advertising, marketing 16.00
7. Advocacy and response writing. 8.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Marsh, CW, Guth, DW & Short, BP 2017, Strategic writing: multimedia writing for public relations, advertising and more, 4th edn, Pearson Education, Boston.
PRL2003 Writing for public relations: study book and selected readings, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Please refer to the introductory material.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 39.00
Independent Study 126.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
QUIZ 100 15 18 Mar 2019
MEDIA MATERIAL 100 35 23 Apr 2019
ONLINE 2.0 MATERIAL 100 15 17 May 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  2. Submission or completion of ALL assessment items for this course is compulsory.

  3. This public relations course maintains high standards of spelling, grammar, syntax and style. Faults in any of these could render a project or proposal unacceptable.