Integrative PR program debuts at CMU

MOUNT PLEASANT, MI: Central Michigan University has launched a new integrative PR (IPR) program, focusing not only on APR requirements but also on building contemporary skills requested by local practitioners.

MOUNT PLEASANT, MI: Central Michigan University has launched a new integrative PR (IPR) program, focusing not only on APR requirements but also on building contemporary skills requested by local practitioners.

MOUNT PLEASANT, MI: Central Michigan University has launched a new

integrative PR (IPR) program, focusing not only on APR requirements but

also on building contemporary skills requested by local

practitioners.



’The interdisciplinary nature of the program was driven by our survey of

individual professionals,’ said IPR program chair Rick Sykes. ’They were

looking for PR students with business knowledge, multimedia training and

integrated marketing knowledge.’



PR students are now required to choose from electives in the subjects of

organizational communication, broadcasting, business and multimedia

design. Other courses range from marketing strategies for entrepreneurs

to lobbying and interest groups.



’It’s a very innovative idea,’ said Clarke Caywood, chair of the

integrated marketing communications program at Northwestern University.

’PR programs have traditionally left business and marketing aspects out,

but to be a player at the table with MBAs you cannot be

silo-oriented.’



The IPR program also tackles the basics. Practitioners surveyed still

list writing as the most important skill for students to develop, so

public relations writing remains a core requirement, as do case studies

and a mass media survey class.



Before students can register for the IPR major, they are required to

complete an introductory course that requires them to shadow a PR pro

for a day. ’We want students to know what they’re getting into,’ said

course instructor and IPR council member Diane Krider.



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