Message from the Program Director
Master's Degree in Strategic Public Relations
Industry research shows a significant need for new approaches to public relations education in order to develop the kind of hands-on, management-smart practitioners needed in today's marketplace. Drawing on its extensive experience in political communications, grassroots advocacy, and legislative affairs, the Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) at The George Washington University has designed its Master's Degree Program in Strategic Public Relations to address this need.
The degree program takes an applied approach blending theory with practical knowledge and skills required for a successful career in public relations. The program will be particularly attractive to PR professionals working in the public policy and political arenas while providing the required foundation of core courses such as PR principles, writing, media relations, and ethics. The courses will take a decidedly strategic approach to teaching and learning.
The program addresses key societal issues such as institutional ethics, the emerging new media, and the growing convergence of public relations and other communications functions such as advertising, marketing, and government affairs.
Unlike other master's degree programs in public relations, our program purposely incorporates political and legislative communications as part of the functional mix of public relations practices. We view grassroots advocacy, campaign politics, and lobbying as essential components of public relations, particularly among public and private organizations whose goals and objectives include the pursuit of quality of life initiatives such as cultural diversity and a clean environment.
Today's public relations practitioners are required to have the knowledge and skills necessary to work with the media and other influencers as professional partners. Successful practitioners in every enterprise, public or private, know how to effectively communicate with the people on whom their success depends.
The U.S. Department of Labor says that employment of public relations practitioners in the United States will grow faster than average for all occupations through at least 2014. Similar growth is evident worldwide. A recent study by Heyman Associates of top communications professionals in corporations and agencies showed that 30 percent have advanced degrees.
As faculty, students, and administration, we are challenged by the range and the richness of the field of public relations and by a continuing need to develop new materials and new methods to teach it. With the online development of our Master's degree in Strategic Public Relations, we are now broadening the availability and delivery of this new brand of public relations training from Washington, D.C., to across the United States, to other countries around the world.
The Graduate School of Political Management