Course Title: Develop and apply knowledge of public relations industry

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: MKTG5844C

Course Title: Develop and apply knowledge of public relations industry

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5281 - Diploma of Business (Public Relations)

Course Contact : Sally Parrott

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5175

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Alain Grossbard


Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit applies to individuals working in entry level public relations positions who need to apply knowledge of the structure, organisation and functioning of the public relations industry in order to effectively conduct strategic communications.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSBPUB401A Develop and apply knowledge of public relations industry


2. Identify industry employment obligations and opportunities


Performance Criteria:

2.1. Obtain information on employment obligations and opportunities in relation to the public relations industry
2.2.Apply information on employment opportunities and obligations in everyday activities related to typical work roles


3. Conduct strategic communications management planning



Performance Criteria:

3.1. Establish purpose and processes for setting objectives in the workplace
3.2. Identify and apply appropriate planning and measurement tools to workplace objectives
3.3. Develop critical success factors for the communications


1. Apply knowledge of the public relations industry


Performance Criteria:

1.1. Seek information on the structure and operation of the public relations industry
1.2. Identify and access sources of information on the public relations industry
1.3. Obtain information on public relations industry sectors, associations, networks and societal role
1.4. Identify and access information on key stakeholders
1.5 Apply industry information appropriately in everyday activities related to typical work roles


4. Update industry knowledge

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Conduct formal and informal research to update general knowledge of the industry continuously
4.2. Monitor current issues of concern to the industry
4.3. Share updated knowledge with client and colleagues
4.4. Incorporate updated knowledge into everyday activities related to typical work roles

Learning Outcomes

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to research, analyse and apply knowledge of the various components of the public relations industry, including legal and ethical constraints and strategic communications management planning.

Details of Learning Activities

The learning activities will cover reporting on the public relations industry structure and its role in society and in a particular organization; developing a stakeholder analysis relevant to a particular organization; and reporting on the current issues affecting the public relations industry. This will be achieved through a range of individual (self-paced) and collaborative classroom based activities. The self-based activities will be delivered  through various technology platforms and include contributions, quizzes and interactive sessions. The collaborative classroom based activities will include group discussions, group problem solving activities and opportunities to practice your skills in a simulated/real workplace environment.  It is expected that you will participate and contribute in all scheduled learning activities.

Teaching Schedule

Week        Commencing weekContent Overview

9 February

Course Induction
• Course delivery and assessment details
• Online learning environment – go through Blackboard shell
• Overview of assessment requirements
• Competency/Grading Criteria
• Pre-Training Review including Recognition of Prior Learning & Credit Transfers and Assessment of current skills and knowledge
• Plagiarism – must have signed cover sheets on all assessments
• Appeals – take them through this process and where it is on website
• Extensions – take them through process (details on website.)
• Feedback – when they can contact you and expect a response.
• Privacy
• Submission requirements – how all work must be uploaded and how
• Resubmission policy – one resubmission, marked to a pass allowed
• Where to get support - Student study support details
• Student responsibilities – must check emails and bb shells weekly

Pre-Training Review
Confirm completion of LLN skills analysis. Program map to confirm all students are correctly enrolled.


216 FebruaryIntroduction - What is PR and understanding public relations and the PR practitioner’s role and responsibilities
323 FebruaryPR trends and developments
42 MarchPR planning – goals and objectives
59 MarchTheories of communications
616 MarchPR and marketing
Overview of what has been learnt
723 MarchPublicity and media relations
830 MarchMajor Assignment
 Mid Semester Break (2 – 8 March inclusive) 
913 AprilIssues and Crisis Management
1020 AprilMajor Assignment
1127 AprilCommunity and Government relations
124 MayInternal and employee communications
1311 MayPR in the Future
1418 MayTest
1525 MayMajor Assignment -Presentations
Return final assessment and schedule any resubmission for next week
161 JuneInterviews/assessment feedback/resubmissions


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources


Overview of Assessment

Students must demonstrate an understanding of all elements of a particular competency to be deemed competent. Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of each competency in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks.

Assessment will incorporate a variety of methods including assignments, journals, presentation and written or test. Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Portfolio of class activities

Either working as an Individual or in small groups, you will be required to do a public relations activity relevant to the lecture and submit the responses by the end of the class. The activity is usually between 100 to 300 words long and there will be between 8 to 10 activities that need to be submitted. The activities will analyse and describe current or past PR events using public relations concepts and tools as well as apply skills in finding information using online resources, books, journals and newspapers.

Assessment Task 2 Test covering lectures and activities/workshops

A written test will be assessed on the competency achieved from answering the questions presented on the test.

This is a written test of questions related to the course content covered from series of lectures and activities performed throughout the semester. It is to be completed by the student at a set time on Week 14 of the semester. The test will students’ knowledge, skills in public relations concepts and strategic thinking will be tested based on lecture notes and activities covered during the semester.

Due: Week 14

The grade for this assessment task is worth 20% of your overall grade in this course.

Assessment Task 3 Industry Report and Presentation– Interview a Public Relations Practitioner

Student will be required to interview a practising public relations practitioner and write a report on their activities. A hand-out will be provided with a set of instructions as to what is required and expected from the student’s assignment. It is an individual report covering what the student has learnt from meeting and discussing public relations from a PR practitioner. The report will be 1500 words. This will be followed by a five minute oral and visual presentation to the class.

The grade for this assessment task is worth 30% of your overall grade in this course.


This is due on Week 12 of the semester.

Marking (competency):
Vocational Education and Training (VET) is based on current industry needs and the focus on preparing you for the workplace. Because VET courses are informed by practical application of knowledge and skills, they are based on a system known as ‘competency based training’ (CBT). So when you are assessed in VET it is about whether you are competent to do the job, as well as having a firm grasp on the knowledge and skills required to do that job, as opposed to traditional curriculum based education settings that are often based on knowledge retention. 

You need to demonstrate you are competent in each element of the unit of competency you are studying. This is why you need to be competent for each assessment.

You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you whether you are competent or not and how well you are performing. Once competent in all elements of the unit you pass that unit of competency.

Marking (Grading)

After achieving competency we then grade your overall performance in the unit and give you a final grade based on your performance in all assessments. If a student wishes to articulate on an RMIT pathway to Higher Education degrees they must be aware of the grade average their chosen HE course requires.

You will receive one of the following grades:

CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved – Graded
NYC Not yet competent

Submission Requirements
Assessment tasks will be submitted via Blackboard.
You should:
• Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for Special Consideration. Information on the process and application forms is available at;ID=ls0ydfokry9rz website.
• Late assessment will only be marked to a pass with no grade given (unless special consideration has been granted or a student produces documentation detailing why it was late i.e. doctors certificate, funeral notice, appointment etc.)
• Students must pass every assessment. You cannot fail one and make it up with another one.
• Students will be allowed to resubmit once and the resubmit will be marked to a pass only.
• Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks. (Hard copy and soft copy)
• When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. Cover sheets available from the Student forms website.
• Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers. For example, Julie Macpherson, 333333, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.

Appendix 1 – Principles of Assessment/Rules of Evidence

Principles of assessment are required to ensure quality outcomes. Assessments should be fair, flexible, valid and reliable as follows:
a) Fairness: Fairness requires consideration of the individual candidate’s needs and characteristics, and any reasonable adjustments that need to be applied to take account of them. It requires clear communication between the assessor and the candidate to ensure that the candidate is fully informed about, understands, and is able to participate in, the assessment process, and agrees that the process is appropriate. It also includes an opportunity for the person being assessed to challenge the result of the assessment and to be reassessed if necessary.
b) Flexible: To be flexible, assessment should reflect the candidate’s needs; provide for recognition of competencies no matter how, where or when they have been acquired; draw on a range of methods appropriate to the context, competency and the candidate; and, support continuous competency development.
c) Validity: There are five major types of validity: face, content, criterion (i.e. predictive and concurrent), construct and consequential. In general, validity is concerned with the appropriateness of the inferences, use and consequences that result from the assessment. In simple terms, it is concerned with the extent to which an assessment decision about a candidate (e.g. competent/not yet competent, a grade and/or a mark), based on the evidence of performance by the candidate, is justified. It requires determining conditions that weaken the truthfulness of the decision, exploring alternative explanations for good or poor performance, and feeding them back into the assessment process to reduce errors when making inferences about competence.
Unlike reliability, validity is not simply a property of the assessment tool. As such, an assessment tool designed for a particular purpose and target group may not necessarily lead to valid interpretations of performance and assessment decisions if the tool was used for a different purpose and/or target group
d) Reliability: There are five types of reliability: internal consistency; parallel forms; split-half; inter-rater; and, intra-rater. In general, reliability is an estimate of how accurate or precise the task is as a measurement instrument. Reliability is concerned with how much error is included in the evidence.

Rules of Evidence are closely related to the principles of assessment and provide guidance on the collection of evidence to ensure that it is valid, sufficient, authentic and current as follows:
a) Validity: see Principles of assessment.
b) Sufficiency: Sufficiency relates to the quality and quantity of evidence assessed. It requires collection of enough appropriate evidence to ensure that all aspects of competency have been satisfied and that competency can be demonstrated repeatedly. Supplementary sources of evidence may be necessary. The specific evidence requirements of each unit of competency provide advice on sufficiency.
c) Authenticity: To accept evidence as authentic, an assessor must be assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the candidate’s own work.
d) Currency: Currency relates to the age of the evidence presented by candidates to demonstrate that they are still competent. Competency requires demonstration of current performance, so the evidence must be from either the present or the very recent past.
Appendix 2 - Additional Resources

RMIT Assessment policies/procedures:

For more information about how to design assessments go to:

National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) – Formerly NQC

For more information about the principles of assessment go to:

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is the national regulator for Australia’s vocational education and training sector.
ASQA regulates courses and training providers to ensure nationally approved quality standards are met.
The standards include quality requirements for training and assessment and can be found at the following website:

(NOTE: The Users’ Guide explains the standards and gives suggestions – these documents can also be found on the Blackboard BTS LT site)


National Register (for all Training Package/Accredited Curricula information)


Assessment Matrix

You must demonstrate that you have all the required skills/knowledge/elements in the unit of competency you are studying. You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you about your progress and how well you are performing.

Other Information


Course Overview: Access Course Overview