Online Master of Arts
Public Relations

Online Master of Arts[br]Public Relations

Amplify and Influence Voices.

The expanding digital world has created the opportunity for conversations to happen across a multitude of digital platforms and avenues. At St. Bonaventure, our Online Master of Arts in Communication with a Public Relations specialization will help you guide these conversations through meaningful messages, earned media placement, engagement with publications, influencers, and consumers, and the creation of events and experiences that sway opinions of both internal and external key stakeholders.

If today’s world has taught us anything, it is that companies and organizations must communicate and react quickly to events of all varieties. Public Relations professionals are an integral part of that process by creating crisis communications and change management, monitoring media mentions, influencing the narrative and providing information of value to all parties involved.

At St. Bonaventure, you will learn these key skills to become a modern-day Public Relations Professional, working with cutting-edge communication strategies, messaging, analytics, technology and more. These skills include: 

PR in a Global Market – Learn how to use strategic public relations practices for a global society and how PR can both lead and contribute to effective communication, with an emphasis on social responsibility, ethics and cross-cultural understanding.

Media Relations – Master the art of identifying and persuading key stakeholders in print, broadcast, digital, and multimedia roles – and learn how each has different expectations and pain points in delivering content to their diverse audiences. 

Crisis Communication – Learn how to manage crises including natural disasters, accidents, executive wrongdoing, and product recalls and determine the role of PR in the crisis response. This includes reputation management, executive and employee counsel, and crisis plan development, execution and evaluation. 

Event Management and Experiential Marketing – Gain insights on events that organizations use to engage external and internal audiences, including those that strengthen the relationship between the organization and its key leaders, and diverse stakeholders. 


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IMC 570 Finding Meaning in Data: Analytics, Data Visualization & Interpretation

Big data, media analytics, and geographic information systems (GIS) have changed the face of marketing communications research by allowing us to dig more deeply into data and research to find specific answers to general questions. This course examines big data and analytics and delves into GIS, allowing students to visualize and interpret data in a number of ways. This class also focuses on evaluating messages and determining their delivery. Students will analyze primary and secondary data to solve marketing communications problems and address the distinct problems created by large databases. Emphasis is on analytical technology and multivariate methods. The course stresses the strategic use of analysis through application and project examples. (3 credits) Prerequisite: IMC 520

Core Curriculum
  • COM 500 Finding Your Voice: Intro to Marketing Communication
  • COM 540 Embracing the Brand: Branding, Strategy & Execution
  • COM 580 Embracing the Audience: Empathy & Ethics
  • COM 590  Embracing Strategic Thinking: Marketing Strategy & Planning
  • COM 510 Embracing Analysis: Making Meaning from Data
  • COM 520 Embracing Research: Marketing Communication Research
IMC 590 Finding Them Where They Are: Mobile Marketing Communications

Mobile devices have revolutionized the way in which consumers communicate, shop, and interact with brands. Research shows that global mobile data traffic is projected to increase nearly sevenfold in the next several years. IMC practitioners are now required to have an in-depth knowledge of mobile marketing practices to accommodate current consumer expectations, as well as the expertise to create, lead, and execute a mobile-first marketing strategy. In this course, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of mobile marketing, will research, strategize, and implement applicable actions that will maximize brand discoverability, credibility, and new audience potential, and will learn how to construct strategies that exceed mobile user experience expectations. (3 credits)

Public Relations
  • COM 650 Integrating PR in a Global Market 
  • COM 652 Integrating Media Relations 
  • COM 654 Integrating Crisis Management 
  • COM 656 Integrating Event Management & Experiential Marketing 
IMC 650 Embracing Your PR Skills: Developing a Voice for Your Client

This course provides a comprehensive analysis of public relations practices for the IMC practitioner in a global society. Topics include how to research, define, develop, and deliver an effective public relations campaign, how to use social media platforms for brands, work with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, and how to manage and mitigate crisis communications situations on a local, regional, national, and/or international level. Course pedagogies include case studies, guest speakers, simulations, and live-client consulting. Finally, the course examines the use of computer technology and dialogue through social media and how they apply to the public relations executive and IMC practitioner. (3 credits)

  • COM 555 Mastering the Research: Fieldwork
  • COM 800 Mastering the Field: Thesis
  • COM 830 Mastering the Project: Final Defense