MAN 5045 PR-Management and Strategic Communication

MAN 5045 PR-Management and Strategic Communication

Course code: 
MAN 5045
Communication and Culture
Course coordinator: 
Tor Bang
Peggy Simcic Brønn
Product category: 
Master of Management
2018 Autumn
Active status: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
Associate course
Course codes for multi- or associated courses.
MAN 5046 - 1. semester
MAN 5047 - 2. semester

PR is a management function and practice based on strategic communication. A PR-practitioner may support an organization by systematically and methodically identifying and developing mutual beneficial relations between the organization and the organization's environment.

Some people who work in, or wish to work in the fields or communication and PR, have educational background outside the communication sector and might therefore work intuitively with communication. Even if evidence-based knowledge is important, it fails to meet demands in complicated environments. This program bridges the gap between evidence-based and research-based insight. Students will develop such insight through lectures, group assignments and by studying academic literature on strategic communication, PR, relations and persuasion.

Anyone seeking a middle management or executive position in PR, need insight in strategic thinking and be able to plan and implement strategic processes. The program therefore aims to give students solid theoretical knowledge in relevant fields, such as communication strategies, crisis management, issues- and environment scanning and analysis, and evaluation of PR.

Candidates are recruited from different environments, such as journalism, media organizations, sales and marketing. After having completed the program, they will be well suited for middle management or management positions in communications in the private, public or civil sectors.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • have knowledge of different models of strategic communication
  • have knowledge of different theories and models of influence and persuasion
  • have knowledge of different models of issues management
  • have knowledge of different models and theories of crisis communication
  • have knowledge of what image is, what influences image and how it can be changed
  • have knowledge of the mentality of the media and its way of working


Learning outcomes - Skills
  • can carry out an environmental scan and develop a communication strategy
  • can establish a plan and carry out issues management in practice
  • can create a plan for crisis communication and manage communication during a crisis
  • can plan an information campaign
  • can analyze an organization’s image
Learning Outcome - Reflection
  • have an approach to PR that is in accordance with professional and ethical standards in the field
Course content
  • Key terms in PR and strategik communication
  • Strategic processes and strategic analysis
  • History and development of PR
  • PR profession and practice, Norwegian and international
  • Environmental scanning
  • PR process, and PR-campaigns
  • PR strategy
  • PR tactics
  • Communication strategy
  • Issues management
  • Crisis communication
  • Communication theory
  • Attitude forming and persuasion
  • Media relations
  • Ethics and PR
  • Reputation
  • The media’s ways of working and function
  • Planning and evaluation of PR
  • Situational PR

Outline of the seminars:

1st Seminar: Strategic communication

The seminar will give participants knowledge of strategic analysis, processes and strategic communication in PR.

Brief description
In addition to possessing the technical skills that the PR subject demands, a top manager must master theories and methods that contribute to PR having a strategic function for the organization. Consequently, the manager must be able to see what role PR can play in its interaction with other areas of the enterprise such that the organization can achieve the objectives it has defined. Of special importance is here knowledge of methods for strategic implementation of PR.

Outline of topics:
· Communication strategy
· Systems theory
· Strategy and stragegic knowledge
· Communication excellence
· Rhetorical and critical perspectives in PR

2nd Seminar: Influence and persuasion

The seminar aims to give participants insight into the psychological foundation for attitudes and changes of attitude. This knowledge will be put to use in the practical shaping of messages.

Brief description
The seminar will provide and overview of the central theories of information and communication as well as the subjects of influence and persuasion. The structure and function of attitudes will be more closely looked into in addition to the relationship between attitude and behavior. Central theories of attitude change and influence will be reviewed.

Outline of topics
· Persuasion and influence
· Influencing attitude
· Attitude and behavior

3rd Seminar: Environmental scanning, issues management and online PR.

The purpose of this seminar is to provide insight into how the organization is dependent on external relations and how it can handle them, whether these be in the form governments, other organizations, groups or individuals.

Brief description
In order to succeed, an organization is dependent on establishing and maintaining relations with its environment. Consequently, it is necessary to be able to carry out an analysis of its environment and how it can influence the organization. An organization must also keep abreast with issues that can be critical or challenging for its survival and image.

Outline of topics:
· Situation analysis
· Environmental scanning
· Issues management
· Online PR

4th Seminar: Crisis communication, media relations, assessment

The purpose of this seminar is to provide students with an insight into crisis communication as well as the media’s tasks, functions and working methods. The seminar will also proved insight into the fundamental methods for planning and assessing PR.

Brief description
In certain situations, difficult issues can develop into crises for an organization. Students will receive a theoretical and practical introduction to crisis communication. The media represents a central component of the environment for an enterprise. In order to be able to handle its relationship with the media in a rational fashion, knowledge of what role the different media have in society, their function and how journalists work is necessary. The interplay between PR personnel and the media should also be understood within a broader power perspective. Providing advice to top management regarding how to conduct themselves and handle the media is also an important task for PR personnel. The seminar will also provide a foundation for making decisions in connection with the planning and assessment of PR, which is a top management responsibility.

Topic outline
· Crisis communication
· Communication management and management counseling
· Media relations
· The media’s role and mentality
· Planning and assessment of PR

5th Seminar: Image, identity and rhetoric

The intention of this seminar is to give participants insight into what such concepts as reputation, identity and image represent. And how can this be measured? What influences an organization’s reputation? Why is reputation important? The intention here is that students should be able to use this knowledge in practical situations in connection with their “image management” in an organization.

Brief description
The importance of a good reputation is often talked about. But what is reputation? How is it created and how can it be threatened? And what consequences does reputation have for different groups of stakeholders, such as employees, customers and the financial market? How do you measure reputation? And how can image management be carried out? How can workers contribute to shaping the organization’s reputation? And how can the organization itself influence its image through the rhetoric that it uses? These are topics that will be covered during this seminar.

Topic outline
· The construct of reputation, measuring reputation and the consequences of reputation
· Identity and reputation
· Argumentation, rhetoric and reputation

Learning process
The seminars primarily use lectures. In addition, students work with group tasks/cases in connection with some of the topics taught at the seminars.
Between seminars students will work in individually initiated groups (volunteer participation). These groups will work with tasks connected to topics related to a seminar that are regarded as particularly central in the syllabus literature.

The project paper in the PR management and strategic communication program is based on an individually chosen subject. The paper is given a letter grade that comprises 60% of the final grade in the course. The purpose of the paper is to give students the opportunity to show their ability to shed light on a problem through the use of individual treatment of relevant literature in connection with the chosen specialization. If they so wish, candidates may gather empirical data for the paper.

For students who are taking this program as their final program there are other regulations for the project paper. For these students, the final project paper in the Master’s course in PR management and strategic communication will be comprised of an individually chosen project paper. The paper is given a letter grade that makes up 80% of the final grade in the course. The paper will provide training in applying empirical date and relevant theory to analyze and assess a problem, as well as plan possible strategies with regard to PR management and strategic communication. The theory will provide better understanding of what processes are in play, as well as what might be done and why. Applying theory constructively is a skill that does not come of itself and this project provides a platform for training at it. The project paper will also provide training in the use of empirical data and relevant literature as aids for solving problems in relation to information/information management.

Two to three days during the seminars are devoted to the project paper. During the first seminar, time is allocated to reviewing the procedures for project counseling, as well as an introduction to such topics as the shaping of the project’s approach to the problem, etc. Students are given information concerning how the process of work on the paper should be carried out. During the second seminar, one day is devoted to the project paper. This is in the form of short lectures on such topics as problem theory, literature, etc. After each topic lecture, students work in small groups to use this material in making concrete choices for their own project papers
During the fourth seminar, one day is devoted to student plenary presentations of their project ideas.

Learning process and requirements to students

The programme is conducted through five course modules over two semesters, a total of approx. 150 lecturing hours.

Project tutorials differ in each Executive Master of Management programme. It will consist of personal tutorials and tutorials given in class. Generally the students may expect consulting tutorials, not evaluating tutorials. The total hours of tutorials offered is estimated to 4 hours per term paper.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all programmes, it is the student's own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/ itslearning or other course materials.

The students are evaluated through a term paper, counting 60% of the total grade and a 48 hours individual home exam counting 40%. The term paper may be written individually or in groups of maximum three persons. All evaluations must be passed to obtain a certificate for the programme. 

The term paper is included in the degree’s independent work of degree, cf national regulation on requirements for master’s degree, equivalent to 18 ECTS credits per. programme. For the Executive Master of Management degree, the independent work of degree represents the sum of term papers from three programmes.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Modul 3 vil bli gitt på Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Reise og opphold er ikke inkludert i programavgiften.


Oversikt over modulene:

Modul 1: PR og strategisk kommunikasjon

Denne innledende modulen skal gi deltakerne nødvendig kunnskap om definisjon og forståelse av PR, PR-fagets historiske utvikling, dets grunnleggende teorisett, PR-prosessen og PRs rolle i en organisasjons integrerte kommunikasjon. Det vil også ta opp rollen som kommunikasjonsutøver og avdeling innen organisasjoner.

I tillegg til å ha de tekniske ferdighetene som PR-faget krever, må kommunikasjonsutøvere mestre teorier og metoder som bidrar til PR som har en strategisk funksjon for organisasjonen. De må kunne se hvilken rolle PR kan spille i samspillet med andre områder av bedriften slik at organisasjonen kan nå de målene den har definert. De må også være oppmerksomme på kommunikasjonens egnethet for å sikre effektiviteten av funksjonen i organisasjonen.



• PRs historiske røtter, internasjonalt og i Norge

• Juridiske problemstillinger
Etiske problemstillinger

• Kommunikasjonens rolle i organisasjoner og dens bidrag til verdiskaping

• Strategisk tilpasning

• Teoretisk grunnlag for feltet

• Introduksjon til PR-prosessen

• Hva utgjør delmålfremragende ?

• Kommunikasjonsstyring og ledelsesrådgivning


Modul 2: Strategisk kommunikasjonsplanlegging og beslutningstaking

Modulen tar sikte på å gi deltakerne innsikt i strategisk tilnærming til PR. Denne kunnskapen vil gjøre det mulig for deltakerne å utvikle kommunikasjonsplaner basert på empirisk kunnskap og å ta bedre beslutninger når det gjelder målretting, utforming av meldinger og valg av media. Denne modulen vil også introdusere studenter til beste praksis i vurdering / evaluering av kommunikasjon.

Kort beskrivelse
Modulen vil gå i dybden i de sentrale prosessene for kommunikasjonsplanlegging som gir utøvere grunnlaget for å forklare og ta beslutninger. Måling og evaluering av fortjente og kjøpte medier vil bli diskutert ved hjelp av internasjonalt anerkjente rammer og metoder. Mediene representerer en sentral komponent i organisasjoners omgivelser. For å kunne håndtere forholdet til media på en rasjonell måte, må vi kjenne til vi hvilken rolle de ulike mediene har i samfunnet, deres funksjon og hvordan journalister tenker og arbeider.


• Formativ forskning med vekt på: miljøskanning, problemstillinger, interessentanalyse

• Innstilling av mål og delmål

• Retorikk, meldingsramme

• Kanaler og medievalg; eid, opptjent, delt og betalt media

• Kommunikasjonsmåling og evaluering

• Medierelasjoner

Modul 3: Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.: Omdømme, kommunikasjon og Corporate Branding

Omdømme er anerkjent som en av de viktigste aktiva, og immaterielle verdier, i en organisasjon. Et omdømmes kompleksitet blir ofte ikke forstått optimalt, og organisasjoner kan derfor sette seg i fare. Denne modulen gir en grunnleggende forståelse av prinsipper bak omdømme og hvordan det brukes til å bygge bedriftens merkevare med flere interessenter. Begrepet «corporate»  forstås i videste forstand for å representere enhver type organisasjon.

«Public affairs» hjelper organisasjoner å holde seg oppdatert med sine interessenter og med omgivelsenes forventninger. Lobbyisme er metoder som en organisasjon kan bruke for å komme til orde og øve innflytelse over samfunnsspørsmål.

Kort beskrivelse
Denne modulen fokuserer på identitet, bilde og omdømme og samspillet mellom disse konseptene. Det omfatter omdømmerisiko og dets kilder og forbinder omdømme bygging med corporate branding og kommunikasjon. Modulen tar også opp ulike måleinstrumenter knyttet til identitet, bilde og omdømme, hvordan organisasjoner interagerer med og øver innflytelse i sin samtid og overfor sine omgivelser.


• Identitet, image og omdømme

• Firmaplassering

• Ansatte som merkevarebyggere

• Utvikle brand gjennom CSR

• Kjenne til relevante metoder for å kunne dokumentere effekter måleverktøy

• Digital sporing av omdømme

• Offentlige saker og lobbyisme (i USA)

Modul 4: Spesialiserte områder av PR

Formålet med denne modellen er å presenter deltakere for spesialiserte områder der PR-utøvere kan bidra til eller ta ansvar for organisasjoner.

Kort beskrivelse
Innenfor PR-utøvelse er det spesialisert arbeid som kan utføres av enkeltpersoner som er eksperter på disse områdene. Større organisasjoner kan til og med ha en dedikert funksjon eller avdeling som er ansvarlig for slike oppgaver. Hvert av disse spesielle områdene er generelt gjenstand for omfattende forskning og forespørsel som omhandles i artikler og håndbøker. Kunnskap om slike roller og hvordan man sorterer gjennom den store informasjonen er avgjørende for vellykket utøvelse av slik virksomhet.


• Kundeforhold og markedskommunikasjon

• Krisekommunikasjon

• Intern kommunikasjon

• Offentlige saker og lobbyvirksomhet (Norge, Europa)

Modul 5: Tidens praksis og fremtidige utfordringer                

Formålet med denne modulen er å gi studentene innblikk i hvordan PR og strategisk kommunikasjon praktiseres i ulike typer organisasjoner. Modulen skal også gi innsikt i dagens og fremtidige utfordringer for strategisk kommunikasjon og PR.

Kort beskrivelse
Denne modulen belyser hvordan PR / strategisk kommunikasjon praktiseres i ulike sektorer med ulike mål og delmål, ulike interessenter og ulike formål. Dette vil bli gjort gjennom en rekke gjestelærere som vil dele sine erfaringer og utfordringer. "Hot topics" som visuelt innhold, som omhandler falske nyheter, mobilteknologi og sosiale medier påvirker også.


• PR i offentlig sektor

• Politisk PR

• PR i privat sektor

• PR i non-profit, frivillige organisasjoner og NGOs

• Håndtere nye utfordringer for PR i den digitale verden



Bachelor degree, corresponding to 180 credits from an accredited university, university college or similar educational institution
The applicant must be at least 25 years of age
At least four years of work experience. For applicants who have already completed a master’s degree, three years of work experience are required.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
MAN 50451
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
60No2 Semester(s)Group/Individual (1 - 3)Term paper, counting 60% of the total grade.
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
MAN 50452
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
40No48 Hour(s)Individual Individual 48 hours home exam, counting 40% of the total grade.
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Group/Individual (1-3)
Duration:2 Semester(s)
Comment:Term paper, counting 60% of the total grade.
Exam code:MAN 50451
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration:48 Hour(s)
Comment:Individual 48 hours home exam, counting 40% of the total grade.
Exam code:MAN 50452
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Exam organisation: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Talis literature


Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
Brønn, Peggy Simcic; Sjøbu, Ane; Ihlen, Øyvind 2009 Åpen eller innadvendt: omdømmebygging for organisasjoner   Gyldendal akademisk  
Brønn, Peggy Simcic; Bonvik, Øystein; Bang, Tor cop. 2015 En innføring i PR: teori, prosess og praksis   Fagbokforl .
Gripsrud, Jostein cop. 2015 Mediekultur, mediesamfunn 5. utg Universitetsforl  
Gass, Robert H.; Seiter, John S. cop. 2014 Persuasion: social influence and compliance gaining 5th ed., New international ed Pearson Education  
Frandsen, Finn; Johansen, Winni; Coombs, W. Timothy 2017 Organizational crisis communication   SAGE  
Tench, Ralph; Verčič, Dejan; Zerfass, Ansgar; Moreno, Ángeles; Verhoeven, Piet 2017 Communication Excellence: How to Develop, Manage and Lead Exceptional Communications   Palgrave Macmillan  
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
Bang, Tor; Buhmann, Alexander 2018 Artikkelsamling til PR-ledelse og strategisk kommunikasjon   Handelshøyskolen BI  


Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
Ihlen, Øyvind cop. 2013 PR og strategisk kommunikasjon: teorier og fagidentitet   Universitetsforl  
Authors/Editors Tittel Journal URL Publisher StudentNote
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