The emergence of the Internet and the rise of social media has fundamentally changed the way individuals, organizations and companies communicate with their target audiences. New communication channels and instruments have emerged, communication became interactive, and conversations happen publicly. The rules of classic Public Relations still apply, but there are many new tools and techniques that are used specifically for digital communication. 

This course will introduce students to the basic rules of classic Public Relations as well as to the new tools and techniques of digital PR. Strong practical emphasis of the course will allow students to not only understand theoretical concepts behind Public Relations but also develop practical skills by studying examples of successful PR strategies and creating their own digital (campaign) strategy.

This course is a continuation of Mass Communication Theory I, a course taught in the fall semester 2016, and will introduce students to contemporary mass communication theories. With interactive sessions being the prevailing teaching method, this course will help students develop an understanding for the main theoretical concepts and their relevance by means of analyses, discussions, and group work. To create a connection between theory and practice, students will conduct case study analyses.

The course intends to introduce a specific area of research and study within two different academic disciplines: Communication and Political Science. ‘Political Communication’ deals closely with the relationships between political actors, the media, and the public. It is concerned with how political information is spread in the society and influences citizens, the media organizations, politics and policy makers. Political communication studies the ways in which the news shapes the public's perceptions of the political world, how the media and public opinion affect the manner in which officials political actors govern, and the general role of the mass media in the democratic process.

During the semester, we will look in particular at the use of the media by all kind of political actors (political parties, party leaders, pressure groups, NGOs etc.) who range from presidents to terrorists. How do those actors try to shape the media in order to defend ‘their reality’?

In our increasingly visual global society, visual literacy is more important than ever. This course will help you develop your visual literacy skills to make you a more informed reader of images. This is essentially a theoretical/analytical course, but it has a practical purpose. Just as reading texts is a critical part of preparing to be a writer, reading images is essential to becoming an adept producer of compelling images in journalism, public relations, or entertainment.