Strategic Communication: Public Relations and Advertising
Mark Rademacher, PhD, Department Chair
Why Study Strategic Communication?
Strategic communication emphasizes the creation and distribution of socially responsible, research-supported, and theoretically sound targeted communication messages for both internal and external audiences. Strategic communication majors, therefore, learn the theories and skills required for successful written, visual, and oral communication. In addition, majors gain valuable skills related to research, planning, strategic thinking, and problem solving that will serve them well in professional careers or graduate school.
Why Study Strategic Communication at Butler?
While many programs offer courses in advertising and public relations, few have successfully merged their curriculum to reflect the increased blurring of lines between these two disciplines. Butler’s Strategic Communication Department, however, recognizes that it is necessary for our majors to understand the synergistic nature of advertising and public relations to succeed in the diverse fields that comprise strategic communication. But success in strategic communication relies on more than this, of course. Our courses are rigorous, highly interactive, and experiential. Students are not only introduced to concepts, processes, and theories, but also are challenged to apply their knowledge to solve real-world strategic communication challenges through problem-based learning and service-learning opportunities, and national-level public relations and advertising competitions. We like to say that our students “practice the profession” from day one. Class sizes are also small, typically around 18 students, and led by passionate and dedicated professors.
Strategic communication students also learn outside of the classroom as active participants in the various extracurricular opportunities the program offers. Through participation in the Public Relations Student Society of America Butler University chapter, ADrenaline advertising club, and an internship program, our students have outstanding experiential learning opportunities with a diverse array of businesses, advertising, and public relations agencies, as well as government and nonprofit organizations in Indianapolis and throughout the country. In this way, students gain the real-world knowledge necessary for a successful career.
Strategic Communication Student Learning Outcomes
- In keeping with the liberal arts tradition, students majoring in strategic communication will gain a broad-based education that emphasizes an understanding of the larger cultural context in which strategic communication occurs.
- On a practical level, students will also gain the theoretical foundation and industry-relevant skills to create and produce effective oral, written, and visual communication messages for distribution via a diversity of media, including print, broadcast, and digital platforms.
- To achieve these ends, students learn to research, analyze, select, and organize relevant data and information; they learn and apply relevant analytical or theoretical frameworks to professional practices and situations; they critique and evaluate the effectiveness of communication messages; they work collaboratively to achieve desired goals; and they integrate communication technology effectively into all of these efforts.
- Further, as the strategic communication major emphasizes the production of socially responsible messages, students learn to appreciate and respect the professional, ethical, and legal standards that govern our field.
- Major in Strategic Communication, with optional specializations in Public Relations, Advertising, or Advertising Creative Design
- Minor in Strategic Communication