COM116 What is Public Relations? (8)

This subject introduces students to the core theories and professional practice that are the foundations of public relations and communication management. On completion of this subject students will have an understanding of the role of public relations in society, be aware of the core public relations theories and their general application to practice.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Bathurst Campus
Bathurst Campus
Session 3 (90)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: COM116. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Communication and Creative Industries

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to examine the relationship between public relations theory and practice
  • be able to explore and reflect on the strategic significance of public relations to individuals, organisations, governments, and communities
  • be able to identify the fundamentals of applying a communication strategy


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • How public relations is defined: its history in a local, regional and global context
  • Core theories that inform practice
  • Jobs in public relations (in house/agency): public relations by industry sector; public relations by specialisations
  • Strategic planning principles: research, objective setting, strategies, tactics and evaluation
  • Introduction to public relations as an ethical practice
  • Reflection strategies


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.