The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) announced recently that Bloomsburg University’s Zeigler College of Business has become the 16th accredited business school in the nation to offer the MBA-level strategic communications course as part of its MBA curriculum.
“This program helps students develop skills in strategic communications — the ability to communicate strategic goals, plans, and operations to organizational stakeholders — in ways that improve communication flows and operational efficiencies. Students with these skills will have a distinct advantage when they enter the workplace,” said Jeffrey Krug, dean of the Zeigler College of Business at Bloomsburg University.
The Zeigler College of Business offered the course in summer 2017 with 13 students participating in a strategic communications practicum experience, providing the opportunity to work with a local business to develop a strategic communications plan. The course was taught by Kristie Byrum, assistant professor of mass communications at Bloomsburg University. Dr. Byrum is a member of the PRSA College of Fellows and a former public relations agency executive.
“Students valued the opportunity to work with local businesses and personally experience the nuances of developing strategic communication approaches for real-world businesses. Dr. Byrum brought strategic communications to life for students,” said Darrin Kass, MBA program director at Bloomsburg University.
The PRSA MBA program was developed by leading business schools, including the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, in collaboration with PRSA. The course directs business students in reputation management fundamentals and covers such areas as corporate communications (internal and external), integrated marketing communications, investor relations, corporate social responsibility (CSR), government relations and crisis communications. Dr. Byrum, who serves on the national MBA Program committee, collaborated with Dr. Kass and Dean Krug to bring the program to Bloomsburg University. The graduate-level mass communications course represents a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts and the Zeigler College of Business.
“Through cross-college collaborations such as this one, the University delivers a multidisciplinary education that serves the best interests of students in both colleges,” said James S. Brown, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
“We are pleased that Zeigler is joining an already impressive list of colleges and universities offering the PRSA MBA Strategic-Level Communications course,” said PRSA National Chair Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA. “The growing number of future business leaders who are gaining communications skills through this program will have long-term benefits for businesses. The course emphasizes the importance and value of communications as a core strategic discipline.”
To best meet the needs of each business school’s MBA program, the PRSA turnkey course is offered in full-semester, mini-mester or seminar formats. Schools interested in the course can obtain information through the PRSA website.