Public Relations

Follow your passion for Public Relations

The Public Relations program at Loras College prepares students to work in a variety of professional fields including entertainment, politics, event planning, sports promotion, and community relations. Students learn the necessary skills to complete amazing internships, conduct relevant research, understand audiences, and secure future employment. Additionally, students have access to a digital learning lab with creative computer software programs to prepare them for the ever-changing technological expectations of the industry.

Overwhelmingly, Public Relations majors assume student leadership roles on campus for organizations such as Dance Marathon, college activities board, student government, mediation and mock trial. Public Relations students also participate in field-related campus organizations such as The Lorian newspaper and LCTV and KLCR radio.
Additional Information
Learn More


Overwhelmingly, PR majors assume student leadership roles on campus for organizations such as Dance Marathon, college activities board, student government, mediation and mock trial. PR students also participate in field-related campus organizations such as The Lorian newspaper, LCTV and KLCR radio.

Public Relations students have also completed competitively-awarded internships with the following organizations:

  • Edelman – Chicago
  • MTV – New York
  • University of Illinois School of Medicine
  • The Chicago Bulls
  • Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
  • CBS Sports Network
  • American Red Cross
  • Discovery Communications
  • Chicago Children’s Museum
  • DuPont Pioneer


Sean Brennan

“Being a Public Relations major at Loras has greatly impacted my life both personally and professionally. As an intern at CBS Sports Network this past summer, my Loras education allowed me to make a positive impression with the company, so much so that I have been asked to return this upcoming summer. The benefits from in the classroom are comparable to the benefits I learned about life after college. Whether it be practical, such as help for my resume, or less tangible such as communicating in the business world, I have had experiences at Loras that will positively influence my life for years to come.”

Easton Kuboushek

“Majoring in Public Relations at Loras has driven me to places I never thought I could reach. From leadership roles on campus to full-time internships over the summer – Loras PR is the real deal. This past summer I was able to attain a Public Affairs internship with DuPont Pioneer, one of the largest biotech companies in the United States. Without the experiences I had both in the classroom and on campus, along with the help of my professors, I would have never had the outstanding success in my young career.”

+ Read more


Loras’ Public Relations program prepares students to get jobs in fields such as public information, investor relations, public affairs, corporate communication, employee relations, marketing or product publicity, and consumer service or customer relations.

Being a PR major is fun! Fourth-floor Hoffmann is always hopping–students and professors work on group projects, discuss current events and enjoy lively classroom experiences.

To learn more about the unique experience Loras has to offer, SCHEDULE A VISIT TODAY!

+ Read more
Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes – Public Relations 
1. Deliver oral presentations that communicate ideas and information in order to influence diverse audiences.
2. Demonstrate skills and knowledge necessary for formal academic writing.
3. Construct written artifacts appropriate to, and essential for the Public Relations profession.
4. Apply the principles, practices, and strategic skills of Public Relations that affect organizations, stakeholders, media and various publics.
5. Perform roles and functions associated with effective group communication.
Major Requirements

Division of Communication & Fine Arts

Craig Schaefer, M.A., Chair

Requirements for the major in Public Relations (B.A.):
A minimum grade of B- is required in L.COM-202 for all public relations majors. A minimum grade of a C must be received in L.COM-131 and L.COM 485. A 2.25 cumulative grade point average is required in all other required courses submitted to the major and/or minor. If the minimum is not achieved, the student must retake the course the next time it is offered.

Req Course Cr’s
1 L.COM-131: Introduction to Mass Communication 3
2 L.COM-190: Communication Theory 3
3 L.COM-201: Principles of Public Relations 3
4 L.COM-202: PR Writing 3
5 L.COM-204: Organizational Communication 3
6 L.COM-264: Desktop Publishing 3
7 L.COM-351: Advanced PR Writing 3
8 L.COM-380: Persuasion 3
9 L.COM-454: Public Relations Case Studies 3
10 L.COM-485: Communication Research 3
11 L.COM-490: Public Relations Senior Seminar- PJ 3
12 L.BUS-240: Principles of Marketing 3
13 L.BUS-346: Advertising/Marketing Communication 3
Select one from Req 14
14 L.COM-158: Introduction to TV Production 3
14 L.COM-164: Digital Imaging 3
14 L.COM-290: Communication Management 3
14 L.COM-390: Media Criticism 3
14 L.COM-393: Communication Law 3
14 L.BUS-343: Marketing Management 3
14 L.BUS-348: International Marketing 3
14 L.BUS-349: Consumer Behavior 3
14 L.ENG-278: Grant and Proposal Writing 3
14 L.ENG-279:  Writing for New Media 3
14 L.POL-201: Campaigns & Elections 3
14 L.SMG-468: Sport Marketing & Promotions 3
42 total required credits

Requirements for the minor in Public Relations:
A minimum grade of C is required in L.COM-131. A 2.25 cumulative grade point average is required in all other required courses submitted to the major and/or minor. If the minimum is not achieved, the student must retake the course the next time it is offered.

Req Course Cr’s
1 L.COM-131: Introduction to Mass Communication 3
2 L.COM-190: Communication Theory 3
3 L.COM-201: Principles of Public Relations 3
4 L.COM-202: Public Relations Writing 3
5 L.COM-380: Persuasion 3
Select one from Req 6
6 L.COM-204: Organizational Communication 3
6 L.COM-264: Desktop Publishing Communication 3
6 L.COM-351: Advanced Public Relations Writing 3
6 L.COM-454: Public Relations Case Studies 3
6 L.BUS-240: Principles of Marketing 3
6 L.BUS-346: Advertising/Marketing Communication 3
18 total required credits
Course Descriptions


L.COM-121: Acting I

A studio performance course designed for the beginning actor, as an exploration, through both theory and practical application, of acting performance for the stage. Styles of acting approached within the class include improvisation, view pointing, method and commedia; with the major area of focus being improvisation. The course requires frequent stage performance. Some background in theatre performance is recommended. 3 credits.

L.COM-125: Go Dog Go: The Human/Canine Connection

“Man’s (sic) best friend,” “It’s a dog’s life,” “Fighting like cats and dogs.” These are more than sayings and phrases linked to a popular domestic animal. They are cultural references to the many communicative characteristics of the canine. In addition to their long-time role of family pet, herder, and police support staff, dogs are increasingly used for disability assistance, prisoner rehabilitation and nursing home fellowship. This course will immerse students in selected communication theories. Specifically, the course examines communication concepts such as perception, emotions, interpersonal interaction, compliance gaining, verbal messages and nonverbal messages. The course will also expose students to professionals who train and utilize dogs for their many communicative abilities. Students will complete service work. 3 credits. January term.

L.COM-131: Introduction to Mass Communication

A wide-ranging survey of the history, functions, effects, social issues and ethical responsibilities of the media. Includes theory grounded in mass communication. A minimum grade of C is required for students majoring in media studies or public relations. 3 credits.

L.COM-158: Introduction to Television Production

A study of the basic techniques and methods of effective television broadcasting, programming, production, and studio operations. 3 credits.

L.COM-159: Mock Trials

Intercollegiate participation as an attorney or witness in a simulated court trial or in a mediated settlement conference; stresses analytical and presentational skills. In part, the student will be evaluated by professors, attorneys, and judges. Prior legal knowledge not essential. Consent of instructor required prior to enrollment spring semester. 1 credit.

L.COM-164: Digital Imaging

This course combines the basic techniques of creating and manipulating images in a digital format through digital photography and Photoshop software. 3 credits.

L.COM-190: Communication Theory

An introduction to the theories and applications of communication in our daily lives. Various approaches exploring interpersonal, intercultural, organizational and mediated forms of communication will be studied. 3 credits.

L.COM-193: Theatre Practicum

Hands-on experience through participation in a Loras Players production. Credit may be earned by participation in either the technical areas of the production or by participation as an actor. Contact the Director of the Loras Players. 1-3 credits.

L.COM-201: Principles of Public Relations

A basic course introducing the theories, processes and techniques involved in researching, planning and implementing programs designed to influence public opinion and behavior, particularly as based on communication theory. 3 credits.

L.COM-202: Public Relations Writing

A fundamental skills course in writing, editing and designing materials for use in public relations. For students majoring in public relation, the program requires a minimum grade of B- in this course. Prerequisite or concurrent: L.LIB-105 or ENG 111. 3 credits.

L.COM-204: Organizational Communication

A review of the classic and contemporary perspectives of organizational communication, including cultural and critical approaches. This course also explores organizational communication processes such as decision-making and conflict management. Prerequisites: L.COM-190 or concurrent enrollment. 3 credits.

L.COM-207: Stagecraft

An exploration and experience in the various aspects of recreational and educational theater. Emphasizes basic technical production elements, including scene construction, costumes, lighting, painting, properties, etc. Requires classroom demonstration production exclusive of acting. 3 credits. Prerequisite: L.LIB-110.

L.COM-225: Media Writing

Emphasis on format, style, and writing techniques in radio, print, web and television. Practice in the development and scripting of news stories, commercials, and PSAs. For media studies majors or minors, the division requires a minimum grade of C+ in this course. Prerequisite: L.LIB-105 or L.ENG-111; Prerequisite or Corequisite: L.COM-131. 3 credits.

L.COM-235: Experimental Video

This course will explore the theory, criticism, and production of experimental video. Students will become acquainted with the purpose and motivation of experimental video in relationship to narrative and documentary forms.  Prerequisite: L.COM 158 or L.COM 164 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

L.COM-250: Western Theatre-AA

An exploration of the history of live theatre as it developed throughout Western culture, with emphasis placed on the major historical periods from ancient Greek to the modern Realism/Antirealism movement. The course incorporates a variety of approaches including student presentations, historical research, and group activities. Requires lab time to view two live theatre performances. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.COM-251: American Theatre-AA

A general introduction to live American theatre with emphasis placed on audience appreciation and understanding of production practices. Through a variety of approaches such as student presentations, group activities, and theatre performance, the course considers and explores methods used by American theatre artists. Requires lab time to view two live theatre performances. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.COM-255: Interpersonal Communication-AI

This course embraces three themes central to the “Identity and Community” category. The themes include (1) person-to-person interaction with friends, family members, romantic partners, and co-workers; (2) how the roles of community, culture, and gender influence person-to-person interactions; and (3) how technology and media influence person-to-­person interactions. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.COM-257: Electronic Field Production

Creative video production in out-of-studio locations; includes concept development, audience analysis, cinematography, audio sweetening, lighting, digital editing. Includes the creation of commercials, dramatic and documentary production. Prerequisite: L.COM-158. 3 credits.

L.COM-259: Mock Trials

Intercollegiate participation as an attorney or witness in a simulated court trial or in a mediated settlement conference; stresses analytical and presentational skills. In part, the student will be evaluated by professors, attorneys, and judges. Prior legal knowledge not essential. Consent of instructor required prior to enrollment spring semester. 1 credit per quarter. Can be repeated.

L.COM-262: Photojournalism

Hands-on examination of the process of telling journalistic stories through photography. Includes work in interviewing, topical research and image composition. 3 credits. January term or offered as needed.

L.COM-263: The Wonderful World of Animation

Students will experience the world of animation while examining the impact and development of animation in relation to its emergence as a part of the entertainment and information industries. A major part of the course will consist of an in-depth experience with animation software and other techniques used to create animation. No prerequisites. 3 credits. January term.

L.COM-264: Desktop Publishing

Principles and theories of design and layout used in developing a variety of publications. Includes typography, graphics, and copy fitting. Emphasizes computer-assisted publishing based on page layout and graphics programs. Students must demonstrate computer competency. Open only to public relations majors and minors. 3 credits.

L.COM-280: News Analysis

An examination of the selection, content, and delivery of print and broadcast news on the local and national levels. Students will engage a variety of news sources in order to analyze their methods of presentation and structure and in order to gain a greater understanding of the media’s role in determining what news is. L.COM-158 can be taken prior to L.COM­280 or concurrent with L.COM-158. 3 credits.

L.COM-285: World Cinema-AA

An international survey focusing on films of cultural, historic, and artistic significance. The course utilizes film history and film theory to introduce students to the diversity of motion pictures as an art form and as a transmitter of culture. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220.

L.COM-286: Identity & Community in Rock & Roll-AI

A survey of the historical progression of rock and roll from its pre-rock origins to the present. The course focuses on how rock music has given a voice and identity to various subcultures of the past 50 years, including hippies, punks, rappers, and Rastafarians. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB­135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.COM-289: Global Filmmaking

A creative, video production course in which students travel to international and/or domestic locations to produce a film. As a production unit, students will engage in all elements of the production process, including research, writing, cinematography, editing, and distribution. The location, genre, and film style of each production will vary each year. Indicative work includes documentary, ethnographic, and narrative filmmaking. This course can be repeated. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors subject to professor approval. 3 credits. January term.

L.COM-290: Communication Management

An overview of the communication management process with an emphasis on both theory and practical application. The student will study, analyze, and draw conclusions from topics such as: audience research, media programming, ownership, legal and regulatory issues as well as other internal and external influences affecting the communication manager. Prerequisite: L.COM-131. 3 credits.

L.COM-293: Media Studies Practicum Staff

Hands-on experience at the campus TV station or radio station. Experiences may include on-air talent, reporting, producing, news writing, editing, and management. Can be taken up to three times. Media Studies majors are required to complete a COM 293 and COM 493 sequence. Prerequisite: L.COM-158. 1 credit.

L.COM-296: The Haight-Ashbury: Exploring the History and Legacy of the Hippies-AI

This course will consider the philosophies, lifestyles, cultural products and legacy of the 1960s counterculture commonly known as the “hippies.” In particular the course will examine how the hippies rejected the values of their parents’ generation and embodied opposing values. This will entail looking at the origins of the hippies in the Beat Generation of the 1950s and their bohemian lifestyle, the height of the hippie movement in the Summer of Love of 1967, the demise of their utopian idealism, and the longer-lasting legacy of the counterculture in a variety of significant cultural movements, including environmentalism, pacifism, feminism, and a generally greater societal openness. The course will explore these topics through lectures, readings, films, music, discussion, and a trip to San Francisco and Monterey to visit the center of the hippie movement, the Haight­-Ashbury District, and the location of the Monterey International Pop Festival. 3 credits. January term.

L.COM-300: Theatre Performance Through Workshopping

This course is developed so as to allow students to explore the performance art of “live theatre.” Through work-shopping techniques such as improvisation, storytelling, and speed writing; students will write, rehearse and perform as original performance piece. Previous performance experience is recommended. Instructor permission is required. 3 credits. January term.

L.COM-302: Creative Children’s Theatre

Students will explore the world of children’s theatre by creating an original script for performance during the spring semester. Students will formulate a performance concept, analyze submitted pieces from local elementary schools, provide feedback on the submitted pieces through a rubric developed by the class, and create a performance script based on the chosen pieces. Students must be available to participate in the children’s production during the spring semester. Permission of the instructor is required. 3 credits. January term.

L.COM-305: Media Convergence

An examination of the methodologies, trends, and practices of social media technology in journalistic mediums. Extensive work in application of those technologies for mobile journalists. Prerequisite: L.COM-131. 3 credits.

L.COM-348: Motion Graphics

This is an upper level, creative production course applying the concepts, techniques, and skills of motion graphics using Adobe After Effects. Through exercises and the process of creating their own unique work, students will develop an understanding of a variety of technical and conceptual methods when executing idea into form for both commercial and creative productions.

Prerequisites: L.COM-158 or L.COM-164 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

L.COM-351: Advanced Public Relations Writing

A continuation of the basic public relations writing course that stresses working with media personnel and writing for Internet and media formats. Requires students to conduct situational analysis and to demonstrate a grasp of appropriate principles. Prerequisite: L.COM-202. 3 credits.

L.COM-352: Advanced Broadcast Writing

Further development of skills introduced in the basic broadcast writing course, emphasizing longer and more complex formats, documentaries, corporate videos, and narrative programs. Elements to be included are knowledge of structure, flow, and appropriate presentation of content. Prerequisite: L.COM-225. 3 credits.

L.COM-357: Advanced Television Production

Further study and practice in television production and theory for the advanced student; emphasis on how to manage and direct productions. Requires individual demonstrations in traditional and experimental styles and forms. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: L.COM­257. 3 credits.

L.COM-365: Cinema: Critical Analysis

This course provides an overview of some of the theories by which films have been critiqued over the years. These include auteur theory, genre theory, feminist theory, and postmodern theory. 3 credits.

L.COM-375: Roots: Blues & Rock & Roll

Course examines the origins and significance of the Blues and Rock & Roll by focusing on two of the most important musical artists of the 20th century: Robert Johnson and Elvis Presley. Includes travel to Memphis and the Mississippi Delta Region. The course will look at the historical, musical, and cultural contexts in which the music was created. 3 credits. January term.

L.COM-380: Persuasion

A survey and application of theories and premises derived from rhetorical theory as well as behavioral and communication studies; emphasis on uses of persuasion in media and public relations efforts. Prerequisites: L.LIB-110, L.COM-190 (may be enrolled concurrently). 3 credits.

L.COM-388: Art & Dissent in Czechoslovakia-AC

This course examines ways in which the arts, including literature, music, film, theater, and the visual arts, were used as forms of dissent and resistance in the 20th century. Representative topics include the life and literature of Franz Kafka, the creation and performance of art in the concentration camp at Terezin, the films of the Czech New Wave of the 1960s, the music of the Plastic People of the Universe, and the dissident writings of Vaclav Havel and others in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of 1968 and how they contributed to the fall of Communism. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
January term.


L.COM-390: Media Criticism

A study and application of critical analyses of the media. Students will examine standards and theories applicable to the media, including aesthetic, social, regulatory, and production goals and strategies. Students will also study the media’s obligations to the public, as well as the economics and politics of media production in light of its operational structure. Students will be required to know and apply abstract concepts to media texts. Prerequisite: L.COM-131. 3 credits.

L.COM-393: Communication Law

An analysis of legal regulation of communication: First Amendment, defamation, privacy, media access, free press-fair trial and commercial speech. The student is expected to read, evaluate, research, write and articulate significance in selected judicial opinions. Substantial background in media, public relations, politics or history recommended. A minimum grade of C is required for students majoring in media studies. 3 credits.

L.COM-394: Internship

Credit will be allowed for off-campus cooperative education experiences consistent with the student’s background. Weekly reports, evaluation forms and conferences are required for credit to be received. Prerequisite: Substantial background in courses or experiences preparing the student for independent work in the area of the internship. Prior approval of the chairperson is required. Credit varies.

L.COM-395: Topics

An examination of various communication topics and/or issues.  3 credits.

L.COM-454: Public Relations Case Studies

An advanced course requiring analysis and evaluation of historical and current public relations situations, particularly the impact on organizational structure and the decision-making process. Prerequisites: senior standing in the public relations major or minor or the consent of the instructor. 3 credits.

L.COM-485: Communication Research

The course examines the conceptual foundations of contemporary communication research, literature in the field of communication, processes and uses of quantitative and qualitative analysis, research methods in the discipline and the ethical issues of research. Students will produce an extensive research paper. A minimum grade of C is required for students majoring in Media Studies or Public Relations. Prerequisite: Senior standing in public relations or media studies or the consent of the instructor. 3 credits.

L.COM-490: Public Relations Senior Seminar & Portfolio-PJ

The seminar is designed to prepare public relations students to seek and secure post­graduate employment. Students will be required to complete an electronic portfolio. Prerequisite: senior standing in public relations or the consent of the instructor. 3 credits.

L.COM-491: Media Studies Capstone

A seminar-style course requiring the student to prepare a major project or research paper for presentation in the spring semester. The course will explore a variety of advanced media topics. Prerequisite: Senior standing. 3 credits.

L.COM-492: Journalism Practicum

Hands-on experience with The Lorian or converged website. Journalism minors must take two semesters; one semester with The Lorian and one semester with Instructor approval required. 1 credit.

L.COM-493: Media Studies Practicum Staff

Hands-on experience at the campus TV or radio station. Students are required to perform in a producing or management role at the station. Can be taken up to three (3) times. Prerequisite: L.COM-293. 1 credit.

L.COM-498: Directed Readings

Independent Study course. See Division Chair for more information.


After receiving your degree from Loras, your career could take off into one of these fields:

  • Social media manager
  • Event planner
  • Promotion specialist
  • Communication coordinator
  • Media relations director
  • Health care liaison
  • Crisis communication strategist
  • Speech writer
  • Community outreach coordinator
  • Sales coordinator
Questions? Contact Us!

Joshua Bolton
Assistant Professor of Public Relations
563.588.7521 |

Josh joined Loras in 2017 and is an Assistant Professor of Public Relations. He previously worked as a Graduate Instructor and Research Associate at the University of Missouri. Josh earned his Ph.D. in December from the University of Missouri in Political Communication. He earned his MS from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Corporate and Organizational Communication and his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Political Science. At Loras, his courses include Public Speaking, PR Principles, PR Writing, PR Case Studies, and Communication Research.

Katrina Neely Farren-Eller
Assistant Professor of Public Relations
563.588.7268 |

Dr. Neely joined Loras in 2018. Her Ph.D. is in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University, and she also holds two Executive Certificates in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management and Organizational Development and Change Leadership from Georgetown University. Her research is grounded in narrative identity and use of self, and focuses on identity development through the relationship between self and other. She previously coordinated the Inclusive Dubuque Network, a group of 60+ partners working on making their organizations and Dubuque more equitable and Inclusive. She is currently teaching Public Speaking, Organizational Communication, Advanced PR Writing, and Desktop Publishing.


Deone Merkel,
Instructor of Communication Arts
563.588.7174 |

Deone Merkel received her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota and undergraduate degrees from the University of North Dakota and Minnesota State University – Moorhead.  A life-long learner, she traded the courtroom for the classroom in 2008.  She remains involved in the legal community as the Director of Pre-Law Programming at Loras and Pre-Law Advisor.  She teaches a variety of courses within the division of Communication and Fine Art and particularly enjoys working with first-year students as they become acclimated to Loras.  An interest in peaceful solutions to contentious problems led her to post-graduate training in Mediation.  She now teaches those skills to Loras students through the undergraduate section of the International Alternative Dispute Resolution Association.  She serves as the coach of the Loras Mock Trial program, and assists with Loras’ undergraduate Moot Court team.

Margaret Sullivan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication Arts
563.588.7516 |

Dr. Maggie Sullivan came to Loras in 1998. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Speech Communication from Eastern Illinois University. She has a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Maggie has been teaching at the college level since 1993. At Loras, her courses include Public Speaking, Communication Theory, Persuasion, Interpersonal Communication and Senior Seminar. Her past and current research areas of interest focus on student perceptions of faculty members and classroom learning activities.