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How Can I Customize my Communications Degree?

A Master’s in Communications comes in many shapes and sizes, which means that students may select a program that meets their specific career objectives. Below introduces some of the most versatile and unique specializations for a graduate degree in communications.

Public Relations

The modern news cycle runs 24/7, so organizations must maintain an integrated media program that immediately and appropriately responds to urgent public relations issues. These communications degrees prepare students to strategically leverage positive publicity to enhance the organization’s image, while properly minimizing the impacts of negative publicity. These communications students learn how to develop messages to expand brands, cultivate strong relationships with media organizations and succinctly manage communication crises. Students are introduced to PR emergencies using case study examples from nonprofits, professional sports and corporate firms. Courses may emphasize the strategic use of PR techniques to respond to digital and traditional media scandals and slander. Required and elective courses may be entitled PR principles, crisis management, media writing, social media and public speaking.

Additional resource: Online Master’s in Communication: Top 30 Values 2017

Social Media

A social media specialization scrutinizes new media technologies and their associated PR practices. Students learn how public relations campaigns are designed, analyzed and executed in online environments. Classes explore how the field of communications is changing to take advantage of online consumer interactivity, grassroots outreach and sales and marketing possibilities. This degree concentration covers blogs, vlogs, podcasts, wikis and mobile apps. This also includes social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn as well as social information sites like Twitter and Pinterest. This degree will teach students modern methods of analyzing the effectiveness of social media relations, strategies and campaigns for organizations. Classes will sharpen online crisis management skills, develop principled approaches to social media campaigns and teach students how to execute PR strategies for use in multiple media platforms.

Strategic Management

A strategic management concentration will focus on analytical analysis and operations supervision of communications units and departments. The potential learning outcomes of these degrees may include comprehension of business strategies and corporate tactics for environmental analyses and plan execution. This means that students will learn to consider legal, social, global, political, economic and internal organizational factors when fine tuning communications operations and strategies. Students may learn how to engage in decision making based on financial statements, employee performance, stakeholders satisfaction and investment decisions. Students learn functional strategies for implementing enterprise-wide. Courses may examine the communication challenges of organizations through the lenses of the social, economic and political environments. Students may learn about the economic dynamics of communication, current media demographic trends and changing public policies and regulatory issues.

In closing, some colleges also offer specializations in business writing, so students develop communication skills necessary for effective PR, social media and marketing campaign management. Communications research specializations focus on qualitative and quantitative research strategies, techniques and resources. Non-business specializations include communication disorders, which focuses on physical and medical disorders that impede human interaction. A Master’s in Communications with a creative writing or screenwriting specialization is perfect for students who want to write anything from novels to comics to television scripts.

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