International Public Relations

Public Relations in a Global Context

Course Feedback

Selected Fall 2013 Student Comments

Thoughts about the Course Goals?

  • This class taught me a lot about what international business entails and the parts of public relations that influence business greatly. I like researching all the differences between cultures and seeing how different corporations do a good or poor job of adapting to these differences.
  • I think I’m much more aware of cultural differences now. I know what it means to have to focus your public relations campaign towards what influences your public, whether it be religious or social norms. I understand what it would  mean to work to implement a campaign in another country and the research that goes into tailoring a public relations message to another culture.
  • It helped me understand how public relations relates to all aspects of business internationally and helped me understand cultural differences.
  • After this class I am more aware of how international public relations is done. I was not previously aware of how much collaboration, research, and insider knowledge was necessary to have a successful international campaign. I think this would be a really interesting course for my career. It would be a way to broaden my world and be much more culturally sensitive while also making a difference somehow.
  • The class increased my knowledge of how important it is to know about other countries around the world, specifically their culture, business ethics, and lifestyle. It will definitely help me in my profession as I hope to travel abroad for PR campaigns with my job after graduating.
  • This class taught me a lot more than what I knew about international public relations, especially as a profession. I always knew that a lot more time, effort, and research was mandatory in order to work internationally since you are dealing with other cultures, but as a profession, I feel I learned a lot more about how to successfully go about this. I think for next time, it would be cool to actually go about a real-life business situation with a person from another culture.
  • As a profession, this class increased my awareness and knowledge tremendously.  I already had some input about different cultures, but this class helped me understand the business and social customs and norms of different cultures. I definitely learned a lot about low context vs. high context, power distance, nonverbal vs. verbal communication, and so on. I am excited to travel as an international public relations professional.
  • This class increased my awareness and knowledge by making me more aware of how important it is to get to know other cultures before you do any kind of business with them.

What makes IPR exciting/challenging to you?

  • The challenging aspects of this profession are all of the small things that have to be taken into consideration when practicing PR abroad. There are a countless number of differences among cultures and an infinite number of ways a company can adapt to them, so it can be hard to get the right mix.
  • It is my dream to travel around the world. Some of the challenging aspects I found with the profession is each individual must be able to step out of his/her comfort zone and truly understand the business and the culture of the country he/she will be working with. I certain cultures things are done completely different than in the United States so it is important to be open, patient, and respectful.
  • It helps with my field of study because as a PR representative you have to realize that even though you are living in the U.S. you still need to be aware that everyone has a different way of viewing or interpreting a message or campaign because of their different backgrounds. I am very excited about implementing creative ways to relay a message to the public that will get my client’s name out in the public. I think making sure that you consider every little detail within a PR campaign is the most difficult part.
  • I am mostly excited about traveling. It is a big passion of mine, and I want to spend the next ten years traveling the world. An aspect I find challenging about IPR as a profession is that I don’t think I’ll ever feel prepared for enough to work with another country/culture.
  • What I am most excited for about IPR as a profession is getting to know the patterns and styles of different cultures when it comes to business. I was so interested in learning about how the country I chose for my country profile went about their business style, and I am even more excited now to know more and to actually use what I learned in my career. This profession definitely presents challenges since it requires stepping out of your comfort zone and getting to know a whole other culture. It is a challenge for IPR professionals to basically learn an entire new culture culture so that the people they are working with feel comfortable and trust them.
  • I’m most excited about IPR as a profession because I think it bridges the divide between cultures. I think the profession helps different groups to understand each other better and breeds understanding in general. The aspects I find challenging are the idea of right and wrong.
  • I am not sure if I am going into IPR as a profession, but I am interested in traveling and I think that taking this class has allowed me to view the world from a different view and think from a different perspective. It will be challenging to do the research needed about a country for a campaign and making the connections needed for the campaign to be successful.

Comments on Assignments: 

Semester-long Intercultural Partnership:
  • I loved the intercultural partnership. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. And I know I learned from the experience, but even on a personal level I now see groups of Chinese students on campus and I don’t keep glancing over at them as if they are out of place. It’s natural for me to be learning in the same environment as them and I didn’t even realize how open I’d become without realizing it.
  • Through this assignment I learned a lot about the country my new friend was from. The most interesting aspect was that I was learning it from someone who actually lived there and had firsthand experience, rather than from a text book or from someone who has just read about China.
  • IC partnership was good because I got to know different cultures that are in my community. We see the international students all the time and I never would have talked to them if I wasn’t assigned to.
  • I liked taking the time to meet an international student, and eventually forming a relationship. This really enriched my learning and openness about another culture because it forced you to listen and really compare your own culture to the culture of your partner. I
  • I really enjoyed this partnership and meeting with my intercultural partner. I learned a lot of different things. I learned that international students are just like us. They are human as well. They may come from different backgrounds and go about things a little differently, but they are not all that different from me.
  • I liked the idea of the IC partnership in that I could connect with a foreign student and immediately learn the differences between our cultures. It was also so much fun to bond over our similarities! However, I think it would be easier if next time there was more emphasis put on how to meet these students or maybe hosting a get to know you event. For a while, I simply did not know how to meet the foreign students.
Corporate Website Comparative Analysis:
  • It was very interesting and useful to look at a single company’s website and analyze the differences between the website versions for different countries.
  • Corporate website taught me how companies relate their products to different cultures and customs.
  • The corporate website helped me learn that a huge company or business alters their way of business or look or message to a certain country’s culture and views on life. Usually you don’t think of that when you look at how different McDonald’s website is in Italy compared to the U.S. but it still plays a big role and is really important.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed being able to compare the two websites and see how vastly different they were.
  • The corporate website helped to see the differences in communication styles and business in different countries. I found it interesting to compare the U.S. to the country I was studying because prior to this assignment, I always thought big corporate websites were all the same, no matter what country.
Strategic Planning with a local NPO: 
  • The strategic planning enriched my learning because I got to get familiar with working with a NPO.
  • The strategic planning really helped me with my readings. When I had to evaluate our assignment, it forced me to go through Sriramesh, Mitchell, and other readings to find concepts that linked to our assignment and I started to see a practical link.
  • The strategic planning was good practice for creating the different parts of a PR plan.
  • The strategic planning is something that I already had knowledge in being in an RSO on campus. The club that I am involved in advocates for many different organizations locally, but this helped add to my experience in event planning and spreading awareness for a certain organization.
  • Strategic planning taught me all that goes into doing a campaign. I liked working with groups to get different ideas and perspectives.
  • I think the strategic planning was a very good project because it allowed us to kind of get our feet wet and see how doing a campaign would actually work. Since my group actually ended up implementing the campaign, it allowed us to get some experience in the area before jumping into our bigger campaign project. It is also now something that I can be proud to put on my resume.
International Social Issue Campaign:
  • The international social issue was my favorite project to work on. With a marketing minor it showed me how easily the two professions go hand in hand.
  • The social issue assignment campaign enriched my learning by helping me realize that we can make a difference. It helped me greatly appreciate the work that PR professionals do when having to plan a successful campaign because it is much harder to get the attention of people than you think.
  • I learned that anyone can make a difference whether it be on a large or small scale. There are may issues worldwide that need to be addressed and the littlest efforts can make a huge difference.
  • The international social issue assignment made me aware of international issues. I knew domestic violence was an issue in the Middle East but I didn’t realize just how bad it was until I did research on it.
  • This was my favorite project. I really was passionate about the social issue we chose and I feel like my group had great campaign ideas and event ideas! I wish there was more time to conduct this event. Perhaps make it a semester long project because time was definitely an issue. The outcome was successful, but I think more time would have allowed our tactics have a higher range of success!
  • The international social issue project was by far the most beneficial project we had this semester. I loved being able to research something that I was interested in, using the methods that I had been improving upon all semester. It was also great to be able to use my campaign planning knowledge to make a difference.
  • The international social issue campaign enriched my learning because it made me realize I could incorporate my passion with my career.
Country Profile:
  • I liked that we were able to choose our own country for our country profile because this allowed me to learn a lot more about a country that I am interested in.
  • The country profile allowed me to learn more about a country that I have great interest in visiting.
  • I learned an immense amount of useful information regarding conducting business abroad as well as the culture and norms of the people from my chosen country.
  • The country profile gave a lot of insight about a single country.
  • I enjoyed the country profile. However, this was mostly because I was researching a country I am going to be visiting very soon. If this had not been the case, I would have had trouble motivating myself because it was so much research for very few points.
  • The country profile taught me how similar and different the American culture is from the German culture. I was surprised to see how similar the two are.
  • I chose to do my country profile on Thailand. I liked this assignment because I really want to visit Thailand one day and I enjoyed learning about this country.

Other: 

E-portfolio: very useful, great idea, helped stay organized, allowed me to see what my peers were working on, formed community between class, can be frustrating at first, once I learned how to work it, I found it very useful, have a tutorial week for setting up web sites, big fan–can easily keep track of all the work I have done and be able to share it with future employers, great experience, since before this class I had no idea how to use wordpress, e-portfolio is a great idea, I had never done anything like this before and now I feel a little more confident doing something like this in my career.

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Challenges

Challenges (not included above) include tremendous time constraints, overlap between assignments (challenge and a strength), research demands relative to points given, and logistic issues in meeting/locating an international student for the semester long project, get idea of class challenges through a personal blog post.

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