AZA1035 - Principles of public relations practice - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Science


Ms Helena van Wyk

Unit guides


South Africa

  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The principal aim of the unit is to provide students with the theoretical underpinnings of public relations principles and practice in contemporary society. The unit explains the contexts and scope of public relations within South Africa, the African continent and internationally. It addresses the pivotal role that public relations plays in the organisational setting, the business environment and society at large. A stakeholder centred, strategic and integrative approach is followed and explored through the use of appropriate case studies and applied activities.


On completion of the unit, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Give a critical exposition of the history, concepts, context and scope of public relations practice.
  2. Critically discuss several theoretical approaches to, and models and processes of, public relations practice.
  3. Describe the practice of public relations as an art, a communication science and a management function.
  4. Critique current public relations practices in terms of core organisational values and ethics by analysing South African case studies.
  5. Identify and describe basic local and global environmental trends and changes that impact on organisations and influence public relations practice.
  6. Explain the use of public relations techniques in specific contexts, such as: business and industry, government and politics, non-profit organisations, health care and education.
  7. Develop and apply stakeholder mapping techniques.


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


PRL1001, PRJ2221, ATS1897