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Theory and Structure of Public Relations

Code: 104776 ECTS Credits: 12
Degree Type Year Semester
2503868 Communication in Organisations OB 1 A
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Ileana Lis Zeler

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Estrella Barrio Fraile


No prerequisite is necessary.

Objectives and Contextualisation

  • To know the discipline from its theoretical foundations, conceptualization and historical origins.
  • To know the professional dimension of the activity in Spain and in the world in PR.
  • To know the areas of specialization in Public Relations.
  • To know the basic tools of Public Relations.
  • To know the principles and ethics for the exercise of the profession at organizations.


  • Determine the structure and functions of the technological and economic context of organisations.
  • Differentiate the principal theories on communication in organisations, which underpin knowledge of the discipline and its different branches.
  • Display the ability to lead, negotiate and work in a team.
  • Establish communication objectives, and design and apply optimal strategies for communication between organisations and their employees, clients and users, and society in general.
  • Search for, select and rank any type of source and document that is useful for creating messages.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Work in compliance with professional codes of conduct.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Accept disagreement and show no disrespect to other persons, groups or institutions for reasons of race, gender, disability, etc.
  2. Adapt to new situations in a constantly changing work environment.
  3. Cross-check information to establish its veracity, using evaluation criteria.
  4. Explain the theories that characterise persuasive communication in the field of public relations activity.
  5. Find what is substantial and relevant in documents within the subject.
  6. Generate creative ideas in the workplace.
  7. Prepare communication actions aimed at the internal and external clients of an organisation.
  8. Present the organisation's messages orally when this is necessary.
  9. Recognise the different professional categories and functions of those intervening in an organisation, in order to apply the best public relations techniques for each case.
  10. Show initiative and leadership skills.
  11. Use the public-relations techniques learnt to disseminate oral and written information about organisations to specific audiences.
  12. Work independently to solve problems and take strategic decisions on the basis of the knowledge acquired.


Theme 1: Public Relations: conceptualization and definition

Theme 2: Fundamental concepts of Public Relations

Theme 3: Origin and evolution of Public Relations

Theme 4: Public Relations management models

Theme 5: The profession and its deployment to organisations

Theme 6: Specialization areas of Public Relations

Theme 7: Research challenges in Public Relations

Theme 8: The principles and ethics of the pr professional

* The content of the course will be sensitive to aspects related to the gender perspective. The gender perspective will be included in the analysis of the figure of the PR professional.

The calendar will be available on the first day of class. Students will find all information on the Virtual Campus: the description of the activities, teaching materials, and any necessary information for the proper follow-up of the subject. In case of a change of teaching modality for health reasons, teachers will make readjustments in the schedule and methodologies.



The subject is divided into theoretical and practical sessions. Theoretical sessions consist of presenting the general concepts of the topic and the reflection and debate of the students from the suggested readings. And the practical sessions will include practical exercises and group activities to assimilate the theoretical aspects presented.

Regarding practical sessions, the class will be divided into subgroups to do personalized work with seminar or internship tutors. In these sessions, group exercises will be held, raised in class, directly related to the topics developed in the subject. Thus, the case study method, the resolution of communication problems, and/or the reading, analysis, and sharing of articles that the teacher considers interesting will be implemented. As a culmination of the subject, the students will carry out a final work based on an authentic public relations management experience in a company/institution. This final work will be done in a group (with the same group formed for the practical sessions). In this way, students will contrast in practice the theoretical knowledge explained in class.

Students will have complementary materials linked to a thematic block on the virtual campus. These materials should be read and reviewed to do the internships and prepare for the final theoretical test.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Exposure and practices sessions 160 6.4 10, 4, 6, 7, 9, 8, 11
Type: Supervised      
Assessment 25 1 4, 7, 9, 12, 11
Type: Autonomous      
Jobs, practices and readings 95 3.8 2, 3, 10, 6, 7, 9, 12, 5


The evaluation system criteria are the following:

- Activity A: Knowledge control (40% in the final grade): final theoretical examination. It is necessary to obtain a grade equal to or greater than 5.0 to pass the subject (indispensable condition).

- Activity B: Implementation and presentation of practical activities (30% in the final grade). Activities not presented in time and form will get a score equal to 0.0. The overall rating of criterion B shall be derived from the average of the set of activity notes.

- Activity C: Completion and presentation of the final practical work (30% in the final grade): management and structure study of the public relations of an organization from primary sources (interview with a communication officer/director).

A (40%) + B (30%) + C (30%) = 100% FINAL GRADE

* In order to pass the subject, it is mandatory to obtain a mark equal to or greater than 5.0 each of the assessment criteria (A, B and C).


a) To participate in the re-evaluation process, students must have previously presented at least 2/3 assessable activities of the subject and have obtained a grade of 3.5 in the weighted average grade of the subject and have obtained at least a 3.5 weighted average grade of the subject.

b) Students can recover theory if they have obtained between a 3.5 and a 4.9 in the qualification of the theoretical test. The recovery test will consist of a theoretical knowledge assessment exam.

c) Students will have the option of presenting themselves for recovery during the period established ad hoc if they have obtained a D in one of the practices (as long as it is for reasons duly accredited and accepted by the teaching team). Recovery practices will consist of resolving a case or communication problem in the classroom (day/hour to be determined).

d) Students cannot recover the final work of the subject (30%) because it is practically impossible to carry out another activity of these characteristics with the time available.

Second enrolment

In the case of a second enrolment, students can do a single synthesis exam/assignment that will consist of a theoretical test. The grading of the subject will correspond to the grade of the synthesis exam/assignment.


The student who performs any irregularity (copy, plagiarism, identity theft...) will be qualified with 0 in this assignment or exam. In case there are several irregularities, the final grade of the subject will be 0.


The proposed teaching methodology and evaluation activities may undergo some modifications depending on the health authorities' attendance restrictions.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Final group project 30% 3 0.12 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
Practical activities 30% 15 0.6 2, 10, 9, 12, 5, 11
Theoretical exam 40% 2 0.08 2, 10, 9, 12, 5, 11


  • Aced, Cristina (2018) Relaciones Públicas 2.0. Cómo gestionar la comunicación corporativa en el entorno digital. Editorial UOC. 
  • Arceo, José Luis (Coor.) (2004): Las Relaciones Públicas en España. McGraw-Hill, Madrid.
  • Barquero, José Daniel (2008): El libro de oro de las Relaciones Públicas y el marketing (recurso electrónico). Barcelona, Deusto.
  • Castillo, Antonio (2009): Relaciones Públicas: teoría e historia. UOC, Barcelona. Libro electrónico de Antonio Castillo (Libro de RRPP )(Ant_Castillo)-pdf
  • Grunig, James & Hunt, Todd (2003): Dirección de Relaciones Públicas. Gestión 2000.com. Barcelona.
  • Oliveira, Andrea; Capriotti, Paul & Zeler, Ileana (2019). Investigación de los públicos en los modelos de planificación estratégica de comunicación, Sphera Publica, 2(19), 21-35.
  • Palencia-Lefler i Ors, Manuel (2011): 90 técnicas de comunicación y relaciones públicas. Profit, Madrid.
  • Wilcox, Dennis L., Cameron, Glen T. & Xifra, Jordi (2012). Relaciones Públicas. Estrategias y Tácticas (10ma ed.). México: Pearson.
  • Xifra, Jordi (2011): Manual de Relaciones Públicas e Institucionales. Tecnos. Madrid.
  • Xifra, Jordi & Lalueza, Ferrán (2009): Casos de Relaciones Públicas y comunicación corporativa. Pearson, Madrid.


No specific computer program is required for this assignment.