Integrated Strategic Communication

Integrated Strategic Communication: COMM 306
syllabus | schedule of events | student blogs
Queens University of Charlotte
Dr. John A. McArthur


Strategic communication refers to the totality of an organization’s efforts to lead, motivate, persuade, and inform its various publics, which include consumers, investors, employees, and the media. This course provides students with information and insights about strategic communication: how messages are created and framed, why we respond to messages the way we do, and how to employ communications strategies to advance organizational goals.

This course is designed to explore strategic communication strategies for businesses and other organizations which must communicate with the public. The course will address the media, methods, and ethics of institutions’ interactions with a variety of audiences. This course will use a lab-based format each week to apply the concepts of the course material. Students should be prepared to think, write, compose, and practice strategic communication skills on a weekly basis.

Course Objectives
At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Define and apply key ideas in the field of public relations and strategic communication.
  2. Explain the broad historical and contemporary theories of public relations and strategic communication.
  3. Evaluate virtual and physical communication strategies in various organizations.
  4. Evaluate the ethical implications of strategic communication on members of society.
  5. Select, organize, and present various strategic communication documents in several media forms.

Readings & Materials

Seitel, F.P. (2010).  The Practice of Public Relations,  11th ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson  Education, Inc.

Students will need to create and maintain a blog site for this course. In addition, students may purchase other materials during the semester including supplies for projects as designed by the student in accordance with the project requirements. You will want to keep track of your assignments throughout the term and include them in your online website.

As a member of this course, each student is expected to:

  1. Participate fully in class by being present and contributing to ongoing classroom discussions in a meaningful way.
  2. Bring a positive attitude and a strong work ethic.
  3. Demonstrate respect for others and their views.
  4. Create and maintain an online, blog-based website with a strategic communication focus.
  5. Complete all lab assignments.
  6. Engage with class members on joint projects as assigned.

Grading Policy
Grades in this course will be based on the following grading scale:

A 100.0-94.0  A- 93.9-90.0
B+ 89.9-87.0    B   86.9-84.0   B-  83.9-80.0
C+ 79.9-77.0   C  76.9-74.0    C- 73.9-70.0
D+ 69.9-67.0   D  66.9-60.0    F   59.9-0.0

Points will be allocated as follows:

Lab Exercises:   50% of final grade
All lab activities will be averaged together to compute this portion of your grade.
Blog site:              50% of final grade
Your website grade will be determined as follows: 25% allocated to overall professionalism and design; 40% allocated to “insights” posts; 30% allocated to “connections” posts; and 5% allocated to your comments on other sites.
TOTAL:              100%

Information on all lab assignments and their point allocations will be given in each lab assignment. Please ask me if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions for any of the assignments that we will complete.

A note about online courses: The typical attendance policy (Attendance is expected in this course. If you will be missing class for any reason, let me know as soon as possible. If you miss class, you are responsible for contacting a classmate to find out what work was missed.  Excessive absences will result in failure of the course.) is replaced by a late work policy. All work must be submitted by the due date so that it can be graded and returned. Late work will not be accepted. You may work ahead as much as you like, but you must meet all deadlines. This is a 5-week, intensive course that will be as much work as a typical 16-week course. Please take this into consideration as you plan your schedule.

Always make arrangements with me as soon as you know about an upcoming absence. Arrangements for making up missed work must be made in advance. Assignments submitted late will not be accepted unless arrangements are made in advance.

Queens University of Charlotte Policies

Disability Accommodations: If you are a student with a verified disability and you require accommodations, please provide me with the necessary memorandum that was given to you by Student Disability Services. Contact: The Coordinator of Disability Services: Karen Franklin, 704-337-2508.

Honor Code: The Honor Code, which permeates all phases of university life, is based on three fundamental principles. It assumes that Queens students: a) are truthful at all times, b) respect the property of others (this includes written, visual, and digital works, thus, plagiarism is a Honor Code violation), and c) are honest in tests, examinations, term papers, and all other academic assignments. It is a violation of the Honor Code for a student to be untruthful concerning the reason for a class absence. If you believe that you have witnessed a violation of the Queens Honor Code, I encourage you to speak with me confidentially. All members of the Queens community adhere to the Honor Code, these expectations are outlined in the Honor Code Booklet, which can be found on the university’s website:

Queens University of Charlotte Honor Code

As a member of the Queens University of Charlotte community, I will endeavor to create a spirit of integrity and honor for its own sake at Queens University of Charlotte.

Academic Pledge: I pledge truthfulness and absolute honesty in the performance of all academic work.

Community Pledge: I pledge to be truthful at all times, to treat others with respect, to respect the property of others,and to adhere to University policies.

Accepting both the privileges and responsibilities of living by this code of honor, I resolve to uphold this code and not to tolerate any violations of its spirit or principles.

E-mail: Students’ Queens University of Charlotte e-mail (Qmail) is an official form of communication for this course, and will be used to disseminate materials and provide updates in group and individual form. Please check your email regularly.

University Closings / Cancelled Classes: In the rare occasion when it is necessary to close the university announcements will be made on TV and radio, and will be posted on the Queens web site, The best way for the Queens community to receive fast and accurate information about closings is to sign up for QALERT at Remember, you must register as a new user each academic year, even if you’ve signed up in the past. NOTE: If classes are meeting but you feel that you cannot find a safe way to get to class, you should notify me as soon as possible.

Intellectual Property Policy: Queens University of Charlotte faculty and students adhere to the Queens’ Intellectual Property Policy and U.S. Copyright Law. See Faculty Handbook,, and the Queens University of Charlotte website at

A Notation
This content may be modified on a regular basis to facilitate effectiveness in the seminar experience. Seminar participants are advised to check this page often for revisions.
Last update: May 2013