FAQ

Does CCPR charge fees for the services it provides?
Presently, CCPR does not charge fees to the clients served. However, the Journalism Department is always grateful to have external support from the business community. Financial and in-kind donations that further the mission of our department are welcome.

Who are the students in CCPR and how is their work structured?
CCPR operates in conjunction with the JOUR 415 [Advanced Public Relations Practice] course. All students in the Journalism Department’s public relations curriculum track are required to take JOUR 415 as a graduation requirement. JOUR 415 is the final course in the public relations sequence. Typically, there are 10-15 students enrolled each academic term (except summer, when the firm does not operate). Most students are at the junior or senior level. Each student is assigned to two campaign teams, to work on two different campaign projects during the term. Students also work on ‘corporate’ projects (meaning all staff contributes). Students are required to work a minimum of 60 hours in CCPR during the academic term.

How are student workers supervised?
CCPR’s work on behalf of clients is coordinated by a student manager; CCPR student staff work at the direction of the manager to complete their client projects. The agency as a whole is overseen by Dr. Doug Swanson, who is an accredited public relations professional [APR] and an associate professor of Journalism. Dr. Swanson works closely with students as they plan and execute each client project. Weekly staff meetings allow all work to be reviewed, goals established, and results documented.

How does CCPR maintain appropriate professional standards?
The Journalism Department curriculum is focused around the eleven Professional Values and Competencies of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. CCPR operates in adherence to the Public Relations Society of America Code of Ethics. Students who work in CCPR pledge to uphold these professional standards in all the work they do. Students’ work is guided and reviewed by Dr. Swanson.

As a client, what kind of help can I expect within a ten week academic quarter?
Ten weeks is a short period of time in which to conduct a public relations campaign. Therefore, CCPR’s students focus on planning and executing small campaign efforts that can bring about immediate, measurable success. We may not be able to do everything a client is looking for, but we can take on a small number of communication tasks and perform them well. At the beginning of the academic quarter, student work teams hold a client consultation. Research is done to verify communication strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A client campaign proposal is developed and subsequently approved by the client and Dr. Swanson. From this proposal, a campaign is conducted. CCPR’s students seek to provide demonstrable public relations success within the academic quarter in which the client’s campaign is carried out; campaigns that need longer than this can be continued by the firm in subsequent academic quarters. At the end of the academic quarter, the student team that performed the work makes an oral presentation of the results (the client is invited to attend) along with a written report.

What are CCPR’s limitations?
Central Coast PRspectives is a learning laboratory. Our students, while bright and assertive – are getting their first experience with real world public relations. While CCPR is operated as a real public relations firm, there will always be a certain level of trial and error involved as students work to develop appropriate action and response communication on behalf of clients. Since students are enrolled just one academic quarter in JOUR 415, campaigns that continue beyond the end of the academic quarter will be advanced by a new group of students. While CCPR’s students have a high level of commitment to the experience, most are full time students with responsibilities in other courses. In the consultation at the outset of the campaign, students will discuss these limitations with clients so that everyone understands the available opportunities and the potential for success through CCPR’s work.

Will I have to sign a contract?
CCPR executes a client agreement before work is begun, so that everyone involved understands the general framework under which public relations services will be provided. A sample client agreement is included in the CCPR web page.

How do I contact CCPR?
You may email us at calpolyccpr@gmail.com.

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