Klein College of Media and Communication Global Opportunities, the official study away office for the Klein College of Media and Communication, launched an immersive new course in Washington, D.C. called Power, Politics and Public Relations.

This three-credit course, involving a day trip to Washington, D.C, explores how the practice of public relations can leverage power to influence political processes.

When looking at issues that affect communities throughout the country, why is it that some get to the highest levels of visibility while others struggle to simply be seen or heard? In the midst of President Trump declaring immigration as a national emergency, 18 students took the prominent social policy issue and examined how public relations practices have helped to shape and position it in the media.

Amanda Morrison, junior global studies and strategic communications major, said this course allowed her to understand and become involved in political conversation on a new level.

"This class challenged me to reexamine common narratives and perceptions about immigration in the United States and encouraged me to look deeper into local, state, and national implications of immigration policy," Morrison said. "By discussing the impact of power, politics, and public relations on an increasingly important issue, I learned a lot and was inspired to get more involved on this issue outside of the classroom."

The immersive day-trip to D.C. reinforces students' career aspirations and provides them with the tools necessary to articulate their own positions on immigration. Senator Bob Casey and his staff welcomed Temple students into the Russell Senate Building to learn more about how policy is debated in the nation's capital.  

Power, Politics and Public Relations encourages students to explore pressing topics with their peers in ways they haven't experienced before. From class discussions to traveling to the Capitol, students discover the intersections between politics and public relations.

Brianna Love, a senior public relations major, said this course restored her purpose as a student studying public relations and civics.

"Power, Politics and Public Relations is the first course I took that has truly combined two of my interests — politics and public relations," Love said.

David Brown, assistant professor of instruction in the public relations program, said he created the course in order to get students to begin to tackle complex social issues hands on.

"Teaching the Power, Politics and Public Relations class has been rewarding beyond what I had imagined," Brown said. "The students really dug into the topic and produced some of the most imaginative, but practical ideas for tackling a complex social policy issue. The highlight was definitely our day-trip to Washington, D.C. where we really bonded as a class while providing a great environment to share ideas and experiences."

Claire Vidinghoff, a senior strategic communications major, took this class and said the experience is something all public relations students should have.

"The Power, Politics and Public Relations course taught by Professor David Brown was a one of a kind experience for public relations students," Vidinghoff said. "The class had a political science approach and allowed for a tremendous amount of critical thinking. I learned so much in this course and definitely would like to see future public relations students share the same experience that I did."  

If you're interested in participating in a similar experience in the future, visit the Klein GO office in Room 15 at Annenberg Hall or email kleingo@temple.edu. Stay updated on new programs and application deadlines on Instagram and Twitter.