Professional Project Information

The project may have as its main component an analysis and recommendation of a media or public relations strategy for a targeted organization, or a sustained analysis in the form of a documentary, a series of articles, design and implementation of a media or public relations (internal/and or external) for a corporation, government or non-government organization. A professional project will include a statement of purpose (or research), a literature review and some discussion of theory and methodology and a discussion section. For example, if the project includes a compilation of materials or research/surveys conducted on behalf of an organization, a 'discussion section' will analyze the project - how well it accomplished its goals, or what the student discovered through the project that can help the organization for whom the work was done, or contribute as a case study to the field of mass communication.

This project is largely shaped by the interests of the student and can be an opportunity to connect to an industry segment, corporation, etc. and conduct a 'case study', produce media and/or public relations campaign, conduct image research or other useful materials which allow the student to 'apply' her or his knowledge and also make useful professional contacts as a part of the process. A professional project requires a faculty committee an 'advisor or director.' The assessment of the worthiness of the project rests with the committee. It does not require the student to submit the completed project to the Graduate School.

Recent examples of professional projects are:

"A Development Strategy for King's Daughters' School,"; by Jesse Darnell Davis, 2010. (Analysis of benchmarked organizations' development strategies and proposal for new development/PR strategies for a private school.)

"Still Slanted: A study of Asian Stereotypes in Hollywood Motion Pictures,"; (Documentary of images with accompanying paper analysis, literature review) by Bill DeJesus, 2009.

"The Timeout as a Serious Speech Act in Medical Discourse,"; by Rhonda Hudson, 2009. (Case study of hospital internal communications program survey results plus theory)

"How a Minority Religion is Covered by a Local Newspaper in Murfreesboro, TN: An Ethnographic and Data Analysis,"; by Ling Su, 2009. (Interviews with news editors, local priests, content analysis)

"2007 Mattel Toy Recall: An Analysis of Crisis Management and Cross-Cultural Factors for Chinese Companies"; by Yan Zhong, 2008. (Analysis of PR strategies by Mattel, cultural business practices in China and recommendations for US businesses on Chinese business practices, and recommendations for Chinese businesses on PR strategies.)