FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 2010 Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) Degree WHAT IS PUBLIC RELATIONS? Public relations is used by many organisations to facilitate communication and understanding among their various stakeholders – for example the media, employees, shareholders, clients, governments. The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) defines public relations as “the management function concerned with communication. It includes understanding issues and analysing public attitudes which may have an impact on an organisation and planning and implementing communication initiatives.” For more than two decades, RMIT's Public Relations undergraduate degree has maintained a close association with the PR profession and allied fields to ensure it maintains relevance. Leading PR professionals participate in an advisory board that advises on the ongoing development of the degree. The main aim of the degree is to develop the capabilities and attributes needed for the public relations industry, including: high level communication and professional skills; creativity, original thought and analysis; excellent written and verbal communication skills; an understanding of professionalism and ethics; understanding of the social, political, business and media environments; ability to manage on time and within budget; problem solving and analytical skills; leadership and team work skills; understanding of research and evaluation methodologies; organisational and project management skills; and analytical and critical skills. WHAT SORT OF WORK DOES IT ENTAIL? PR Practitioners can work in the business, public and not-for-profit sectors.. They can work in-house or in a consultancy. They may be employed as public relations or public affairs officers, community relations officers, government relations officers, media relations officers, lobbyists, staff relations officers, website officers, information officers – to name a few. Areas of specialisation with PR include investor relations, media relations, government relations, community relations, brochure and newsletter writing, speechwriting, internal communication and change management, website and online management, event management, fundraising and sponsorship, Public relations has been recognised as an industry in Australia for around 60 years. The main professional bodies are the Public Relations Institute of Australia and the International Association of Business Communicators. Go to www.pria.com.au and http://www.iabc.com. HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAM? All applicants are required to apply through Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) www.vtac.edu.au. Both CY12 and NONY12 are required to take the Public Relations Entrance Test (PRET). If successful in the test, you will be required to attend an interview. WHAT ARE THE ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS? To be eligible for the program you must have completed approved Year 12 (or equivalent). There is no specific ENTER score required, but students must achieve a minimum score of 35 for VCE English (any). Non-year 12 applicants must complete the Public Relations Entrance Test (PRET). To be shortlisted for interview applicants must sit the PRET. Applicants are selected for the program according to the following criteria: (A) Successful completion of the Public Relations Entrance Test (PRET) and (B) Successful participation in an interview (a selected number of students who have successfully completed the PRET will be invited to attend an interview in November 2009 or early December 2009). HOW DO I APPLY TO SIT THE PUBLIC RELATIONS ENTRANCE TEST (PRET)? The Public Relations Entrance Test (PRET) will be on Friday 25 September 2009 at RMIT City campus from 4-6pm. All applicants for the Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) MUST register to sit the PRET by Friday 18 September. Registration is compulsory; it will guarantee you a seat at the exam. If you arrive at the exam without having registered you will not be eligible to sit the PRET. To register go to www.rmit.edu.au/appliedcommunication/publicrelations. Applicants must arrive for the Public PRET by 3.45pm on Friday 25 September 2009. When you register for the PRET you will be advised of the venue. The PRET will start at 4pm sharp and will finish at 5.30pm. Applicants should bring a 2B pencil, eraser, a pen and photographic identification (such as a drivers’ licence or school ID). Applicants with a disability requiring special arrangements must contact RMIT University’s Disability Liaison Unit – email email@example.com; phone +61 3 9925 1089; or TTY (61 3) 9925 3673 by Friday 18 September 2009. Interstate and international applicants, and those with special circumstances (approved by the program director), who cannot attend RMIT University City campus on 25 September 2009 must email firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 2 September 2009. Please note: Information supplied in this document was correct at the time of publication, August 2009. Every effort has been made to ensure that information is accurate and prospective students are advised to confirm details with the appropriate school or area. Applicants who do well in the PRET will be shortlisted for interview. You will not be interviewed if you have not completed the PRET. Applicants selected for interview will be contacted by mid-November 2009 and will be advised when they are required to attend an interview, which is necessary to be eligible for selection. Interviews may be conducted in group sessions. They will be held during November 2009 through to early December 2009. SELECTION CRITERIA The PRET is a written test and could include multiple-choice, short or long-answer questions. These questions are intended to test your current affairs and general knowledge, writing and comprehension skills, analytical skills, and your ability to reflect on issues and express yourself in relation to them. The following capabilities and attributes are relevant to selection in the PRET and interview: Knowledge Good current affairs and general knowledge is important for PR practitioners. Applicants should also demonstrate an interest in the media, including issues covered in the media and the structure and trends in the media industry. Personal skills and attributes We are looking for applicants who show the ability to take initiative, a strong work ethic, a sense of responsibility to others, and an ability to reflect on value- and ethics-related issues. Other attributes we look for are creativity, the ability to work in a team and resourcefulness. Public relations requirements Applicants should show a strong interest for PR and be able to explain why they have it. They should have knowledge of the industry and current trends. They should be keen consumers of electronic, online and paper-based media. Technical capabilities Applicants should have strong writing and verbal skills, and high-level English language skills. INTERVIEW SELECTION Based on the results of the PRET, some applicants will be asked to attend an interview in November or early December. Only applicants who have completed the PRET will be invited to participate in an interview. The interview panel will ask questions to gain evidence of attributes, aptitudes and capabilities listed in the selection criteria. It is not required, but applicants may bring in a concise resumé of NO MORE THAN TWO PAGES. HOW MANY CONTACT HOURS PER WEEK ARE THERE? Full-time students attend 12 hours of classes and should undertake up to 24 hours of study and research each week. HOW LONG IS THE DEGREE PROGRAM? Three years full-time. In special circumstances, with program director advice, it is possible to vary your study load. CAN I DEFER MY PLACE? It is RMIT policy that all students are able to defer their studies for a maximum of 12 months. WHAT ARE THE PATHWAYS FOR THIS PROGRAM? Subject to successful participation in the PRET and interview process, applicants who have completed the following RMIT TAFE courses are eligible for recognition of prior learning in this program: - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing - Advanced Diploma in Business (Public Relations) HOW IMPORTANT IS WORK EXPERIENCE? Work experience is very important. There are work-integrated learning activities throughout the degree, but we also encourage students (and applicants) to independently arrange their own work experience to enhance their understanding of the professional workplace in general, and the public relations industry in particular. Note, however, that study comes first. While we encourage students to get work experience, they should respect that work commitments should be organised around their timetable and study commitments. CAN I STUDY OVERSEAS AS PART OF THIS PROGRAM? International study can be an exciting, life-changing experience that allows you to engage with the world academically, culturally and professionally. For further information go to – http://www.rmit.edu.au/GLOBALPASSPORT. WHAT SUPPORT IS THERE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES? Please refer to the Disability Liaison Unit information at: www.rmit.edu.au/disability INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS Please see www.rmit.edu.au/international for the entrance requirements FURTHER INFORMATION Contact us via email: email@example.com Tel.: (61 3) 9925 3130. Please note: Due to the high number of enquiries, phone calls to the program office are not encouraged. Please email your enquiries and a response will normally be provided within 3 working days. Please visit www.rmit.edu.au/appliedcommunication/publicrelations Please note: Information supplied in this document was correct at the time of publication, August 2009. Every effort has been made to ensure that information is accurate and prospective students are advised to confirm details with the appropriate school or area.