Adjunct Instructor for Advocacy Communications
University of Southern California School of Journalism
United States

Adjunct Instructor for Advocacy Communications

School of Journalism Faculty Los Angeles, California

The Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California seeks a highly qualified adjunct instructor to teach PR 501 Advocacy Communications.This course is designed to familiarize students with the key strategies and tools used in communications campaigns designed to influence public policy. Student will develop skills in analyzing and evaluating such campaigns.

Whether the topic is global warming or charter schools, a variety of players outside of government are influencing policy debates by using the tools of public relations to promote information, ideas and positions. Conversely, the public policy arena has become a critical laboratory for the development of new means of practicing public relations. This course will examine the communication strategies employed by advocates, think tanks and philanthropies to shape policy deliberations and decisions.  While examining all aspects of a policy campaign, including litigation and lobbying, our focus will fall on messaging strategies. We’ll assess the imagery, language and media conduits used to influence public opinion, news media coverage and ultimately decision makers. 

The course will survey some current, still controversial, thinking about the intersection of communications strategies, policy processes and behavior change. Students will learn about the most effective tools used today in what Jarol Manheim calls “information and influence campaigns.” In the second half of the course this knowledge will be developed by constant reference to case studies and through classroom visits by guest speakers. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand and evaluate how a communications strategy operates within a specific policy context and as integral effort of a larger campaign to effect substantive policy change. In the capstone project students will write a professional memo that analyzes messaging strategies in an existing policy campaign and that offers recommendations to a specific player in that campaign.

Requirements for consideration include a B.A., B.S., M.S., or an M.A. degree in a related field.  Previous teaching experience is desirable.  For some courses, outstanding professional experience may be substituted for academic credentials.

Applicants should send a letter describing their background, interests and areas of expertise, and an up-to-date resume or curriculum vitae through USC’s job site.

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is among the nation’s leading institutions devoted to the study of communication, journalism and public relations.  With an enrollment of 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students, USC Annenberg scholars, both students and faculty, are defining these fields for the 21st century and beyond.

USC is an equal-opportunity educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding persons of every race, gender, creed and background. The university particularly encourages members of underrepresented groups, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply. USC will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Further information is available by contacting

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