Communicating Public Policy


The art and science of communication strategies are an essential element in building leadership, nurturing citizen involvement and implementing policy reform. The IPPAM specialization in Communicating Public Policy prepares professionals to be effective spokespersons, negotiators, media specialists, public relations experts and policy advocates.

The curriculum is designed for those who plan to go into government service or those who work in NGOs and international organizations to educate the public, improve services or create social change. In–class and extra–curricular activities are designed to prepare students to address current issues relevant to public awareness campaigns, behavior change and policy intervention.

» Courses
» Organizations for Site Visits and Internships


Coursework covers topics such as:

  • human and organizational behavior
  • communication theories
  • measuring attitudes and influencing attitude change
  • data collection and analysis (focus groups, surveys, audience response)
  • outreach and advocacy strategies
  • marketing
  • audience segmentation
  • mass media campaigns including use of entertainment media to educate and promote policies
  • managing political or social marketing campaigns
  • cross-cultural communication
  • conflict resolution
  • mediation
  • political negotiations
  • public/private sector collaborations

Sample elective courses for this specialization include:

  • Communicating Public Policy
  • Media and Social Services: Design and Evaluation of Campaigns
  • Social Roles of Communication Media
  • Development of Effective Groups and Organizations
  • Strategic Management and Change
  • Managing Communications
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution and Managing Conflict
  • Citizenship and Public Ethics
  • Human Behavior in Public Organizations
  • Communication and Global Competition
  • Integrated Communication Strategies
  • Emerging Communication Technologies
  • Internet Policy, Practice and Regulation

Organizations for Site Visits and Internships

Los Angeles is synonymous with media, technology, and communications. With Hollywood as a backdrop, the region is a stage for film, television, music, advertising and public relations. The field of communications is an intricate part of these bustling industries, so there is an abundance of opportunities for mixing in–class learning with experiential learning through case study analysis and site visits. Los Angeles and Southern California offer a unique environment for those interested in communication professions, including:

  • 30+ TV and radio stations
  • 7 major film studios
  • hundreds of NGOs and nonprofit community development organizations
  • the largest regional business center
  • hundreds of advertising and marketing agencies

The program will work with contacts in the communication field for coordinating site visits, expert speakers and student internships. Some of the organizations in this network include:

  • ET Television
  • Agnes Huff Communications Group, LLC
  • Weber Shandwick
  • Chinese Worldwide Newspaper
  • Foreign Consulates
  • Market Wire, Inc.
  • The Barry Group
  • Universal Studios
  • Cerrell Associates Inc.
  • The Edison Group
  • Magnet Communications, Los Angeles