Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations


Public Relations & Advertising


Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

FitzGerald, Suzanne Sparks


Community and college--United States; Universities and colleges--Public relations--United States


Public Relations and Advertising


The purpose of this thesis was to determine what public relations techniques and strategies could be utilized to alleviate or even solve the five most prevalent problems faced by colleges and their communities. This researcher also verified that the top five problems as determined in a 1998 study still reign as the major problems in 2004.

An extensive literature review was conducted in conjunction with in-depth interviews with three college relations directors, surveys sent via email to over 1,000 college relations personnel, and intercept studies within the communities of the three chosen colleges.

It was concluded that the top five problems in 1998 still dominate in 2004. There was an apparent lack of two-way communication between the colleges and their communities that often led to hostility. The survey and in-depth interviews helped this researcher to gain several public relations strategies and techniques to apply to the five major problems, thus helping to alleviate problems for colleges and universities in the future.