What is Public Communication?

UVM professor Thomas Patterson defines Public Communication as “the practice of understanding, designing, implementing, and evaluating successful communication campaigns within a framework of public service. It is used to inform & persuade, to build relationships, and to encourage open dialogue in the public interest.”

In the broadest sense, Public Communication focuses on strategic, goal-oriented writing. This is writing that has a very specific purpose and audience. As a Public Communication major, you will write a variety of different pieces, including news releases, magazine or web articles, interviews, brochures, newsletters, advertisements, or important business documents—each with their own specific formatting guidelines. Writing in this discipline is very succinct, and you will often be confined to strict word limits and formatting space. While being brief, writers must also grab the audience’s attention, and cut through enormous amounts of clutter to make sure that their message gets across loud and clear.