For Student Staff Members

What is PRLab?
The award-winning PRLab at Boston University is the nation’s longest-operating student-run public relations firm and a cornerstone of the Boston University College of Communication PR experience. Our agency will give you hands-on practice in all aspects of PR agency life, from client service, strategic planning and implementation, to results reporting and new business development. You will work with real clients to solve real business challenges, delivering results that will have impact on their organizations.

In doing so, you will gain valuable hands-on knowledge and build a portfolio of client work to help you secure future positions in your career.

How do you sign up for PRLab?
Students simply add COM CM 580 to their schedule when they register for classes on StudentLink. Students can take the class for two or four credits.

For students interested in applying for a leadership position on PRLab’s executive board, see the E-board application page.

I’ve already had internships, is PRLab the same thing?
Students enrolled in PRLab are not interns. They are account executives on a team working for a paying client and reporting to their account supervisor – just as in a real PR agency setting. Unlike the PR internship, we provide students with clients and work they truly own through completion.

If I’m a PR major, do I have to take PRLab?
All PR majors in the College of Communication must either take COM CM580 – PRLab or COM CM 471 – Public Relations Internship. While not required, students have the ability and are encouraged to take both courses.

What if I’m not a PR Major, can I still take PRLab?
Absolutely. While its design is geared toward PR majors and minors, any student can take PRLab, as long as they have taken the prerequisite courses.

How many hours a week is PRLab?
Account executives must meet targets for billable hours:

  • Four-credit students: must complete 12 hours of project work/week
    • Client work: 10 hours (includes client-facing and team meetings)
    • Class time: 2 hours
  • Two-credit students: must complete 7 hours of project work/week
    • Client work: 5 hours (includes client-facing and team meetings)
    • Class time: 2 hours

E-board students should meet the following targets:

  • Four-credit students: 12 hours of project work/week
    • Client/agency work: 9 hours (includes client-facing and team meetings)
    • E-board meeting: 1 hour
    • Class time: 2 hours
  • Two-credit students:  7 hours of project work/week
    • Client/agency work: 3.5 hours (includes client-facing and team meetings)
    • E-board meeting: 1 hour
    • Class time: 2 hours

Can you take PRLab more than once?
Students can take PRLab as many times as their schedule allows. However, students can only receive a maximum of eight (8) credits toward their graduation requirements (four as an account executive and four as a member of the executive board). Students with questions about their credit requirements should see Undergraduate Affairs or check in with Professor Shanler or Professor Joseph.

What are the prerequisites for taking PRLab?
The majority of PRLab students are juniors and seniors. Students must have taken Principles and Practices of Public Relations: COM CM215 (formerly 301) and Writing for Mass Communication: COM CM 331. It is also recommended that students have already taken or enrolled in Media Relations.

How is PRLab organized?
Please see the agency structure page for PRLab’s organizational chart and a detailed job description for all student staff members and the faculty board of directors.