UTAR’s observation on the paradigm shift within the world of communication

MODERN world has shifted the traditional definition of communication, as it simply no longer means what it is supposed to mean.

“Fact is undermined by fiction, and audiences are refusing to listen and trust communication from established institutions such as the media and government,” said Dr Lee Lai Meng of UTAR’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FAS).

In these difficult times, with the prevalence of fake news and miscommunication, it becomes imperative for organisations and the government to communicate strategically with their stakeholders. Strategic communication is a term used to encompass a variety of communication-related professions, such as public relations, brand communication, internal communication and corporate communication.

Strategic communications use message development with high levels of planning and research of audience behaviours and perceptions to fulfil the organisation’s mission. The messages are created to target specific audiences and help position an organisation’s communication goals in relation to its structural goals. Strategic communication can be delivered through a range of sources, including press releases, social media, radio and television advertisements, internal messages, interviews and white papers.

In line with this scenario, the FAS Master of Strategic Communication programme is designed to focus on higher-level concepts and strategies that cut across disciplines to meet the flexible thinking needed in today’s environment – the thinking that requires practitioners who can design, manage and launch communication campaigns that integrate a variety of public relations, advertising, journalism and marketing techniques to achieve organisational communication goals.

UTAR’s Master of Strategic Communication programme seeks to empower communicators who are versatile to successfully move on to a variety of fulfilling careers, applying the strategic communication principles and skills they have learned to business, government, politics, social justice, entertainment and health, among others.

“Studying strategic communication can help solve societal problems by generating solutions, and using targeted analytical and critical thinking as well as numeracy and digital skills in tandem with strategic communication solutions. Graduates from this programme may also contribute back to society by being advocates for non-governmental organisations, the government, organisations and the public,” said Lee.

Adding to Lee’s points, UTAR Master of Strategic Communication Head Dr Ihediwa Samuel Chibundu said that strategic communication is the science of professional and effective conceptualisation of media messages delivered through effective media channels to targeted audiences to achieve specific organisational goals.

“Malaysia is fertile ground for media and communication studies. Many higher education providers in Malaysia now offer a wide array of Mass communication programmes to meet the increasing demand of the media and communications industry. Therefore, UTAR’s Master of Strategic Communication, as a stream of study, and as a career, is an enviable programme,” he said.

“Upon completing the programme, graduates should be able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the field of strategic communication locally and internationally, apply practical skills in the field of media and communications, demonstrate leadership qualities, and communicate and work effectively with academic peers and stakeholders”.

UTAR FAS is a faculty that is dedicated to intellectual discovery to make knowledge matter in the industry, and to help students reach their highest potential. The faculty offers a total of seven undergraduate programmes and four postgraduate programmes that meet the needs of the industry. All the programmes are carefully monitored for their academic quality, career relevance and compliance with Malaysian qualification standards.

Among the other programmes offered by FAS are the Bachelor of Communication (Honours) Public Relations, Bachelor of Communication (Honours) Journalism, Bachelor of Communication (Honours) Advertising, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) English Language, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) English Education, Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) Psychology, Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) Guidance and Counselling, Master of Psychology (Industrial and Organisational Psychology), Master of Philosophy (Social Science) and Doctor of Philosophy (Social Science).

All programmes are accredited by the Malaysian Qualification Agency and the Higher Education Ministry.

For more information on these programmes, visit fas.utar.edu.my.

UTAR is a university offering courses in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in areas that include Accountancy, Actuarial Science, Applied Mathematics, Arts, Chinese Studies, Malaysia Studies, Business and Economics, Biotechnology, Engineering and Build Environment, Information and Communication Technology, Life and Physical Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences, Media and Journalism, Education and General Studies, and Agriculture and Food Science, and engages in the provision and conduct of research, consultation, management and leadership training and other related educational services at its campuses at Bandar Sungai Long in Selangor and Kampar in Perak.

For more information, call 05-468 8888 (Kampar Campus) or 03-9086 0288 (Sungai Long Campus), or visit www.utar.edu.my