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Strategic Communication for Social Change

Are you dreaming of making the world a better place? Learn how to create communication campaigns that are accountable towards communities!

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
25 October 2024 - 24 January 2025

With the emergence of social media and its power to amplify messages, persuasive communication in the form of advertising and PR campaigns has strengthened its impact on society. The main clients - and, thus, beneficiaries -of these campaigns are businesses, which increasingly have a voice in shaping social values and norms, in convergence with their for-profit objectives. With the know-how of the persuasive communication industry, businesses are in the position to go beyond their traditional role, i.e. providing goods and services in the marketplace, and they (re)present themselves as actors in the arena for social change. Universities, through specialized programs and research on strategic communication, develop the knowledge-base of the professional services offered by advertising and PR agencies; however, since there is a great pressure on universities correspond to the demands of the labour market, strategic communication teaching is tailored for the needs of businesses. The aim of this BIP is to re-appropriate this knowledge for the purpose of social change, i.e. to use strategic communication to serve the local needs of communities and, thus, to contribute to furthering the public interest.

Main topics addressed

  • The strategic and tactical stages of campaigns (from communications brief to creative concept development)
  • Service learning
  • Transmedia storytelling (using literature as source in developing creative messages for campaigns)

Learning outcomes

  • Use service learning to understand and solve the problems of a community
  • Use transmedia storytelling
  • Understand the relationship between social change and strategic communication
  • Understand how to employ a communications brief
  • Understand the stages of a communications campaign
  • Demonstrate how to solve a communication brief
Dates: 25 October 2024 - 24 January 2025 Total workload: 144 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 5*
Location: Bucharest, Romania Language: English (B2)


*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility

The physical mobility part will be running from 18 to 22 November 2024 in Bucharest, Romania.

The physical part of the course merged as follows:

  • Lecture on social change and strategic communication.
  • Workshops - students (in teams) will start solving the communication brief with Q & A sessions.

Monday 18 November

  • Welcome Session & Introducing the Teaching Method - 11.00-13.00
  • Lunch break - 13.00-14.00
  • Lecture „Strategic Communication: Principles and Practice” - 14.00-16.00

Tuesday 19 November

  • Lecture „A Critical Perspective on Strategic Communication” - 11.00-13.00
  • Lunch break - 13.00-14.00
  • Workshop for Solving the Communications Brief - 14.00-16.00

Wednesday 20 November

  • Workshop for Solving the Communications Brief (morning session) - 10.00-13.00
  • Lunch break - 13.00-14.00
  • Workshop for Solving the Communications Brief  (after lunch session) - 14.00-17.00

Thursday 21 November

  • Workshop for Solving the Communications Brief  (morning session) -10.00-13.00
  • Lunch break - 13.00-14.00
  • Workshop for Solving the Communications Brief (after lunch session) - 14.00-17.00

Friday 22 November

  • One day trip to Sinaia to visit Peleș Castle

Virtual part

The virtual component of the course will be running from 21 October 2024 to 24 January 2025. Moreover, the virtual component of the course includes:

  • Seminar focused on the presentation of the actual communications briefs with the NGO stakeholder, review of the stages of a communication campaign
  • Workshop linked to the learning outcome of using transmedia storytelling
  • Lecture and workshop related to service learning, connected to the outcome of understanding and solving the problems of a community
  • Follow-up seminar: students will present their work, which is linked to the learning outcome of demonstrating how to solve a communications brief

The schelude of the virtual part of the course merged as follows:

  • 1st week online (between 21-25 October): 

- Day 1: Welcome & Introducing the communications brief (4 hours) 

- Day 2: Briefing/ Debriefing (2 hours)

  • 2nd week online (between 28 October- 1 November): 

- Day 1: Introducing Service Learning (4 hours)

- Day 2: Introducing Transmedia Storytelling (3 hours)

  • 3rd week online (between 4 -8 November): 

- Service Learning: Problem Solving (4 hours)

  • 4th week online (between 11-15 November)

- Transmedia Storytelling Project Development (3 hours)

  • 5th week online (between 13-17 January)

- Intermediate assessment (tutoring) (4 hours)

  • 6th week online (between 20-24 January)

- Final assessment: Students` presentations (4 hours)


This course is open to Bachelor's and Master's students at CIVIS member universities, with an academic background and/or an interest in the following fields of study: Advertising & PR, Service Learning, Media Studies. No specific pre-requisites are required. The program is built based on a transversal approach, as required for considering complex problems such as social change.

- A B2 level in English is required to enable students to follow the course.

- Problem solving, integrity/ responsibility, communication, teamwork are also desirable skills in order to follow the course.

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

Students from CIVIS’ strategic partner universities in Africa cannot apply for participation in this course.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 28 April 2024. Applications will be evaluated based on:

  • CV 
  • Motivation letter/Motivation to join the course
  • Background related volunteering, NGOs

Apply now


- There will be a practical assessment, consisting of students' final presentations (organized in teams), during which they will demonstrate how they solved the communications brief.

- Each team will have a 15 minutes for delivering the presentation, and each team member will present part of the solution.

- Each team will receive feedback from trainers.

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Nicoleta Elena Apostol is Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Bucharest (in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Communication). Her teaching portfolio includes Media Production for PR, and Critical Media and Advertising Studies. She has been involved in NGOs (e.g. Centrul Filia) and in grassroots collectives (e.g. Biblioteca Alternativa) in Bucharest which are focused on gender and intersectional dimensions of identity (race/ethnicity, LGBTQ etc.) which further ground her understanding of this area.


Pilar  Aramburuzabala is Associate Professor at the School of Teacher Training and Education, at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Doctor in Education from the Complutense University of Madrid, her education ,training and work experience have been developed mainly in Spain and in New York, where she worked as a bilingual therapist. Since 1997, she oriented her academic interests towards the fields of civic engagement and education for social justice. She is the president of the European Association of Service-Learning in Higher Education and director of the European Observatory of Service-Learning in Higher Education. 


Francesca Medaglia is Assistant Professor (RtdB) in Comparative Literature and Literary Criticism at Sapienza Università di Roma. She has published four books: "La scrittura a quattro mani" (2014), "Asimmetrie ibride nella critica di Antonino Contiliano" (2014), "Il ritmo dei tempi in Antonino Contiliano" (2014) and “Autore/personaggio: interferenze, complicazioni e scambi di ruolo. Autori e personaggi complessi nella contemporaneità letteraria e transmediale” (2020). She has lectured at national and international conferences.


Daniel Raffini is a research fellow at Sapienza Università di Roma. He holds a PhD in Italian Studies with a thesis on the reception of foreign literatures in Italian magazines between the two wars. He has worked on reception, literary journals, reconstruction of cultural networks through archival studies, relations between culture and politics, fiction and non-fiction, and some authors of Italian literature of the second half of the twentieth century, including Juan Rodolfo Wilcock, Lalla Romano, Vincenzo Consolo and Gianni Celati. He is currently working on literature and artificial intelligence, both from a literary-historical point of view and with respect to ethical and theoretical issues.


Andrea Sánchez (Madrid, Spain) has a degree in Law and Business Administration, a Master in International Business Management, and a Master in Leadership and Social Innovation. Passionate about social change and with a global vision, she has lived in Paris, London, and Mexico City. Andrea has worked in corporate communication, marketing, and project management. She worked for Impact Hub Madrid as head of communication, and she founded Work for Social, the first pro bono intermediary in Spain, connecting NGOs with skilled volunteers. Furthermore, she has worked in the Global Pro Bono Network, promoting the pro bono culture internationally where she continues to be actively involved. 


Romina Surugiu is Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies, and Dean of the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies, at University of Bucharest. She has an MA in Gender Studies (2000), MA in Labour Studies (2023), PhD in Philosophy from the University of Bucharest (2006), postdoctoral researcher in Communication Studies at the University of Bucharest (2010-2013), and at the Uppsala University (2012). She worked as journalist and served as a board member of Romanian Public Television. She was a member of the management committee of the EU COST Action on the Dynamics of Virtual Work IS 1202 (2012-2016, chair: Professor Ursula Huws). She is member of European Sociological Association (ESA) - RN 18 Sociology of Communications and Media Research.