ENGR/JOUR 680 Communicating Innovation

Practical application of strategically communicating about new innovations with a focus on the area of renewable energy. This includes current and future technological and environmental challenges of which renewable energy could be a solution.

About the Course

n general, this online course is designed to provide students with practical skills in designing solutions to communication problems. Students will examine successful case studies on how innovators and entrepreneurs communicate new ideas to the public and key audiences, such as local, state, and federal policymakers and government agencies, citizen interest groups, and the business/investor community. In addition students will: develop an imaginary business related to renewable energy, do consumer research for the business and build a strategic communications campaign for it. Through this process students will learn key components of public relations, advertising and social media campaigns. 

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Make use of basic consumer research techniques as applied to strategic communications.
  • Incorporate verbal, written and visual communication skills in building a communications campaign.
  • Employ project management and teamwork skills in communicating new innovations to the public.
  • Analyze, discuss and apply current practices in advertising, public relations, social media and emerging technology marketing.
  • Integrate various strategic communications tactics for effective campaigns and recognize the importance of this integration.

About the Instructor

Todd Felts, mfelts@unr.edu

Todd Felts began as an assistant professor of strategic communications in 2008 after 20 years working in strategic communications at organizations along the East coast, including serving as speechwriter and press secretary for Gov. Jim Hunt of North Carolina.

At Nevada, Felts received the Honors Program Distinguished Faculty Award and the Semenza Christian Award for Excellence in Teaching. He also spent three years serving as the director of the graduate program in interactive journalism. Through grants through the U.S. Department of State, he has been involved in several international visitor programs to Nevada, including serving as the academic director for the Algerian Youth Leadership Program since 2009. In 2010, he was the co-recipient of a National Science Foundation Grant to create a community engagement campaign to increase the number of students who major in science.

Felts earned a doctorate in education management from Drexel University, a master of arts in international communications from Georgetown University, and a bachelor's in broadcast journalism and political science from Lenoir-Rhyne University. Felts is a fellow in the Scripps-Howard Leadership Academy, and earned a graduate certificate in education entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania.