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Fundamentals in Public Communication


Bitonti A.

Course director

Villeneuve J. P.

Course director

Fornerod L.



It is now banal to speak of the information society. The term, applying to both the increasing production and consumption of information, also entails an ever increasing diversification in the sources of information and vectors of communication. For public institutions, in Switzerland and abroad, this has meant a corresponding increase in the importance of communication (both from a strategic and a financial point of view). Communication, just like many other tasks, is perceived differently when carried-out by public institutions. Public sector institutions have to communicate differently than private sectors organisations. 

This course aims at addressing these specificities from a theoretical and practical point of view. The increase in communication by governments, public institutions, non-governmental organisations, and international organisations is raising numerous questions: When is communicating appropriate? What can be communicated? What are the limits between public and political communication? What are the ethical boundaries of communication? Should governments be more transparent in their communication? 

With the development of the notions of trust, participation and transparency as key metrics of public sector governance, communication takes on an added importance for institutions and for citizens. It is in that context, and from a Swiss and international point of view, that these themes will be explored.


Better understand the role of communication in public sector institutions

Develop the necessary abilities to critically analyse public communications

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

Interactive class with a premium put on open discussions and practical exercises 

Examination information

     In-class participation                                      10%

     In-class exercise                                            30%

     Final Exam                                                     60%