Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Internal Communications via Online Distance Learning

Enrolment date: 27 October 2017

Benefiting from over 30 years’ experience, Fitzwilliam Institute’s Online Diploma in Public Relations and Internal Communications course features:

  • Comprehensive modules covering all aspects of Public Relations and Internal Communications: Building your Public Relations Plan, Ethical and Legal Issues, Crisis Management, Public Relations Strategy, Public Relations Writing, Press Releases, Public Relations Crisis Management, The Professional Environment, Strategic Internal Communication and Engagement and many more. Additional modules on Online Public Relations and E-commerce are also included in this fast-paced practical course.
  • Interactive course expert support, advice and guidance from leading industry professionals. Always ready to help and answer any questions you might have throughout the course, all of Fitzwilliam Institute’s course experts are top industry professionals with many years of successful experience. Upon completion of this course all of our students are industry-ready.
  • Real life PR and Internal Communications briefs. Fitzwilliam Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Internal Communications empowers participants with practical and specific skills that can be applied in real world situations. You will gain exposure to invaluable toolkits and prepare real life Public Relations and Internal Communications briefs, enabling you to develop your work portfolio. The course project is aimed at providing you with the confidence and ability to take on and create PR and internal communications strategies and proposals for any organisation.
  • Flexible online learning. Fitzwilliam Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations course can be completed in your own time, from the comfort of your own home, to suit your lifestyle. You will have full access to online resources and subject expert support for two calendar years. However, you can complete the course in as little as 1 year, by dedicating 6-8 hours of study per week.
  • Public Relations Jobs, Networking and Volunteer Opportunities. Benefiting from over 30 years of industry experience, we are extremely well placed within the industry. Employers are always looking for Fitzwilliam Institute’s students and alumni. Fitzwilliam Institute’s website features a comprehensive jobs and volunteer opportunities section.

1. The Meaning and Development of Public Relations

Definitions of Public Relations, PR's relationship with other Functions/Professions - Advertising, Marketing, etc., History and Development of Public Relations in Ireland and Globally, Professionalism and Industry Bodies PRII, PRCA, IPR.

Practical Activity: Take a Client Brief to identify PR's relationship with other functions in an organisation.

2. Public Relations: Strategic Process

Situation Analysis, Research, Objectives, Publics, Implementation, Budgets, Timetables, Evaluation, Planning and Managing a PR Campaign.

Practical Activity: Write a PR Plan to collate all PR activities, Budgets and Timetables.

3. Public Relations Sectors and Specialisations

Corporate, Consumer, Business to Business, Voluntary Sector, Financial Public Relations, including Communicating Financial Performance, Public Relations during Mergers, Takeovers, Share Offerings, Shareholder Communications, Public Relations' role in the Annual Report Accounts.

Case Studies: Technology, Healthcare, Public Affairs, Business-to-Business, Construction, CSR, Consumer. Practical Activity: Develop a CSR proposal for a corporation.

4. Public Relations: Ethical and Legal issues

The Principle Ethical Codes which underpin the practice of Public Relations, Legal Issues in Public Relations - Copyright, Libel, Slander, Freedom of Information.

Practical Activity: Prepare a legal brief to highlight all issues within the PR process.

5. Public Relations: The Professional Environment

Consultancy Structures, Client Relationships, Pitching for Business, Managing Client Accounts, In-house Departments, Relationships within the Organisation, Preparing an In-house Strategy, Relationship PR Consultants, Managing Staff, Entrepreneurship - Identifying gaps in the Market and Developing services to fill those gaps, launching a new Product/Service.

Practical Activity: Prepare a Business Pitch for a potential Client to understand all elements of the professional PR environment.

6. Public Relations as a Management Function

Public Relations' role in the Organisation - Internal Communication, Communicating Performance, Counselling the Organisation, Strategy, The role of the Public Relations Practitioner (both in-house and in Consultancies), Business Strategy and Operation.

Practical Activity: Prepare a management strategy to outline the PR Practitioners roles and responsibilities within the corporate structure.

7. Public Relations Crisis Management

Definitions and Typologies of Crisis, The Crisis Management Plan and Crisis Management Team, Communicating in a Crisis, The Aftermath of a Crisis, Reputation Management.

Practical Activity: Develop a Crisis Management Plan to understand the appropriate steps taken in unforeseen circumstances.

8. Public Relations: Sponsorship and Community Relations Definitions and Historical Development of the Sponsorship Market

Why Organisations engage in Sponsorship, Using Sponsorship to Target particular Publics, What can be Sponsored? The fit between the Sponsor and the Sponsored, The Sponsorship Proposal, How Sponsorships fits in to wider Public Relations Campaigns, Evaluating Sponsorships, Why Organisations Engage in Community Relations, The Range of CR Activities.

Practical Activity: Prepare a Sponsorship Proposal that illustrates the benefits of sponsorship and why organisations should participate.

9. Public Relations: Political Lobbying

Interest Groups and Lobbying, How to Influence Public Policy, Planning and Managing Lobbying Campaigns, The role of Coalitions, Public Affairs - Integrating Lobbying and Media Campaigns, Involving the Public in Lobbying Campaigns.

Practical Activity: Develop an Integrated Lobbying and Media campaign illustrating how the public will be involved and its influence on Public Policy.

Media Relations and Media Writing Skills

10. Public Relations Audience

Who to target, How to target PR towards your chosen audience.

11. Media Relations

How to Segment Audiences, Serving the Client/Organising and serving the Media, The ‘Readership Profile’, Media lists, How to watch Media with the public, The role of Press Releases in public Relations, Creating angles in Press Releases, Identifying the news angle in a story, The role of Photography, The ethics of Media Relations, Evaluating Media Relations, Media Monitoring.

Practical Activity: Investigate the role and responsibilities of a press officer and plan a press conference (including press statements).

12. Press Events

Press Related Events, Planning Press Events, Creating a Press Kit.

13. Media Writing

Introduction to Media Writing, Grammar, Pre-writing, Writing, Re-writing. Writing Feature Articles: Structure, Headlines, Awareness of Readership, Use of Language, Writing News Articles, and Awareness of the Journalist's agenda; writing for the Internet.

Practical Activity: Write Feature Articles and prepare a press kit to suit print and Internet Media.

14. Press Release Writing

Date, Headline, Structure, Wording, Contact Details, Note to Editor, Structuring a Press Release - The Inverted Pyramid Model, The Appropriate use of language for Press Releases, As part of the teaching of this section, students will also cover issues such as, being able to provide reasoning for the Press Release Content, Distribution Lists, additional information to be added for a Press Pack, a description of a Photographic idea and caption, Writing styles for different Media and Publics, Analysing a number of Press Releases, and the Media Coverage generated.

Practical Activity: Write a Press Release in different styles to suit different media and public.

15. Writing for Print Media

Design for Print Media, Style Guides, Writing for the Press, News Writing Skills, Interview Skills, News Releases, and Feature Articles.

16. Writing for Broadcast Media

Writing for Radio, Writing for Television.

17. The Professional Environment: Marketing

Definitions, Historical Development, Market Research and Information, Products, Branding, Marketing Communications, Marketing Segmentation, Marketing Management and Organisation, The role of Public Relations in Marketing Management.

Practical Activity: Develop a marketing strategy illustrating the role of PR throughout the marketing process.

18. The Professional Environment: Advertising

Definitions, Historical Development, the Advertising Industry and Professional Bodies, Codes of Practice, Advertising Agencies, Selecting an Agency and working with it, Advertising Campaign Planning and Management, Advertising Media, Types of Advertisements - Magazines, Newspapers, Posters, Billboards, Ambient Advertising, The relationship between Advertising and Public Relations.

Practical Activity: Develop an Advertising Brief for an agency to understand the relationship between PR and advertising.

19. Online Public Relations

The Social Media Landscape

Blogs, Microblogs, Chatrooms, Delicious, Email, Flickr, Twitter, Instant messaging, Message Boards, Mobile Internet , New Media Releases, Online Conferencing, Online Surveys, Pay per click, Podcasts, RSS, Search Engines, SEO, Social Networking Service Sites, Video Sharing, Virtual worlds, VoIP, Wiki and Widgets.

The Internet as a Media

Commercial Implications of the Internet, Social Interaction with the Internet, Web 2,0 and its Implications, Internet Convergence, the Network Effect, Internet Information Exchange, Internet Audience Size and Exposure, Internet Culture and Communication, Transparency and the Internet.

Online PR building blocks

Online Communications Platforms, Online Communication Channels, Online Communication Mediums, Interactivity and Application of Communication Channels, Policy, Optimisation, Monitoring and Evaluation of Online Communications Channels, Online Communications Channels Planning and Implementation.

Social Media and PR strategy

Local versus Global Communication, Landscaping Platforms, Channels and context, Online PR Organisational Analysis and Segmentation, Developing Online PR Strategies, Online PR Tactics and SEO considerations, Online PR Planning, Managing Online PR Risk and Opportunities.

Public Relations and Internal Communications

20. Organisational Culture and Transformation Strategy

Development of Corporate Strategy and How it Operates, Organisational structure Set up, Systems Theory and its Impact, Understanding Chaos and Complexity Theories, Employee Motivation Techniques and Human Relations Strategy, Impact and Effect of Internal Communications on Culture, Impact and Effect of Organisational Culture on Communication and Engagement.

21. Communication Theory and Strategic Internal Communication and Engagement

Understanding the Communication Process, Effective Communication and Engagement Strategies, Identifying Key Internal Communicator issues, Setting correct Internal Communications Strategies, Strategic Management Principles and Themes of Internal Communication.

22. Assessment of Internal Communication

Identifying Internal Communications Culture, Effective Employee Engagement Techniques and Assessing Organisational Success, Assessment of Internal Communication Effectiveness of an Organisation, Internal Communications Audit Methods, Conducting and Assessing Employee Surveys, Planning and implementing an audit.

23. Planning and Managing Tactics

Managing Effective Internal Communication Strategies, Internal Communications Research Management, Planning and Strategizing Line Management Input to the Process , Assessment, Measuring, Monitoring and Evaluation of Internal Communications.

24. Social Media for Internal Communication

Introduction to Social Media and Social Networks, Social Media Explained, Social Media Marketing Campaigns: Target Audiences and Objectives, Social Networking Presence and Strategy, Campaign Implementation, Social Media Metrics, Facebook: The Facebook Environment, Setting Up an Account, Guidelines, Facebook for Business, Twitter: Introduction, Linking Twitter to other Social media Websites, Twitter and Marketing, YouTube, YouTube and Marketing, LinkedIn: Managing an Account, Marketing through LinkedIn. Practical Activity: Social Media Marketing Strategy.

25. Role of Internal Communications in Organisation Transformation

Internal communicators as organisational leaders, Internal Communications Networking Process, Negotiation in the Internal Communications mix, Effective Decision Making in Internal Communications, Developing a usable Internal Communications Personal Development Plan.

26. Change Management and Internal Communications

Efficient and Effective Change management Models, Leading and Effecting Management Change through Communication and Engagement, Migrating to Change Management Involvement and Engagement scenarios, Identification and Analysis of the types of Organizational Culture in terms of their Resistance and Impacts, Monitoring impassive and negativity towards change, Developing Effective Communications and Engagement Strategies supporting and accelerating change, Problem Solving in the Change Management Landscape.

27. Setting Up and Marketing Your Own Consultancy

The Business Plan, Creating a Business Plan, Executive Summary, the Business Opportunity, Marketing & Sales Strategy, Management Team & Personnel, Operations, Financial Forecasts, Presentation, Legalities, Choosing a Legal Structure, Taxes, Records and Returns, Setting Up, the Workplace, Office Equipment, Stationary Supplies, Insurance, Financing Your Business, Accounting Software, Becoming an Employer, Marketing Strategy, Knowing Your Competitors, Promotional Tools.

28. Presentation Skills

Preparation, Content and Structure, Delivery and Visual Aids, Management of Locations and Audiences.

COURSE PROJECTS

The projects are an important part of the course. Each course participant is given project briefs. Participants are asked to complete 5 Course Projects. This gives participants the opportunity to use the knowledge they have obtained during the course in a focused way and develops relevant skills.

Fitzwilliam Institute provided me with the practical skills and knowledge I required to pursue my career in Public Relations and Event Management. I cannot recommend the institute enough to students who wish to come out of the classroom knowing they have been prepared and trained to succeed in their chosen area.  I have now returned to complete a Diploma in Digital Marketing. - Emma Walker, Cullen Communications

Emma Walker

If anyone is looking to pursue a career in Public Relations, the Fitzwilliam Institute is a brilliant foot in the door into this intensely competitive industry. After completing the PR & Event Management post-grad I went on to become an AE in one of Ireland's biggest PR agencies, PSG. After over a year here I have recently moved to become the Brand Communications Manager of Publicis in Dublin, a worldwide Advertising agency. Before I entered Fitzwilliam I was a fresh-faced recent Bachelor's graduate, ensure of what I wanted to do next. I know now that choosing to undergo the Fitzwilliam postgrad was what opened that all important first door for me into the Marketing Industry. - Rob Kenny, Publicis

Rob Kenny

Fitzwilliam Institute Postgraduate Diploma is a great gateway to the world of PR. The course is extremely relevant with current industry case studies and topical PR trends. It’s so reassuring to know that your tutors are industry professionals, meaning that every course topic is approached with authentic knowledge of the subject and first-hand experience in mind.  - Sadhbh Higgins, Elevate PR

Sadhbh Higgins

On successful completion of this course you will receive a Postgraduate level qualification that is certified and awarded by the ICM (Institute of Commercial Management).

The Institute of Commercial Management was founded in 1979 and is one of the leading Professional Examination and Certification Bodies in the world today. Fitzwilliam Institute have developed and provided practical skills training courses in liaison with the Institute of Commercial Management qualifications and certifications framework for over 25 years. The Institute of Commercial Management certifications and continual professional development training awards are recognised throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Asia in a total of 140 countries, by leading industries, bodies and professions.

next start date: 27th October 2017

Duration: You will have full access to online resources and subject expert support for two calendar years. However, you can complete the course in as little as 1 year, by dedicating 6-8 hours of study per week.

Course Fees: 1795.00 GPB

To secure your place on the course the full fee is required. All fees must be paid in full before the course begins. Please note, the full course fees are inclusive of all course materials and certification costs.

Enrolment intake is strictly limited on this course. Early application is advised. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.

Fitzwilliam Institute closes on Bank Holidays and for a number of days at Christmas and New Year. Fitzwilliam Institute reserves the right to postpone, cancel or alter courses without notice or to change any of the details in this brochure. Fees are not refundable unless the course is cancelled by Fitzwilliam Institute. Distance Learning courses are provided by Fitzwilliam Institute BGLS Ltd.

Year on year, we have the pleasure of training students from top UK and international companies. See where our most recent students come from and find out what they have to say.