Public Relations Courses
Earning a certificate in public relations (PR) can broaden opportunities to help companies maintain a positive public image. Generally, students of this certificate program will learn how to write press releases, use management techniques and persuasive skills. They are prepared to advance in the public relations field, developing publicity and media campaigns for one or more companies.
Various career field options exist for graduates of a public relations certificate program. Typically, students can expect to advance in advertising, marketing and other fields related to the media industry. Major responsibilities place a person in this career field as a liaison between the media and a company. He or she could be responsible for introducing a service or new product to the public. Responsibilities could also involve making verbal or written statements to the public to handle a crisis.
Public Relations Schools
Penn Foster Career School
Public Relations Certificate Program Studies
Students who enroll in a public relations certificate program will receive a robust curriculum to develop necessary skills. Many of these certificate programs teach students how to develop and manage PR campaigns. A range of duties are often associated with such campaigns. Student will learn how to conduct research and surveys; media interaction etiquette; and, event management.
The structure of public relations certificate programs may vary based on the academic institution. Most programs offer a classroom experience through lectures and workshops. Others may involve internships in addition to time spent in the classroom. The program structure is geared towards teaching students how to work with employees, customers, competitors and the public.
Typically, students who enroll in a PR certificate program have completed a bachelor’s degree in public relations or a related field. There are some programs that also require some graduate studies. Sometimes, a person could enroll in a certificate program with relevant work experience.
Coursework for a Public Relations Certificate Program
The coursework may also vary among academic institutions, but generally have similar foundational classes. In addition to learning media interaction and other skills, students will also explore theoretical concepts. They will study the importance of building good relationships between a company and its various stakeholders. PR coursework may include:
- Techniques in publicity
- How to write press releases
- Corporate communication styles
- Strategies to effectively use social media
Subjects from other fields are also incorporated with PR coursework. Some of these fields may include accounting, marketing and operations management.
Career Options for Public Relations Graduates
Students who graduate from a public relations certificate program are prepared to work in a variety of fields. Some students may pursue positions in fundraising, research and management. Graduates are known to work as project managers, fundraising managers, marketing managers, PR specialists and survey researchers.
Below is a brief description of the standard duties for a PR specialist and survey researcher.
Also known as media or communications specialists, PR specialists are considered client advocates for companies. Generally, these clients want to maintain a positive relationship with its public stakeholders. Typical clients may include medical facilities, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations and business corporations.
Duties for most PR specialists include management of client functions. Many of these functions may include governmental, consumer, media, industry and community relations. Actual functions are dependent on the type of client for which the PR specialist works. For example, a PR specialist employed by a nonprofit organization will interact with government agencies and community groups.
Success in this career may require expertise in verbal and written communications. PR specialist must maintain professionalism, even when communicating unpleasant information. Other skills for a PR specialist may require problem-solving, organization and an energetic attitude. Maintaining an air of calm during stressful circumstances is a definite plus to be a successful PR specialist.
Another career option for graduates of a public relations certificate program is a survey researcher. A person in this position is usually responsible for designing and conducting company-related surveys. He or she may work for similar organizations as a PR specialist, but with a different focus. Some positions are also with political candidates.
A successful survey researcher has superb analytical skills since it is necessary to interpret data collected from surveys. Being detail-oriented, persistent and able to work independently are also essential skills. While working independently is necessary, survey researchers should also have good people skills to interview people for survey data. Written communications skills are also beneficial to word surveys properly.