Delivered Interactively by Ireland’s top public relations professionals, Fitzwilliam Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations course takes place in Dublin City Centre and features:
The Meaning and Development of Public Relations
Introduction to Public Relations; Definitions of Public Relations; History and development of Public Relations; Professional bodies;
Public Relations Sectors and Specialisations
Consumer PR, Events, Sponsorship, Online, Integrated Marketing
The Professional Environment
Consultancy structures; Client relationships; Pitching for business; Managing client accounts; In-house departments; Relationships within the organization; 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;
Communications Theory, Purposeful & Mass Communications
Insights into the area; Theories of communications: influences, origins and elements; The purposeful use of new and old media, their application and advantages;
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;
PR Strategic Process
Situation Analysis; Research; Objectives; Publics; Implementation; Budgets; Timetables; Evaluation; Planning and managing a PR campaign;
Tools and Techniques
Tools and techniques available to PR professionals; Event management: exhibitions, conferences, product launches, etc.; Controlled media: newsletters, social media, brochures, video, websites, etc.; Uncontrolled media: Publicity in terms of print, photography, broadcast and internet; Traditional vs. Online PR, Media Relations; Themes and Key Messaging;
Ethics and legal issues
Benefits and approaches to Ethics and Social Responsibility in Public Relations; Code of Ethics, regulation of the Lobbying Act; The role of the NUJ and Press Council; Legal System in Ireland; Contract Law; Intellectual Property; Reputation Management; Data Protection; The Regulation of the Lobbying Act;
Definitions and typologies of crises; Stages of managing a crisis: Pre – Crisis; Crisis response; Post crisis; Stakeholder Management, Roles & Responsibilities during a crisis; Damage limitation: Protecting the brand, Tools & Processes to use; Developing a Crisis Management Plan/Matrix: Allocating roles & responsibilities and timelines; Calendar and Evaluation/measurement; Reputation management.
CSR, Sponsorship and Non-Profit PR
The role of PR in the Not for Profit sector; How this challenging sector relies on high visibility, creativity and community engagement; Mechanics of effective strategizing with stakeholders; Sponsor/Donor programmes;
Stakeholder Analysis; Issues Management; Internal PR;
Community Relations – building relationships with key publics; Political Environment, Lobbying and Regulation, Irish & EU political structures explained;
Introduction to the media in Ireland; Global Media Landscape; What Traditional and Online Media want? Developing relationships with Editors, Producers and Bloggers; Tracking and Evaluating Media Coverage and Online Presence;
Stakeholder Management / Interpersonal Communications
Building trust motivation and confidence amongst your organization’s stakeholders; Communications skills;
Press Release Writing: Date; Headline; Structure; Wording; Contact Details; Note to Editor; Structuring a press; The appropriate use of language for press releases; Reasoning for the press release content, distribution lists, additional information to be added for a press pack; description of a photographic idea and caption. Writing styles for different media and publics;
Writing Interview Briefs: Preparing clients for interviews; Interviewing styles and techniques; Audiences; Preparing questions and answers; Use of newsworthy quotes;
Writing for Statements and Speeches: Statements – tone; wording; structure; clarifications; Speeches – preparation; audience; speech notes; structuring of speech; use of language.
Writing reports, emails, letters and proposals;
Grammar: The Basic rules of grammar;
Developing writing skills and communications strategy; Pitching Story Ideas to the Media;
Online PR & Writing for the Web
Developing Online PR Strategy & Producing Online Content; Social Media and PR strategy; Writing for the Web; The Social Media Landscape; The Internet as a Media; Online Influences on present PR practices;
How promotions fit into the marketing mix; Marketing as a process; Identifying target market groups and segmenting those groups into manageable sizes in the context of B2C Irish and UK brands;
Strengths and weaknesses of various promotion options such as PR, advertising and direct marketing and their value to brands and customer loyalty;
Process of creating a marketing communications strategy; Integrating digital communications into Strategies;
Creative process: how is it managed within agencies? Roles and responsibilities within agencies; Briefing 3rd parties including digital, photographic, research and print.
How the web works
How the internet works; The terminology; The jargon of IT; Why digital is so popular; MS PowerPoint; Tricks and tips to designing a good presentation.
SEO & SEA
The value and process of Search Engine Optimisation; Search Engine Advertising: Google AdWords and AdSense;
Rise of content marketing, use of video and infographics; MS Excel: tricks and tips to simple spreadsheets, critical paths, timetables and graphs;
UX and Website creation
Importance of user experience; Process of web design and development including content, timings and
Blog creation and WordPress
How to write for the web; Blog creation and content;
Social Media Strategy
Basic steps for building an effective digital marketing strategy: monitoring, social network choice, building your brand voice, creating content plans based on the content marketing cycle and measurement;
How to build a strong personal and business presence on LinkedIn; How to build a strong network of connections, customers, influencers, partners and advocates; How to nurture these relationships with content and engagement;
How to use Twitter for business marketing; How to use advanced Twitter features to seek out opportunities, build relationships and sell; Best practice examples from business Twitter accounts;
How to build an email marketing list of prospects and how to nurture them with an email marketing plan;
Facebook algorithm; How to maximise your reach, engagement and lead generation using Facebook organically; Best practice examples from business Facebook accounts;
Facebook advertising: how to create cold, warm and hot audiences to advertise to and how to create ads to target them using Facebook ads manager tool; How to customise ad reports;
YouTube & Video
How to create an effective YouTube channel; What videos you need to produce to attract viewers and the tools you can use to shoot better video; How to use LiveStreaming on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube;
Instagram & Snapchat
How to use Stories for business marketing; How to plan and create stories that people will keep watching; How to use the Instagram fed to post evergreen content; It includes hands on practical exercises.
PR for Events
PR for Events; Dealing with Photographers and Media at Events; Making the Most of Photography; Effective Press Release and Press Statement Writing;
Event management planning; Coordinating events; Marketing events; Event risk management; Event Budget Planning; Corporate event management; Organising conferences, etc;
Practical and creative ways to design and deliver an event; Stages of planning and executing an event;
Analysis of a range of Public Relations case studies and campaigns;
Preparation; Content; Structure; Delivery; Visual Aids; Management of location and audiences;
Each student must submit a substantial project based on a real life PR Brief on a subject allocated to them by the institute.
A special feature throughout the programme is the time devoted to the personal development of each individual. This includes an initial personal consultation to assess each individual, and to discuss and establish future goals and aspirations. This is followed by careful preparation of Curriculum Vitae so that each participant has a clear and well-presented CV to submit to potential employers. Other key areas in the personal development programme include communication skills, assertiveness training and the importance of attitude and motivation. Personal counselling is provided as required throughout the course.
Practical Work Experience
During the second part of the course, placements are arranged with companies and organisations that can give course participants practical experience in the work areas in which they want to develop their careers. This phase of the course is closely monitored with regular assessment visits being made to each student and host company supervisor. Past experience has shown that a significant percentage of these placements lead to employment.
Fitzwilliam Institute offers great opportunities for anyone interested in a career in Public Relations or Event Management. The P.R course is a great stepping stone which provides top quality training, essential to all areas of the industry. I would highly recommend the Postgraduate Diploma as it is both practical and in-depth. The trainers are experienced professionals who have worked in the P.R industry for years. Unlike other courses which focus on theory, this diploma allows you to gain invaluable P.R experience. One of the highlights of the course is the arranged work placement. While working, students are given the chance to use all the skills and knowledge they learn in lectures. For anyone who likes writing, working with the media or is looking for a career with endless possibilities, Fitzwilliam Institute is for you.
I am a current student on the Fitzwilliam Institute postgraduate course in Public Relations, and I’m so glad I chose this course. The PR lectures were taught to an industry standard, by professionals working in the area that really challenged us and shared their wealth of experience and knowledge with the class. We learnt from real campaigns, while putting the theory into practice and discussions on a daily basis. Questions were encouraged and our understanding and practice of PR was developed through coursework, group activities and demonstrations and speakers presented to the class.
The work experience placement was arranged with great attention and consideration put into our individual skills, needs and expectations. We were prepared for these placements not alone by our coursework, but also through intensive interview and CV preparation. I feel the work experience placement has not just given us an advantage in taking our exams; it has given us invaluable insight and grounding when applying for work after our degree is completed. I would highly recommend anyone interested in pursuing a career in PR to invest in a place on this course, as they will not only learn the academia required for their exam, they’ll learn the practical trade that will help them in starting out in their career in the PR industry.
The practical elements of the course combined with the information imparted by the trainers means that the learning curve was steep but it has proved entirely true to real life and priceless during the course of my placement. It is intensive and hard work but 100% worth it and I would definitely encourage someone considering the course to go for it!
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 at the forefront of every lecture. It’s so reassuring to know that your lecturers are industry professionals, meaning that every course topic is approached with authentic knowledge of the subject and first-hand experience in mind. The standout aspect of the course for me was the arranged work placement. The placement challenges you to put your knowledge to the test whilst growing and learning in a real working environment and is paramount in developing a true understanding of the ins and outs of PR. The experience gained whilst on work experience plays such a pivotal role in your approach to the exams and perhaps even more importantly, the road to future employment. I did my placement at Elevate PR and was lucky enough to be hired once i finished my internship. I'm happily still working away at Elevate PR as an Account Executive.
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
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
In 2014 I decided to go back to college after a few months of travelling and it was the best decision I ever made. After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from NUIG I wanted to specialise and looked at the PR & Event management course in Fitzwilliam Institute. The lectures were incredible in this course and got me thinking outside the box every day. Zoe Healy, one of the lectures, set us an assignment of setting up a blog and I started http://www.pureirishsugar.com that day. Last year I won Best Beauty Blogger at the Aussie Hair Awards and now write a second blog called 'Where to next darling..?' which is all about travel. Along with having two blogs I work full time as part of the PR & Marketing team for Benefit Cosmetics Ireland. Going back to college and studying with Fitzwilliam Institute was one of the best decisions I have made and has shaped my career. Through that course I made incredible friends who still all work in the PR industry - Kate Kelly, Benefit Cosmetics Ireland.
“Alice PR & Events is delighted to offer placements to PR students from the Fitzwilliam Institute. The internship programme is a great way for agencies to identify future talent, as well as giving students practical, real-world experience that really stands to them when it comes to job-hunting”
Martina Quinn, Founder and Managing Director – Alice PR
Criteria for eligibility must be met in full prior to commencing the programme. For successful enrollment on the Postgraduate Diploma course, the minimum entry requirement is a prior Degree level qualification.
On successful completion of this course you will receive a Professional Postgraduate Diploma 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 by leading industries, bodies and professions.
Duration: 6 months (3 months in class & 3 months arranged work experience)
Venue: The Capel Building, Mary’s Abbey, Dublin 7 (The Capel Building is located in Dublin’s City Centre on Mary’s Abbey (Between the Jervis and Four Courts Luas stops).
Course Fees: €4,040
To secure your place on the course a deposit of 20% (€800) is required. The remainder of the course fee (€3,240) is due 30 days prior to the commencement of the course. 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 the Fitzwilliam Institute. Distance Learning courses are provided by Fitzwilliam Institute - BGLS Ltd.
Year on year, we successfully place our students into a 3-month organised work placement
as part of their full-time Postgraduate Diploma. Over 95% of our participants end up in full
time employment with their placement company, with many carving a long and rewarding career.
A significant number of our past graduates are now senior figures in these industries today.
See some of our most recent placement companies below and find out what they have to say.