CEPE's Strategic Communications and Public Relations Certificate Program

Jobs for public relations managers are projected to increase by 13% between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

About This Program
Strategic communication is the total effort of an organization to inform, motivate, and connect with its various audiences. As social media and the immediacy of digital media takes over the news cycle, understanding how an organization is perceived by its internal and external audiences is essential for success. To communicate effectively with an audience, it is imperative to understand how messages are created and framed, how people respond to messages, and how to best employ communication strategies to advance organizational goals.

CEPE’s fully online Strategic Communications and Public Relations Certificate program offers a combination of hands-on strategy, real-life case studies, PR writing best practices, and lectures from local PR professionals. Participants will learn a comprehensive strategic PR process for research, planning, implementation, and evaluation, and gain a foundational understanding of new ethics and the legal aspects of public relations. Modern PR skills are more vital than ever, and advanced PR knowledge is expected and sought after regardless of role or industry, making these skills critical for a variety of careers.

Who Should Attend
Any professional who is responsible for brand management, corporate communications, brand visibility, or community outreach and wishes to possess the skills necessary to strategically uphold an organization’s reputation across all digital and traditional channels.

What You’ll Learn
Upon completion of this program, students will have gained the knowledge to:

  • Define and apply key ideas in the field of strategic communications;
  • Build a well-developed strategic PR plan;
  • Effectively and ethically communicate with target audiences and stakeholders;
  • Apply SEO to PR/media relations campaigns;
  • Identify key aspects of crisis communications planning.

4 Required Certificate CoursesCourse Schedule Button
Courses may be taken individually and in any order unless otherwise noted.
If pursuing the certificate, all courses in the certificate program must be completed within three years. A recommended sequence is below.

  • PR401: Intro to Strategic Communications & Public Relations
    • Learn the principles of strategic communications, including the history and evolution of modern-day public relations. This is a prerequisite for Developing the Strategic PR Plan.
  • PR402: Developing the Strategic PR Plan
    • Gain hands-on experience in building a PR strategy for an organization and a product release or event PR plan. Intro to Strategic Communications and Public Relations is a prerequisite.
  • PR403: Writing for PR
    • Develop basic PR writing techniques and producing tools such as news releases and media kits. This course also explores techniques for effective media pitching.
  • PR404: Crisis Communications & Image Management
    • This course focuses on developing communication strategies for dealing with crisis situations and presents a variety of different types of crises that may occur.

Certificate Program SnapshotSign up for e-newsletter button

  • Online
  • Once per year
  • Four, 4-week courses. The program can be completed in as little as five months but must be completed within three years.
  • Full certificate cost: $2,196

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