Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations with Event Management, Online PR and Social Media

Enrolment date: 27 October 2017

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

  • Comprehensive modules covering all aspects of Public Relations: The course covers modules on Building your Public Relations Plan, Ethical and Legal Issues, Crisis Management, Public Relations Strategy, Public Relations Writing, Press Releases, Public Relations Crisis Management among others. Additional modules on Online Public Relations, Social Media and Event Management are 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 PR course experts are top industry professionals with many years of successful experience. Upon completion of this online Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations all of our students are industry-ready.
  • Real life PR briefs. Fitzwilliam Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations 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 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 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 Public Relations students and alumni. Fitzwilliam Institute’s website features a comprehensive jobs and volunteer opportunities section.

Public Relations

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 organisations.

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.

Public Relations: Strategic Process

Situation Analysis, Research, Objectives, Publics, Implementation, Budgets, Timetables, Evaluation. Planning and Managing a PR Campaign.
Practical Activity: Write a PL Plan to collate all PR activities, Budgets and Timetables.

Public Relations: Public Relations Sectors

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.
Practical Activity: Develop a PR brief outlining its important and influences in various corporate.

Media Specialisations

Technology, Healthcare, Tourism, Environment, Agriculture, Sport.

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.

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 diagram to understand the PR Practitioners roles and responsibilities within the corporate structure.

Public Relations Crisis Management

Definitions and Typologies of Crises. The Crisis Management Plan and Crisis Management Team. Communicating in a Crisis. The Aftermath of a Crisis, Reputation Management.
Practical Activity: Develop an Emergency Plan to understand the appropriate steps taken in unforeseen circumstances.

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.

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.

Public Relations: Outreach

Managing Relationships with Activist Groups. Coalition Building and Third-Party Endorsements. Working with Trade Associations, Unions, and Charities.
Practical Activity: Prepare a relationship management strategy that can be integrated into building, managing and maintaining relationships in order to maximise PR potential.

Public Relations: Case Studies

Analysis of a range of Public Relations Case Studies and Campaigns.
Practical Activity: Analyse a PR case study; what worked; what didn't and what improvements/changes could be made.

Presentation Skills

Preparation, Content, Structure, Delivery, Visual Aids, Management of Location and Audiences.
Practical Activity: Design and Deliver a presentation to learn different styles and practise your skills in a group environment.

Online PR Module Content

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.

Media and Media Writing Skills

Mass Media

The elements of the Mass Media in Ireland - TV, National and Local Radio, National and Local Newspapers, Trade Publications, Specialist and Consumer Magazines, the Internet. The functions of different people in the Media.
Practical Activity: Write a report outlining the different elements of Mass Media and how they influence a PR campaign.

The Relationship between Public Relations and the Media

What the Mass Media needs from Public Relations, and what Public Relations needs from the Mass Media. The Factors involved in building effective relationships with the Media. Dealing with the Mass Media, i.e. Pitching Stories, Interviews, Press Conferences, Photography, Media Relations in a crisis. Publicity versus Press Relations.
Practical Activity: Develop a Media Relations Evaluation Report that outlines all benefits and challenges involved in building an effective relationship with the Media.

Media Relations

How to Segment Audiences. Serving the Client/Organising and serving the Media. The ?Readership Profile'. Media lists. How to watch Media with publics. 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: Outline an Audience Segmentation and Readership Profile to understand how best to serve the Client and the Media.

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 publics.

Writing Interview Briefs

Preparing Clients for Interviews, Interviewing Styles and Techniques, Audiences, Preparing Questions and Answers, use of Newsworthy Quotes.
Practical Activity: Prepare an Interview Preparation Brief for clients coaching them on Interviewing Styles and Techniques.

Writing for Statements and Speeches

Statements - Tone, Wording, Structure, Clarifications. Speeches - Preparation, Audience, Speech Notes, Structuring of Speech, Use of Language.
Practical Activity: Write a speech to be made at a Press Conference.

Business Material for Public Relations

Writing Proposals, Business Plans, Presentations, Reports.
Practical Activity: Prepare a Business Plan to understand how to present the concept and overall plan of PR campaign.

Writing for Publication

Writing Feature Articles - Structure, Headlines, Awareness of Readership, Use of Language. Writing News Articles. Awareness of the Journalist's agenda. Writing for the Internet.
Practical Activity: Write Feature Articles to suit print and Internet Media.


The Basic rules of grammar.

The Professional Environment

PR and the Range of Associated Professional Activities. How Public Relations fits into an Organisation's wider communication. Relationships between in-house Public Relations department and the rest of the Organisation. Client relationships; Managing client accounts, and Managing Expectations.
Practical Activity: Write a Strategy Report on how to effectively manage the relationship between the in-house PR department and rest of the organisation.


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.


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.

Print and Design

Types of Print and Design work in Public Relations. The role of the Project Team. Preparing the Brief. Outsourcing Design and Print Work, and managing that work. Briefing Designers on Content/Parameters.
Practical Activity: Develop a Brief for designers illustrating specific content and print requirements.


Dealing with Suppliers - Designers, Printers, Photographers, Exhibition Displays, Video Production Companies, Event Managers. Direct Mail.
Practical Activity: Prepare Supplier and Team Activity Time line to outline the flow of all planning and breakdown of activities.

Business / Government Environment


Definitions, Decision Making, Forecasting and Planning, Objective Setting, Organisation Structures and Cultures, the Social and Economic Impact of Business and other Organisations. Systems Theory. Motivation.

Public Relations' role within Corporate Management

Management's role in Communicating. PR's function as Management Counsellor. The Internal Communication process in Organisations. The Senior Management Team. The Business Plan, and where Public Relations fits into it. Public Relations' input into Corporate Websites. Corporate Productions - Ideas, Budgets, Commissioning, Managing Subcontracted Work.

Organisations' Impact on Society

The Increasing Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, Globally and in Ireland. The Ethics of CSR. CSR as an Integral Element of Overall Business Strategy.

Irish Politics and Government

The Relationship between Business, Society and Government. Irish Politics, Economy and Society. The Constitution and Workings of the Political Institutions. The Policy-making process in Ireland. Social Partnership. The impact of the European Union. Regulatory Frameworks.

Event Management Module

Event Management Planning; Co-ordinating Events; Marketing Events; Event Risk Management; Corporate Event Management; Organising Conferences; Exhibition Management; Sporting Event Management.

Course Project

The projects are an important part of the course. Each course participant is given project briefs. Participants are asked at the during the course to produce an Pitch Proposals with their recommendations to the examiners. This gives participants the opportunity to use the knowledge they have obtained during the course in a focused way and develops relevant skills.

Methods of Training

Online Lecture Modules, Subject Expert Feedback Sessions after each Module, practical case studies, end of module assignments. etc.

Subject Experts

Distance Learning Courses maintains a qualified panel of Subject Experts.

Who Should Apply

Anyone interested in developing skills or a career in this area. Early application is advisable as places are booking up fast.


Successful candidates qualify for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations, which is certified by the Institute of Commercial Management.

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: 1995.00 EUR

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 Ireland and international companies. See where our most recent students come from and find out what they have to say.