Thursday, December 1, 2011

Communication Training Will Prepare You For a Career in Public Relations

The art of communication is key in everyday life and even more so in business. Professionals with communications training find jobs with banks, municipal governments, PR agencies, museums, trade associations, hospitals not-for-profit organizations and many other places. These communications specialists can either become public relations reps or corporate communications professionals. Although both areas entail communication, there are differences. For example, public relations is all about building and maintaining relationships between your client’s internal and external stakeholders. Corporate communications, on the other hand, involves the communication within a corporation, such as executive and internal communications, branding, events, advertising, and more. The one thing both have in common is the communications training professionals who work in them receive.

“I’m really glad I decided to go to Centennial College. So many things were triggered from that. If I hadn’t learned some of the skills and taken the courses in the program, I don’t think I’d be in such a great position as I am now,” says Virginia Middleton, who works with Kids Help Phone Line. Virginia’s testimonial demonstrates the reason why the college’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations Program is so highly respected. It is all about ensuring that students are obtaining skills, academic knowledge and having the opportunity to network. And students (and employers) are appreciating the communication training. Ninety-two per cent of graduates are very satisfied or satisfied with the overall quality of instruction; 86 per cent of students are very satisfied or satisfied with skills and abilities specific to a career in this field; 100 per cent of employers of grads from the public relations program are very satisfied or satisfied with their job-related knowledge.

Taking one year to complete, the program is for post-graduate students and results in an Ontario College Graduate Certificate. It is offered out of the Centre for Creative Communications, which is located close to the heart of Toronto’s PR industry and ensures ample networking opportunities. In addition, focus is on employability skills and landing a job with a curriculum that emphasizes learning by doing. Among the skills students gain are: learning to write media releases and newsletters, producing an event with a team, designing releases, conducting press conferences, communicating effectively with the public and the media, and much. Specific courses within the program include: Event Management, Copy Editing, Media Relations, Online Public Relations and more. Speaking of the Internet, this Communications Training leads the way in social media and PR content. To supplement the in-school learning, students attend a full-time, eight-week field placement.

Those interested in applying must be able to present an official transcript demonstrating proof of successful completion of a post-secondary diploma or degree program. Applicants will also be required to attend an information session that includes writing and editing exercises and will have to submit a portfolio of writing and a resume. Those who can present a combination of partial post-secondary education (two year minimum) and relevant work experience may also be considered for Centennial College’s communications training.

According to a 2009 survey on, the median salary for a PR manger is $65,959.

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