Friday, July 6, 2012

Complete Communication Skill Training And Enter the Field Prepared

Do you want to get connected to the public relations industry by attending communication skills training in the form of a Corporate Communications and Public Relations program? Have you already completed a post-secondly program and can submit an official transcript demonstrating proof of successful completion? In addition, are you able to attend an information session that includes writing and editing exercises and submit a portfolio of writing and a resume? If you answered ‘yes’, you may want to consider applying to Centennial College’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations offering. Those who can present a combination of partial post-secondary education (two years minimum) and relevant work experience may also be considered for Centennial College’s communications training.

Taking just one year to complete, the program is one of the most highly regarded programs in Ontario. Among the skills learned via the program’s communication skill training: learning to research, write, plan, edit, design and implement everything from strategic communications plans and employee newsletters to gala dinners for hundreds of people. In addition, students study the importance of creating communications strategies that influence employee attitudes, shift stockholders’ opinions and tell an organization’s story to the media.

Students attend eight communications courses in the first semester and seven communications courses in the second semester. Among these courses are: Introduction to Corporate Communications (examines the origins and nature of corporate communications and public relations and how both are carried out within businesses, associations, agencies and government); Public Relations Writing (introduces students to typical PR writing formats designed to inform. Emphasis is on applying the fundamentals of clear, concise, coherent written communication designed to inform specific readers, both internal and external to the organization); Media Relations (students examine how the communicator develops and fosters effective relations with the news media to achieve specific communications goals); and more.

To round out training, students partake in a communication skill training course called Client Project, which gives them the chance to put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired. Project work is completed outside the classroom, usually independently, with off-campus clients. The work is often for not-for-profits clients and can involve: strategic communications planning including the production of written and graphics pieces such as brochures, media kits or newsletters. Students are assigned a faculty advisor for the course and, typically, find their own clients.

Lastly, students of this communication skill training gain experience in the field of Corporate Communications, by working fulltime for eight weeks (or longer) at a public relations agency, a not-for-profit, a government ministry or department, a corporation or an association to gain practical experience and knowledge. Many Field Placements are unpaid positions; others offer an honorarium.

Upon graduation from the communication skills training and corporate communications courses, as an entry-level communications specialist, students may land jobs that involve: media relations, employee communications and web-based communications.

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