Thursday, September 20, 2012

Communications Courses Play Important Role in Corporate Communications and Public Relations Program

Did you know that you can get the communication skills training you need to begin careers in both corporate communications and public relations just by attending one program? That’s because Centennial College’s two-semester Corporate Communications and Public Relations combines both areas for those who already possess a college diploma or university degree in any discipline.

Public relations manages the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public. The aim of public relations by a company often is to persuade the public, investors, partners, employees and other stakeholders to maintain a certain point of view about it, its products or of political decisions. Meanwhile, corporate communications is the message issued by a corporate organization, body or institute to both internal (employees, stakeholders) and external (agencies, channel partners, media, government, industry bodies and institutes, educational and general public) associates. Corporate communications training helps an organization explain its mission, and combine its many visions and values into a cohesive message to stakeholders.

At Centennial College’s program, students obtain the communication skill training needed to excel in both areas of this field. Students are exposed to a variety of skills including: 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. Among the specific communications courses within this offering are: Public Relations Writing: Writing to Inform, Copy Editing, Business for Corporate Communications, Measurement and Metrics, Online Public Relations and Social Media, Presentation Skills and more.

Students of this communication skills training apply what they have learned in two ways prior to graduation. First, they attend a course called Client Project. 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. Secondly, communication skill training at Centennial College includes a field placement that sees students 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, as an entry-level communications specialists graduates find jobs with: public relations agencies, hospitals and health care providers, government ministries and agencies, trade associations, not-for-profit organizations, financial institutions and entertainment companies. Specific companies hiring students of this program include: Alliance Films, Argyle Communications, CTV, Government of Canada, Ontario Government, St. John’s Rehab Hospital and more.

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