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Public Relations Ontario College Diploma

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  • Objectives
    Public relations is the management function of building mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. In this highly interactive program, students will learn strategic and creative communication strategies to solve organizational problems or make the most of business opportunities with key publics. Students will apply creative writing and tactical execution developed with a foundation of business knowledge.
  • Academic Title
    Public Relations Ontario College Diploma
  • Course description
    Level One
    BUS1210     Principles of Business for Public Relations

    Description: This introductory course assumes no prior knowledge of business.This course presents a broad introduction to the functioning of business enterprise as a foundation to the practice of public relations. The course introduces the essential elements of business organization, finance, marketing, production, and human resources management. This course covers business and economic terminology and structure, the modern business environment and the role of public relations in a business organization.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3

    COMM1030     Interpersonal And Group Dynamics
    Description: In this introductory level course, students learn to apply knowledge from interpersonal relations and group dynamics to working in a team. Emphasis will be placed on utilizing effective communication skills with individuals and groups. Group cohesiveness and group decision-making will be discussed.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3

    PRLN1020     Introduction to Public Relations

    Description: This introductory course provides a theoretical base for the practice of public relations from the skills needed to be a practitioner to the models of public relations as it is practiced in Canada. Students are introduced to the following topics: public relations process, learning the scope and nature of public relations management roles particularly strategic management, specialized functions with an emphasis on corporate communications. Lectures and hands-on exercises deal with such areas as ethics and codes of standards, news values and characteristics, the evolving relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists and publicity tools and techniques for traditional mass media and the news media.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4

    PRLN1050     Writing for Public Relations
    Description: This course is designed as an introduction to the role of the public relations writer and the documents written by public relations writers on the job. Students learn the basics of public relations writing, with emphasis on the ability to gather information, assemble and check facts and compose a document using proper style and grammatical structure.

    In a lab environment with Internet accessibility, students produce individual writing assignments using the proper format, style and audience considerations. These materials, which include news releases, business letters, memos, presentations and feature articles are evaluated on their clarity, conciseness, correctness, and completeness.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4

    PRLN1070     PR Toolkit: Print Design and Production

    Description: This combination lecture and lab course provides an overview of the role print production plays in the practice of public relations. Students learn the design and production aspects of print production from the use of type to modern printing techniques. The focus in the lab component is on layout principles as students learn techniques, methods, basic tools, and terminology required to communicate with graphic designers and develop basic skills to do rough layouts for public relations print materials.
    Hours: 30
    Credits: 2

    PRLN1150     Media Relations
    Description: This course will look at the unique relationship between the public relations practitioner and the media. The student will explore the role of the media, how the print/broadcast process works, and how to develop a strong relationship with this powerful public relations partner.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3

    Level Two
    BUS1020     Organizational Behaviour

    Description: Studying people and organizations, this course examines the behaviour of individuals working alone or in teams. Using actual examples, this course examines how behavioural factors affect organizational effectiveness. Note: This course is an approved HRPAO credit. Equivalent: Introduction to Business Management & Organizational Behaviour. OLRN1470 (Internet).
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3

    PRLN1060     Research for Public Relations

    Description: This introductory course provides an overview of the role research plays in the practice of public relations. Students learn the necessity of gathering, processing, transferring, and interpreting information. Lectures and demonstrations deal with research methods and techniques for qualitative and quantitative, primary and secondary, and formal and informal research using library, database, and Internet sources. Assignments provide students with experience in gathering and analyzing research data.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN1020

    PRLN1090     PR Toolkit: Multimedia Applications for Public Relations

    Description: This combination lecture and lab course provides an overview of the role audio visual and multimedia tactics play in the practice of public relations. Students learn the purpose and value of multimedia in helping to communicate an organization's message more effectively. Students will gain exposure to and assess the value of new technologies available to PR practitioners: web cast, video walls, information cds, translation tools, etc. The focus in the lab component will be on low-cost, high technology options for communication: integrating music and video in Power Point, writing and creating multimedia presentations, and minor troubleshooting of standard audiovisual equipment.

    Students will also learn basic photojournalism and composition skills and their application in public relations work. They will learn to be good consumers photography and videography. They will also apply their knowledge of visual communication in creating story boards for photo layouts and public relations applications.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN1070

    PRLN1120     Strategic Communications Planning

    Description: This lecture course allows students to review, evaluate and prepare public relations campaigns. Through this they will experience the four-step public relations process: defining public relations problems/opportunities; planning and programming; taking action and communicating; and evaluating the program/activity. Students learn to identify stakeholders and publics; set and write process and outcome objectives; devise strategies and tactics; prepare communication materials, establish budgets, and set evaluation criteria. Students apply public relations formulas by planning, implementing and evaluating a public relations campaign and presenting their proposals through an oral presentation.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN1020, PRLN1150, BUS1170 or BUS1210

    PRLN1145     PR Toolkit: Event Planning for Public Relations

    Description: This course introduces the student to the field of event planning for public relations. Students will have the opportunity to design, budget, plan, implement and evaluate a special event. The world of corporate sponsorship and planning for profit and nonprofit organizations is explored as well. They will experience the value of relationship and negotiation with vendors and suppliers to the special event industry.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN1070

    PRLN1160     Specialized Writing for Public Relations
    Description: In this course, students will build upon the skills they gained in Introduction to Public Relations by researching, writing and editing more advanced public relations documents. Completed documents will include speeches, newsletters, media kits, feature articles and advertorials. Students are expected to write all documents at a professional level and according to CP Style and professional writing standards.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN1050

    Level Three
    CDEV2060     Personal PR: Promoting Yourself

    Description: This course provides the students with the required skills to develop job search strategies, explore career opportunities, prepare cover letters and resumes and develop interviewing techniques. Work experience strategies and opportunities will be discussed and planned.
    Hours: 30
    Credits: 2

    PRLN1080     Principles of Persuasion

    Description: This course introduces students to persuasion theory and process. Using this communications knowledge base, students obtain hands-on experience applying factors in persuasive communications from audience analysis to source credibility, as they prepare plans for and deliver informative and persuasive speeches. Students learn persuasive techniques and use them in oral presentations on a variety of topics in a classroom setting.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3

    PRLN2100     Specialized Writing for Public Relations II

    Description: By the time they reach this course, students are expected to have mastered the foundations of public relations writing and should be able to produce clear, compelling and persuasive written documents. In this course, they will build on these skills to create an integrated promotional writing package which consists of a direct mail piece, a brochure and a Website.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN1160

    PRLN2140     Media Training and Presentation Skills

    Description: Well-developed presentation skills are one of the most important qualities that a PR practitioner can have. At some stage in your career, you will almost certainly be expected to make a presentation to an individual or a group. This course is designed to equip the student with an awareness of the image that they project in the presence of a group or an individual. Topics under discussion will include: the general principles of communication; vocal and physical impact; and how to be effective and persuasive. Students will look into detail at the construction of presentations; gestures and body language; and how to handle questions and objections. The course is highly interactive and the student will be expected to participate in role-playing exercises and to deliver several prepared presentations to the group.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN1140 or PRLN1145

    PRLN2150     Issues Management
    Description: An issue is a gap between your actions and stakeholder expectations. Issues management is the process used to close that gap. This course allows public relations students to learn how to help their organization to adjust to meet expectations through identification of potential issues; providing public information or community dialogue and managing two-way communication with key stakeholders. Crisis communication management will also be covered.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN1060, PRLN1120

          Electives: General Education

    Description: Student must complete a minimum of 36 Hours

    Level Four
    PRLN2030     PR Toolkit: Web Writing and Design

    Description: The Web Writing and Design course provides students with a systematic approach to planning, writing and designing communication for an organization's web page. One of the main focus areas is media relations on the web. Students will study examples of organizational content properly packaged for media pick-up. Speed and usability are vitally important. The course will look at what reporters want and need from your organization's website; tips to get reporters to access your site; and review of top trends in electronic media. (A practicum period is included in this course.)
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN2100
    CoRequisites: PRLN2050, PRLN2090, PRLN2130, PRLN2160, PRLN2170

    PRLN2050     Public Relations Consulting
    Description: This course provides both a general overview of the operation and management of a small business and a specific look at a public relations consultancy. Students are exposed to opportunities for entrepreneurship in the public relations field, such as operating a home based business and working on a contract or freelance basis. This course covers key areas including preparing a business plan, budgeting and record keeping, marketing (using traditional media and new technologies), proposal writing and project management. Through course materials, a practicum period and a capstone exercise, students learn how to function as public relations consultants.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN1080, PRLN2140
    CoRequisites: PRLN2030, PRLN2090, PRLN2130, PRLN2160, PRLN2170

    PRLN2090     The Management Environment

    Description: This course offers lecture, exercises and simulations that focus on the key issues of public relations leadership. Topics include differentiating between managing and leading, motivational strategies, setting the direction for an organization's public relations efforts, and increasing the effectiveness of your public relations counsel to CEOs. (A practicum period is included in this course.)
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN2150
    CoRequisites: PRLN2030, PRLN2050, PRLN2130, PRLN2160, PRLN2170

    PRLN2130     Portfolio Development

    Description: In this applications course, public relations students will learn how to package their portfolio materials in the best way to communicate their strengths. Part of the course will be designated for practice in presenting the portfolio materials to a prospective client or employer. (A practicum period is included in this course.)
    Hours: 30
    Credits: 2
    CoRequisites: PRLN2030, PRLN2050, PRLN2090, PRLN2160, PRLN2170

    PRLN2160     Values and Ethics in Public Relations
    Description: This course focuses on the legal and ethical constraints governing the practice of public relations in Canada. Students are encouraged to develop a high standard of legal and ethical conduct when practicing public relations. In this course they will develop a consistent ethical framework by studying the Code of Ethics set forth by PRSA as well as practical situations faced by PR practitioners. Students will study laws governing freedom of expression including libel, copywriting and intellectual property and privacy. This course includes a practicum period and a capstone exercise where students can apply course theories.
    Hours: 30
    Credits: 2
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN1080
    CoRequisites: PRLN2030, PRLN2050, PRLN2090, PRLN2130, PRLN2170

    PRLN2170     Specialized Writing for Public Relations III
    Description: Following the prerequisite course in specialized writing, this course enables the students to produce advanced public relations documents. Students demonstrate in short and long writing assignments mastery of the concepts of audience, context, format and accuracy as these apply to technical and professional writing. They will prepare business correspondence and specialized PR documents in a variety of professional contexts and for stakeholders of publicly traded and not-for-profit organizations. The course comprises classroom instruction and application in a practicum period and a capstone exercise.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4
    Pre-Requisites: PRLN2100
    CoRequisites: PRLN2030, PRLN2050, PRLN2090, PRLN2130, PRLN2160

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