Diploma in Public Relations via Online Distance Learning

Enrolment date: 26 July 2024

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

  • Comprehensive modules covering all aspects of Public Relations: 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 diploma in public relations all of our students are industry-ready.
  • Real life PR briefs. Fitzwilliam Institute’s 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 a real life Public Relations brief, 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 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 6 months. However, you can complete the course in as little as 3 - 4 months, 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 students and alumni. Fitzwilliam Institute’s website features a comprehensive jobs and volunteer opportunities section.


The Meaning and Development of Public Relations

Definitions of PR. PR's Relationship with other Functions/Professions - Advertising, Marketing, etc. History and Development of Public Relations globally. Professionalism and Industry Bodies.

Public Relations Strategic Process

Situation Analysis, Research, Objectives, Publics, Implementation, Budgets and Timetables, Evaluation. Planning and Managing a Public Relations Campaign.

Public Relations Sectors

Corporate, Consumer, Business to Business, Voluntary Sector. Financial PR, including Communicating Financial Performance, PR during Mergers, Takeovers, Share Offerings, Shareholder Communications. PR's role in the Annual Report and Accounts, Corporate Social Responsibility.

Public Relations Ethical and Legal Issues

Principle Ethical Codes which underpin the Practice of Public Relations. Legal Issues in PR - Copyright, Libel, Slander, Freedom of Information.

Public Relations Media Specialisations

Charity, Consumer, Fashion, 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, Relationships with Public Relations Consultants, Managing Staff. Entrepreneurship - Identifying gaps in the Market and Developing Services to fill those gaps, Launching a New Product/Service.

Public Relations as a Management Function

PR's 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.

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.

Internal Communications

Identifying Internal Communications Culture, Effective Employee Engagement Techniques and Assessing Organisational Success, Assessment of Internal Communication Effectiveness of an Organisation, Internal Communications Audit Methods, Conducting and Assessing Employee Surveys, Planning and implementing an audit. Managing Effective Internal Communication Strategies, Internal Communications Research Management, Planning and Strategizing Line Management Input to the Process, Assessment, Measuring, Monitoring and Evaluation of Internal Communications.

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 Sponsorship fits in to wider Public Relations Campaigns. Evaluating Sponsorships. Why Organisations engage in Community Relations. The Range of CR activities.

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.

Public Relations: Outreach

Managing Relationships with Activist Groups. Coalition Building and Third-party Endorsements. Working with Trade Associations, Unions and Charities.

Public Relations Case Studies

Analysis of a range of Public Relations Case Studies and Campaigns.

Presentation Skills

Preparation, Content, Structure, Delivery, Visual Aids, Management of Locations and Audiences.

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 - 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.

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.

Media Relations

How to Segment Audiences. Serving the Client/Organisation and Serving the Media. The 'Readership Profile'. Media Lists. How to Match 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.

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 such issues 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.

Writing Interview Briefs

Preparing Clients for Interviews, Interviewing Styles and Techniques, Audiences, Preparing Questions and Answers, use of Newsworthy Quotes.

Writing for Statements and Speeches

Statements - Tone, Wording, Structure, Clarifications. Speeches - Preparation, Audience, Speech Notes, Structuring of Speech, Use of Language.

Business Material for Public Relations

Writing Proposals, Business Plans, Presentations, Reports.

Writing for Publication

Writing Feature Articles - Structure, Headlines, Awareness of the Journalist's Agenda. Writing for the Internet.The Basic Rules of Grammar

Public Relations and the Professional Environment

The Professional Environment

Public Relations and the Range of Associated Professional Activities. How Public Relations fits into an Organisation's wider Communication. Relationships between the rest of the Organisation. Client Relationships; Managing Client Accounts, and Managing Expectations.


Definitions, Historical Development, Market Research and Information, Products, Branding, Marketing Communications, Marketing Management and Organisation. The role of PR in Marketing Management.


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.

Public Relations' Role within Corporate Management

Management's Role in Communicating. Public Relations' 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 Productions - Ideas, Budgets, Commissioning, Managing Subcontracted Work.

Organisations' Impact on Society

The increasing Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, Globally. The Ethics of CSR. CSR as an Integral Element of Overall Business Strategy.

Event Management

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

The course was very impressive, even for the more mature students, especially the PR in Practice and Stakeholder management sections. It certainly enhances the scope of your career positioning and overall communications understanding.

I would recommend it for people in all aspects of Communications and Public Relations as a beneficial part of professional development. - Suzanne Angley, Luas Cross City

Suzanne Angley

The PR and Event Management Course was a great decision for me.  My main job is not in PR or Event Management but this is something I had an interest in and has helped me within my own job where I am involved in sports and Social Events and outside work hugely by the skill sets which I picked up while working on my PR Campaign I’ve applied to other areas of my life outside.  PR people are experts in communication and through the course you learn from your teachers about presentation skills and gain a broader knowledge in areas such as politics and real life examples of PR in action.  I recommended this course to my friend who is attending the evening classes this year and enjoying it also. - Aoife Murphy, Irish Life

Aoife Murphy

On successful completion of this course you will receive a Professional Diploma 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 by leading industries, bodies and professions.

next start date: 26th July 2024

Duration: You will have full access to online resources and subject expert support for one calendar year. However, you can complete the course in as little as 4 - 6 months, by dedicating 6-8 hours of study per week.

Course Fees: 995.00 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.