Diploma in Public Relations & Social Media via Online Distance Learning

Enrolment date: 26 July 2024

Benefiting from over 30 years’ experience, Fitzwilliam Institute’s online Diploma in Public Relations and Social Media course features:

  • Comprehensive modules covering all aspects of Public Relations and Social Media: Building your Public Relations and Social Media Plan, Public Relations Strategy, Public Relations Writing, Press Releases, Public Relations Crisis Management, Social Media Marketing, and Facebook Marketing among others. Additional modules on Online Public Relations and Setting up a Consultancy 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 course experts are top industry professionals with many years of successful experience. Upon completion of this course all of our students are industry-ready.
  • Real life Public Relations and Social Media briefs. Fitzwilliam Institute’s Diploma in Public Relations and Social Media empowers participants with practical and specific skills that can be applied in real world situations. You will gain exposure to invaluable toolkits and prepare real life Public Relations and Social Media briefs, 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 Public Relations and Social Media strategies and proposals for any organisation.
  • Flexible online learning. Fitzwilliam Institute’s Diploma in Public Relations and Social Media 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 and Social Media 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 Public Relations. Public Relations' Relationship with other Functions/Professions - Advertising, Marketing, etc. History and Development of Public Relations. 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.

Media Writing

News Values, the Inverted Pyramid, Format of a News Story, Writing a Lead, Types of Leads, Personal Leads, Anecdotal Leads, Quote Leads, Rhetorical Question Leads, Narrative Leads, Setting the Scene Leads, Odd, Unusual or Outrageous Statement Leads, Surprising Contrast Leads, You Leads, the End, Grammar, Characteristics of a Good Reporter, the Art of Interviewing, Levels of Journalism, Organising Information, the Writing Process, News Leads, the Remainder of the Story, Improving Your Writing, Writing a Press Release, Press Release Construction.

Media Relations

Attitudes of Journalism, Structures and Roles within Journalism, Typical Components of a Newspaper, Media Relations and the Press Office, the Press Officer, Good Media Relations, Building Media Relations, Knowing the Appropriate Media, What is News?, Types of Publications, Typical Media Material, Media Terminology, Media Relations and Technology, E-Mail, Websites, Blogs.

Press Events

Press Related Events, Press Conferences, Press Reception, Facility Visit, Open Day, Lunches, Exhibition Press Visits, Planning a Press Event, Considerations, Budgetary Considerations, Supply of Press Material, the Press Kit, Content, Graphics.

Political Lobbying

Government Relations, Typical Activities, Lobbying Explained, Types of Lobbying, Why Lobby?, Lobby Targets, Common Denials, Lobbying Activities, The Lobby Process, Determining the Scope, Drawing up a Lobbying Strategy, Building the Case, Gathering Information, Passage of Legislation.

Crisis Management

Factors, Why Crisis Management?, PR & Crisis Management, Crisis Management Team, Crisis Management Plan, Crisis Communications, Action, Coping under Crisis, Twelve Laws of Crisis PR.



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.

Ethics & Legal Issues

Ethical PR, Ethical Responsibilities, Schools of Thought, the Advocate Trilemma, the Truth Continuum, Professional Responsibilities, International Codes of Ethics, Legal Issues in PR, Legal Issues Defined, Copyright Categories, Copyright Law, Copyright Licensing, Digital Copyright, Slander and Libel, Freedom of Information Acts.

Public Relations Specialisations 

Charity, Consumer, Fashion, Technology, Healthcare, Tourism, Environment, Agriculture, Sport.

The Professional Environment

Organise for Success, Consultancy Structures, Standard Consultancy Team Structure, In-House Departments, Structure, Pros and Cons of In-House Departments, Preparing an In-House Strategy, Relationship Management Explained, Publics, Clients, Technical Management, Managing Staff, General Functions of Management, Managing Client Accounts, Entrepreneurship, Pitching for Business, Launching a New Product or Service.

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.

Online Influences on present PR practices

Internet influence on News, Internet Journalists, Economics of Online News Production, Internet Critics and other influences, the PR Practitioner as an Online Publisher, Ethical Internet PR, Truthfulness and Duty of Care, Online Ethics, Debate, Guidelines and Best Practice. Monitoring and Evaluation of Social Media Discourse, Trends and Value. Policy Influences, corporate speak. Implications of Social Media for Corporate Social Responsibility.

Writing for the Web

Creative Writing for the Web, Writing for your Client, Relevant Content - Importance of, Simple versus Complex Messages, Keeping a Natural Flow to your Content, Optimising Content, Keyword Management, When to use Key Words, Ratio of Prose to Keywords, Importance of Homepage Content, Images and Art Text, Importance of Spell Checking, Using a Copywriter.

Introduction to Social Media and Social Networking

What is Social Media?; A brief history of Social Media; How Social Media Works; Why should a business use Social Media; The power of Social Media in the Marketing and Advertising Arena; Introduction to Social Media Marketing Techniques; Understanding your audience; Social Network Platforms and Applications; Media Distribution; Establishing new categories of relationships with your customers; Accumulating Social Capital; The future of Social Networking.


What is Facebook; Who uses Facebook; How can Facebook benefit a business; Understanding the Facebook environment; Signing up for a Facebook account; Defining your profile; Editing your profile; Searching for and adding friends; Using the Facebook Wall feature; Using pictures on your Facebook profile; Using the News Feed feature; Controlling what people see - using the Hide feature; Facebook Messaging; Facebook Groups; Facebook Links; Facebook Applications; Browsing for Applications; Including Business Applications; Finding Help - the Facebook Community; The Architecture of a Facebook Page; Understanding Facebook Advertising; Developing a Facebook Marketing Plan; Facebook Groups, Hosting Facebook Events; Case Study Sites.


Introduction to Twitter; Understanding a Tweet; Decoding the elements of a Tweet; Signing up for a Twitter account; Creating and modifying your profile; Adding a profile icon; Finding people and uploading contacts; Following someone on Twitter; Adding followers to your account; Using Twitter Badges; Creating a Tweet; Working within the constraints of a Tweet - getting your message out in 140 characters or less; Re-tweeting; Sharing Links - Using TinyURL.com; Using Twitter with Mobile Devices; Using Twitter Goodies; Adding Twitter to Blogs; Connecting Twitter to Facebook, Direct Messages; Planning your Twitter Marketing Strategy; Building a Twitter Tribe; Case Study Sites.


Introduction to YouTube; Understanding YouTube; Browsing on YouTube; YouTube as a social media site; YouTube as a business tool; YouTube as an educational tool; Creating a YouTube account; Linking to your Gmail account; Creating a video for YouTube; Using Open Source Video Editing Software; Adding voiceovers, soundtracks and special effects to your videos; Formatting Videos for Uploading; Uploading Videos to YouTube; Downloading videos from YouTube; Linking and Embedding videos in your own website; Posting comments on other peoples videos; Comparing YouTube and Facebook; Sharing Videos with Facebook; Sharing Videos with Twitter; Case Study Sites


Introduction to LinkedIn; The benefits of having a LinkedIn account; Creating a LinkedIn account; Modifying your user profile; Finding colleagues already on LinkedIn; Building your network; Connecting to the people you want - using Referrals; Making Referrals; Using InMail to contact people outside your network; Searching for a Job on LinkedIn; Getting help - exploring the LinkedIn learning centre; Using LinkedIn Applications; Case Study Sites.

Blogs and Blogger

Introduction to Blogs; A brief history of Blogs and Blogging; Creating a Blog - Introduction to Blogger; Registering with Blogger and creating your first Blog; Creating good content for your Blog; Using Templates to format the appearance of your Blog; Publishing your Blog; Uploading pictures and videos to your Blog; Creating links with other Bloggers; Making people aware of your Blog - The use of RSS; Adding an RSS Feed to your Blog; Adding Gadgets to your Blogger account; Comparing Blogger and Wordpress; Using other Blog software; Case Study Sites

Running a Social Media Marketing Campaign

Identifying your target audience; Defining the Goals of your campaign; Defining a Clear Strategy for your Campaign; Knowing your unsanctioned community - what people are saying about you; Defining and Establishing your presence; Engaging your Customers; Deciding on the platforms and tools to use; Deciding on a Media Strategy; Hypersegment your audience; Implementing a Pilot Campaign and analysing the results; Identifying Key Risk Areas; The importance of Landing Pages; Interacting with your customers; Revising your campaign strategy.

Measuring the Success of Social Media Marketing

Understanding Web Metrics and Analytics; Standard Web Metrics; Social Media Metrics; Identifying your current site statistics; Defining what metrics are to be measured - Content, Relevance and Impact; Benchmarking; Identifying your Return On Investment (ROI); Setting Goals; Finding out what sites are actually driving traffic to your website; Deciding on a Web Analytics solution; AWStats and Google Analytics; Introduction to Google Analytics; Setting up a Google Analytics Account; Integrating Google Analytics Tracking Code into your web pages; Setting up Goals in Google Analytics; Other methods of analysing web metrics.

Setting Up & Marketing Your Own Consultancy

The Business Plan, Creating a Business Plan, Executive Summary, the Business Opportunity, Marketing & Sales Strategy, Management Team & Personnel, Operations, Financial Forecasts, Presentation, Legalities, Choosing a Legal Structure, Taxes, Records and Returns, Setting Up, the Workplace, Office Equipment, Stationary Supplies, Insurance, Financing Your Business, Accounting Software, Becoming an Employer, Marketing Strategy, Knowing Your Competitors, Promotional Tools.

Presentation Skills

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

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.