The Public Relations program at Algonquin College blends public relations theory with practical experience in research, writing, editing, time and resource management, concept creation, speaking, and organization. Courses are offered in a variety of learning environments such as the classroom, the computer lab, and the office setting.
This is a Mobile Learning Program.
As a student in this program you will require a mobile computing device, for example a laptop or tablet computer. Review the Mobile Learning requirements >>
- Ontario College Diploma
- 2 Years
- Program Code:
- Academic Year:
This two-year Ontario College Diploma program blends public relations theory with practical experience in research, writing, editing, time and resource management, concept creation, speaking and organization. Courses are offered in a variety of learning environments, such as the classroom, the computer lab, the office setting and online. In the final level, students participate in a seven-week field placement.
The curriculum includes courses in desktop publishing, production photography, Web content management, social media engagement and layout, and business. The emphasis of the program is on attention to detail and creative and critical thinking in all public relations activities, from media relations to special event coordination. Students are expected to commit full-time to their studies due to program demands.
This program is part of Algonquin's mobile learning initiative. All students entering into the program are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device that meets or exceeds the recommended hardware requirements as designated by the program. Students in mobile learning programs will use their devices to enhance their learning experience, obtain and work with course materials, participate in collaborative and mlearning environments and become skilled, confident users of the technologies used within an educational environment and workplace. Hardware and software specifications are outlined at http://mlearning.algonquincollege.com. Computers and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin's New Technology Store at educational rates.
This program is well-suited for students who:
- Are motivated, energetic, creative and flexible.
- Enjoy working in a team environment.
- Are detail-oriented, organized and committed to achieving excellence in their work.
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Graduates may find employment in public relations, social media management, or communications departments in corporations, associations, government, and not-for-profit and sports organizations. Freelance work or self-employment, as well as contract work, may be an option for some graduates.
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|ENL1604||Communications I for Public Relations|
This course is designed to build on a solid communication skill base and reinforces micro-skills necessary for success in the PR program and in the PR field. Through a variety of exercises, students analyze and develop their writing, reading, speaking, listening and interpersonal skills.
|PRL1504||Writing for Public Relations|
Students develop an understanding of media relations and the relationship between editors/news directors and public relations practitioners. They learn the basics of public relations writing, particularly for the mass media, by analyzing news stories and writing copy in the journalistic style, which includes following guidelines established by Canadian Press. Using a computer and the Internet, students produce individual writing assignments, in the proper format, for the mass media. These materials, including news releases and letters to the editor, are evaluated on their clarity, conciseness, correctness and completeness.
|PRL1505||Public Relations I|
A theoretical base for the practice of public relations in Canada, from the skills needed to be a practitioner to the models of public relations as practised in this country is provided. Students are introduced to the public relations process, learning the scope and nature of public relations management roles, particularly strategic management. Students also learn about specialized functions, with an emphasis on media relations and social media engagement, and about specific activities, particularly publicity. 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 media, and emerging social media and other channels.
|PRL1532||Cultural and Media Literacy|
Students examine the need for individuals in a society, functioning as citizens and consumers, to be culturally and media literate. From a sociological perspective, students also examine the source of individual attitudes, how attitudes are reflected in a person's and in society's value systems, and how culture and the mass media contribute, directly and indirectly, to the formation of individual attitudes and opinions. Using resources, such as Maclean's magazine, students discuss events, trends, and issues, and how the mass media's coverage of them affects individual and public opinion within a cultural context.
|PRL1544||Research for Public Relations|
Students are provided 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.
|PRL1546||Principles of Persuasion|
Students are introduced to the communications process and various communications principles and theories, from the diffusion process to cognitive dissonance. 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.
|PRL1550||Production Workshop I|
An overview of the role print production plays in the practice of public relations is provided. Students learn the design and production aspects of print production, from the use of type to modern printing techniques. The focus 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.
|ENL1869A||Business Communication for Media|
Students examine communication within a business context. Students practise both oral and written communication activities that are common to most professional environments. Through hands-on activities, individual and group activities, students write memos, letters, and reports, and to practise oral communication in job interviews and presentations.
|PRL1519||Desktop Publishing for Media I|
Students are introduced to desktop publishing. The emphasis is on understanding terminology, as well as basic program commands, in a desktop publishing environment. Through tests, exercises and assignments, students use desktop publishing terms and execute basic layout.
|PRL1535||Production Workshop II|
Through lectures and hands-on experience, students develop skills required for public relations job assignments revolving around photography. From a photojournalistic perspective, they learn how to use SLR digital cameras, how to take newsworthy photographs and how to prepare photos for dissemination to mass media. Students also receive hands-on experience in taking photos for newsletters and other public relations materials. On the administrative side, lectures and assignments deal with writing cutlines, obtaining releases and packaging photos.
Students develop abilities to assess current issues, evaluate their importance and summarize key information related to these issues. The course revolves around lectures, class discussions, and group presentations on issues and trends affecting Canadian society, including genetic research, world population and the environment, corporate accountability, international peacekeeping, and peacemaking and violence in the media. Students are responsible for researching specific issues, preparing advocacy materials, taking part in and leading group discussions, and making presentations that brief colleagues on specific topical issues and trends.
|PRL1548||Public Relations II|
Students 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 and implement strategies and tactics, prepare communications materials, establish budgets and set evaluation criteria. Students apply the four-step process and the RACE formula by planning, implementing, and evaluating a public relations campaign that involves strategic and communications management, community relations, fundraising, special event management, publicity and media relations. They also work on a team to plan community relations, and internal public relations activities and present their proposals through an oral presentation.
Prerequisites: PRL1504 and PRL1505
|PRL1561||Public Relations Workshop I|
Students are involved in the writing, production, and packaging of public relations materials, from speeches to media kits. In addition to writing using computers and the Internet, students learn how to organize public relations events, such as news conferences, how to keep track of project-related details, how to manage time, money, and other resources in a public relations environment and how to prepare a public relations proposal. All copy is evaluated for its clarity, conciseness, completeness and correctness. Students also learn the differences between copy written for print and that written for electronic media.
|PRL1536||Desktop Publishing for Media II|
Students enhance their working knowledge of computers by focusing on both platforms for desktop publishing - Macintosh and IBM - and through introducing other software programs. Students practise basic techniques for word processing, presentations and desktop publishing. Students are able to use the appropriate software to produce basic publications.
|PRL1542||The Public Relations Business Environment|
A general overview of the operation and management of a public relations business, either as a small business or as a public relations consultancy is provided. Students are exposed to opportunities for entrepreneurship in the public relations field, such as operating a home-based business or working on a contract or freelance basis. Key areas, such as business planning, budgeting and record keeping, time tracking, marketing (through traditional and social media channels), proposal writing and project management are covered. Through course materials, assignments and guest speakers, students learn about their role as public relations consultants in their organization and they learn how to understand the corporate requirements of public relations practitioners.
|PRL1547||Public Relations Advertising|
Students examine the various types of corporate and not-for-profit advertising, including image, philanthropic, community service and advocacy advertising and their uses for public relations purposes. Students also examine the many forms - print, online and broadcast - of this advertising, and assess the strengths and limitations of various advertising media. Students also learn to use media and advertising terminology correctly while examining the elements of advertising campaigns, including creative and media strategies that meet specific objectives. Students then apply the theory, focusing on the design and production of various advertising and promotional materials, such as newspaper and magazine ads, outdoor and transit posters and direct mail materials. Upon successful completion of this course, students are able to communicate with graphic designers, as well as produce clean "roughs" of their own advertising solutions. The theory and lab portions combine to give students an understanding of how to create branding strategies using advertising to support public relations principles.
|PRL1551||Public Relations III|
Through lectures, guest speakers, assignments, group project work, and online work, students acquire the skills, knowledge and professional qualities required to become a public relations practitioner in any field in Canada, from the corporate boardroom to a charitable organization. Students explore relationship management, crisis communications, marketing communications, investor relations and internal communications. A self-directed learning component gives students experience in producing PR materials for the workplace. Students use computers and the Internet to produce materials.
|PRL1554||Production Workshop III|
Students are introduced to the concepts and techniques used in developing websites. Students gain experience designing websites using web authoring programs and learning to manage content in a web publishing environment.
Prerequisites: PRL1548 and PRL1561
Co-requisites: PRL1547 and PRL1551
A general overview of the work of a public relations practitioner in a government role is provided. Students are exposed to the various skills-based competencies government will evaluate, and they understand the operation of the Government of Canada and other public sector clients. Key areas, such as planning, budgeting, project management and understanding the public and political environment are emphasized. Through course materials, assignments, guest speakers, and tests, students learn about their role as public relations consultants in their department, and they learn how to understand the corporate requirements of government and public sector agencies.
Students produce an inventory of their own skills, knowledge and professional qualities, with an eye to developing the skills they need to be successful in the fieldwork component and in their ensuing job search by working on their resumes, portfolios, cover letters and interview skills.
|PRL1562||Public Relations Workshop II|
Students produce materials for both internal and external audiences. Writing assignments involve producing newsletter articles, news releases and feature stories. All copy is evaluated for clarity, conciseness, completeness, correctness, and adherence to guidelines set out in print and broadcast style guides.
|Choose one from equivalencies:||Hours|
|GED0468||General Education Elective|
Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following four theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.
Equivalencies: DSN2001 or ENL7643 or ENV0002 or FIN2300 or GED5002 or GED5004 or GED5005 or GED5009 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GED6022 or GEN1001 or GEN1957 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or GEN2009 or HIS2000 or LIB1982 or PSI1702 or SOC2003 or PSI0003
|PRL1514||Public Relations Workshop III|
This advanced workshop is designed to simulate a public relations agency working environment. The student "staff" members work for clients representing non-profit organizations who require assistance with public relations projects. Students are prepared for graduation with hands-on experience in real workplace situations and roles, including client liaison, media relations, web design and special event management. All students gain experience in preparing and working with budgets, keeping files and maintaining a daily log of work assignments, and keeping track of all account work, including tasks to be done, deadlines and meetings. The student-run operation is called the Algonquin Student PR Agency.
Prerequisites: PRL1551 and PRL1562
Co-requisites: PRL1515 and PRL1558
On-the-job training for students who are placed with corporations, hospitals, government departments, associations, media and other organizations requiring public relations assistance is provided. While the organizations are not required to pay students a salary, students are reimbursed for any job-related, out-of-pocket expenses. During their internships, students gain valuable experience in a variety of areas, including media relations, special event planning and coordination, marketing communications, web design and maintenance, community relations, promotion, donor relations and investor relations.
Prerequisites: PRL1551 and PRL1562
|PRL1558||Production Workshop IV|
Students learn and apply advanced web design techniques, and work with web content management systems to produce their own website. This includes any work required to optimize graphics and/or manipulate photographs to culminate in the creation of, and posting online, of a website.
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Tuition Fees: $2,570.75 per term in Levels 01 and 02 and $2,475.53 per term in Levels 03 and 04.
Incidental Fees: $68 in Level 01, $30 in Level 02, $38 in Level 03 and $20 in Level 04.
Information Technology Fee: $62 per term. *
Mobile Computing Fee: $150 per term. **
Student Activity/Sports Fee: $200.50 per term.
Student Commons/Auditorium Fee: $22 per term.
Student Centre Building Fee: $17.50 per term.
Health Service Fee: $20 per term.
Health Plan Fee: $117.02 paid once annually. ***
A $40 graduation fee is payable in the final term.
A $25 transcript fee is payable in the first term a student attends Algonquin College.
International Students pay all relevant Canadian fees plus an International Premium of $4,400 per term.
* Students paying the Information Technology fee are provided with a network account, an email address, and Internet access. For more information please visit our website at www.algonquincollege.com/its/support/IT-Fee/index-it-fee.htm
** The Mobile Computing Fee covers the costs associated with providing various services to students registered in a mandatory laptop programs.
*** Students who have coverage with another plan can request a refund by supplying the Students' Association with documentation supporting the request. This request will have to be made annually.
Books and supplies cost approximately $1,000 in the first year and $655 in the second year. Students must purchase their own PC laptop computer and software. Computers and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin's New Technology Store at educational discounted rates.
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- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
- Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
- General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
- Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $40 (subject to change) will be charged.
- English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
- Successfully complete the Public Relations program tests at the College's Assessment Centre, in language proficiency, critical thinking, and general and media knowledge, as well as completing an essay. A fee of $40 (subject to change) will be charged for the testing.
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Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario N1G 5J3
Applications are available online at www.ontariocolleges.ca A $95 fee applies.
Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.
International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at https://xweb.algonquincollege.com/FormIE/index.aspx or by contacting the Registrar's Office.
For further information on the admissions process, contact:
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
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For more information, contact Stephen Heckbert, Program Coordinator, at 613-727-4723 ext. 5067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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