Public Relations - Corporate Communications

Public relations and corporate communications professionals play a critical role in developing and maintaining an organization’s brand identity and reputation. If you’re looking to specialize your business and communications career, Fanshawe’s Public Relations - Corporate Communications program will give you the employable skills you need. Graduates will be prepared for jobs such as communications coordinator, marketing and communications officer, public relations specialist, social media strategist or special events planner.

Overview

This intense, one-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate program will provide you with the skills and experience needed to hit the ground running as a strategic communications and corporate public relations professional in the private or public sector. You will learn how to plan, develop and execute effective public relations strategies, and handle the PR, communications and even ethical issues organizations face every day. You will also learn technical skills such as graphic and web design techniques in addition to practical skills such as special event planning and press release distribution to help you graduate career-ready.

Sharpen your verbal and written communications skills during a 224-hour field placement with our industry partners, where you’ll gain real work experience and make business contacts through professional communications and public relations associations. 

Program Overview

Fanshawe College’s Public Relations - Corporate Communications program is designed to prepare college and university graduates to enter the exciting and challenging world of communications. Students will hone their writing and presentation skills, learn the latest digital communication and web design techniques, and analyze public relations and ethics challenges.

A second-term field placement allows students to put these new skills to work. Students will make business contacts through professional associations and complete course work with a community focus. The curriculum is current, community-minded, and developed by professional communicators. 

Developing superior writing skills, combined with an emphasis on teamwork, graphic design skills, and technological savvy gives graduates of this program a competitive edge. This program is best suited to individuals with already above-average writing skills, an outgoing personality and an ability to see solutions when others are focusing on problems. If you’re ready for the challenge, a world of career possibilities is waiting.

 

Faculty biographies

 

Career Information ​​​​​​

Successful graduates of Fanshawe’s Public Relations – Corporate Communications program are working in the health care, finance, education, arts and entertainment, sports, manufacturing, corporate government and non-profit sectors. As communications professionals, their roles may include writing, research, media relations, social media management, government relations, crisis communication, event planning, fundraising, community relations, strategic communication planning and marketing.

 

Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Public Relations-Corporate Communications program:

Communications Specialist
Play an integral role in planning and implementing both internal and external communications initiatives, as well as developing corporate policies and procedures.

Communications/Public Relations Officer
Perform a variety of communication tactics to create and design proactive and strategic communications.

Events and Communications Coordinator

Coordinate corporate events from ideation and planning to execution for an organization’s internal and external initiatives.

Field Placement FAQs

How does field placement work? 

You will research and apply for a variety of placement positions during the first semester of the program. These postings have been organized by the program coordinator. Once you have been accepted for a placement position, you will work with them every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during the second semester in order to complete the minimum requirement of 224 hours. There will also be assignments within the field placement course, such as a learning contract, bi-weekly reports, an online portfolio, as well as a presentation at the end of the term.

 

What kinds of organizations participate in field placement?

We have had students working in every type of organization including large corporations, small businesses, non-profits, arts organizations, as well as municipal and provincial government offices.

 

Do we have to do a placement in London or can it be somewhere else, for example, Toronto?

Your placement can be outside of London, although we don’t recommend it. You will still be in classes Mondays and Tuesdays during the second term, and you have to attend those classes, and you would have to look after your own travel and accommodation costs. Keep in mind that there are many opportunities with great organizations right here in London.

 

What kind of jobs will I be doing at my placement?

This will vary from one organization to another. Each placement organization will have different needs and strategies. It is, therefore, important to carefully choose the right placement for your interests. The placement opportunities available to you will be as varied as the public relations and corporate communications field itself.

Some of the duties that students have performed in the past are: editing documents, writing articles, performing interviews in the field, managing social media accounts, preparing communication plans, updating websites, contacting donors, printing and preparing documents for release, doing competitor analysis, looking at industry trends, planning events, etc.

 

Is the placement paid?

Typically, field placement is not paid as it is part of a course in the overall program. There are, however, some instances where a placement has been paid or the organization offered a stipend or honorarium, but that must not be an expectation. The point of the placement is to gain experience, network, achieve the required hours, and complete the associated course work in order to graduate.

 

Photo of Lisa Kelly

Although I still have much to learn, I have been incredibly lucky to have a wonderful support system in the form of my professors, classmates, and family. They have helped me find my passion.

Lisa Kelly
Graduate, Public Relations and Corporate Communications

View Alumni Testimonials

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

1. Write clear, targeted communication materials.

2. Apply knowledge of public relations and organizational theories, and public relations practices, strategies and history to develop and execute public relations plans.

3. Complete all work in accordance with public relations codes of professional ethics, standards, and practices; and relevant law.

4. Conduct and coordinate research to develop communication strategies to meet information needs of internal and external publics.

5. Develop clear and measurable communication objectives and identify techniques to evaluate the achievement of these objectives.

6. Adapt to, work within and influence organizational policies and procedures.

7. Develop, deliver and coordinate a variety of presentations.

8. Develop a project or tactical budget.

9. Use computer hardware and software relevant to public relations.

10. Coordinate the production of, and produce, visually effective print, graphic, and electronic communications.

11. Develop ongoing strategies and plans to enhance personal and professional development and to promote the development of the public relations profession.

 

Program Availability

Canadian Students

Start Dates
Locations
Availability

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
London
Open
2023 January
London
Open

International Students

Start Dates
Locations
Availability

Full Time Offerings

2023 January
London
Open

Program Details

Program Code
COR3

Program Coordinator:

Jackie Westelaken

Delivery
Day Time
Full-Time
Credential
Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Duration
30 weeks

Admission Requirements

A Two- or Three-Year College Diploma, or a Degree
(Note: minimum 'C+' average or cumulative 2.5 GPA)
OR
Professional background and experience as judged by the College to be equivalent to the above
AND
Successful Completion of a Supplemental Evaluation (Note: a minimum grade of 60% is required in addition to one of the above)
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 88 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.5 with no score less than 6.0 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years.  SDS Program Requirements.  
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 70 with no score less than 60 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 59, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 176 with no language skill less than 169, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 75% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9 or 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements

Tuition Summary

London

Canadian Costs
$4,930.76
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
$15,914.87
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.

 

Courses

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
COMP-6041Design Principles in Digital Media 13
This course is a blend of lecture and computer lab time. Students will learn the basics of designing on an Apple iMac computer using the Adobe Creative Cloud software (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop). Assignments will be based off of skills learned in the lecture portion of the lab time and will be submitted to the instructor for evaluation."
COMP-6048Digital Marketing & Web Design3
Students will learn basic web page design principles as well as methods of using the web to market and communicate to target audiences. Students will design and publish web pages, using HTML and content management programs. This course prepares the students for a wide range of communication applications of new web technologies.
CORP-6006Trends & Technologies in PR3
Various PR trends and technologies are studied in this course, with an emphasis on social media planning and analytics from an organizational perspective. Individual and team research projects will result in an understanding of target demographics and how to engage them online.
CORP-6009Professional Presentation Skills3
Presentation skills are essential soft skills that are used every day whether speaking one-on-one, to a group of five people, or 500. Effective and professional presentation skills can make individuals stand apart based on comfort level, delivery style and how messages are tailored for an audience. Topics in this course include dealing with presentation anxiety, creating informative and persuasive presentations, using appropriate body language and gestures and understanding cross-cultural communication. The course also covers effective facilitation skills and how to facilitate meetings and small group activities.
PBRL-6014Professional Practice & Ethics3
This course is designed to help students prepare for their field placements and eventual employment by examining professional workplace conduct, practices, and ethics. Participants will examine the importance of professional practices as required in workplace situations, and will also consider the need for ethical standards in business, public relations and the media. Students will be encouraged to develop high standards of personal and professional ethics and practice. The course explores current workplace standards of behaviour and examines ethical challenges drawn from current events in the corporate, political and non-profit sectors. Issues related to team work, conflict resolution, leadership, and cross-cultural communication will also be explored.
PBRL-6016Strategic Public Relations3
This course lays the foundation for studies in public relations. A brief history of PR will be covered before looking at publics, PR planning and research, organizing special events, along with other facets of PR. A case study method combined with assignments and guest lectures will be used.
COMM-6038Visual Communication & Design3
This course will teach students the basic elements for various elements of visual communication that PR and communication professionals may incorporate into a campaign including photography, and video interactive websites.
View all courses

Contact/Questions