Public Relations - Integrated Communications
(Optional Co-op)

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Courses - September 2022

Level 1

Course Details

Digital Tools and Analytics
ADVT8120

Description:

This course exposes students to a variety of industry standard and emerging digital tools and networks used in integrated communications. Students explore various online tools offer and how they complement integrated communications planning and implementation. The business use of social media networks is assessed as are tools that manage online activity, tracking and analysis. Students explore topics such as navigation structure, keywords, and technical correctness that enhance website search engine optimization. They practice with a variety of tools that support online communications activity such as content management, public relations/customer relation management, sales tracking, email marketing, behavioral advertising, and inbound marketing. An emphasis will be placed on the appropriate choice of online tools to integrate with offline communications planning, to align with organizational goals, and to reach specified target audiences. The ethics of online communications strategy is emphasized. This course is supported by lessons in strategy in the public relations marketing and branding, and advertising, courses.

  • Hours: 42
  • Credits: 3
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Advertising and Media Planning
ADVT8150

Description:

Advertising remains an important component within public relations strategy, particularly in the field of marketing communications. Advertisements in a variety of channels, direct response campaigns, and sales promotions can all play a role in an integrated communications plan. Students will learn how to assess consumer behaviour; how to integrate creative strategy into a communications plan; how to choose from a variety of media channels based on the organizations’ needs, budget and objectives; and how to present these in an integrated plan that garners support and understanding from senior management.

  • Hours: 28
  • Credits: 2
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Creative Strategy and Multimedia Tools I
ADVT8160

Description:

Communication professionals need to know how to work with designers as well as how to create designed collateral. This course explores current strategies and technologies used in the integrated communications environment, focused on visual communications. Students learn ways to generate ideas to create visual, digital and print content using industry standard software and new digital technologies as they emerge.

  • Hours: 42
  • Credits: 3
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Conestoga 101
CON0101

Description:

This self-directed course focuses on introducing new students to the supports, services, and opportunities available at Conestoga College. By the end of this course, students will understand the academic expectations of the Conestoga learning environment, as well as the supports available to ensure their academic success. Students will also be able to identify on-campus services that support their health and wellness, and explore ways to get actively involved in the Conestoga community through co-curricular learning opportunities.

  • Hours: 1
  • Credits: 0
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Budgets and Finance for Communicators
FIN8250

Description:

Communicating the financial impacts of an integrated communications plan to senior executives is a critical skill if budgets are to be maintained and enhanced. This course will prepare students to assess the return on investment of communications strategies. Students will learn how to determine the true costs within public relations and advertising plans, whether online or offline. Students will learn how to read financial reports, how to set a budget, and how to present it in an integrated plan that garners support and understanding from senior management.

  • Hours: 28
  • Credits: 2
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Marketing
MKT8290

Description:

This course explores marketing principles with an overview of the marketing process from product or service development up to launch/promotion with a focus on the analytical techniques useful to marketing management. Students explore the factors a marketer will consider when introducing a new or extended product or service, learn how to analyze the public response to products and services, and assess how new and emerging technologies are used in the marketing planning and evaluation processes. The social, economic, geographic, legal and competitive issues that impact product development, packaging, and distribution channels are examined.

  • Hours: 42
  • Credits: 3
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Public Relations
PRLN8100

Description:

Public relations is a strategic approach to conducting business that encompasses at its core the reputation of the organization and its relationships with various stakeholders including internal and external publics. Students explore a variety of disciplines within the public relations field including corporate communications, community relations, media relations, issues management and marketing communications. Public relations can play a supporting role to marketing initiatives in a consumer-focused environment or it can play a leading role laying the groundwork for relationships important in both private sector and not-for-profit organizations. The ethical codes of conduct followed by professionals in the industry are assessed for their application to real world ethical dilemmas. As students explore the principles of public relations as an effective management strategy, they learn how to develop campaigns and programs as part of an integrated communications strategy.

  • Hours: 42
  • Credits: 3
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Writing for Public Relations
PRLN8115

Description:

Good technical and creative writing skills are foundations to a career in public relations and this first semester course will introduce students to various strategies that are designed to support and enhance these skills. Developing a writing plan will be highlighted as an important first step. There will be a focus on critical business writing skills and students will have opportunity to build skill through multiple writing challenges for both print and online channels.

  • Hours: 42
  • Credits: 3
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Research for Communication Professionals
RSCH8050

Description:

This course introduces students to the principles of good research design and how it is applied during the process of integrated communications planning. The importance of quality research to the planning process is emphasized. Students explore and apply both primary and secondary research sources in the development of marketing and communications strategy. They are exposed to industry-standard data bases for both market and consumer research and are challenged to interpret their findings. They develop and implement tools such as focus groups and surveys while they assess the purpose, usefulness, and risks associated with them. Respect for the integrity and ethics of both conducting research and reporting findings is highlighted.

  • Hours: 42
  • Credits: 3
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Level 2

Course Details

Digital Tools and Analytics II
ADVT8145

Description:

This course builds on the introductory nature of the Digital Marketing and Analytics course in first semester. There is a stronger emphasis on reporting and analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and other emerging forms of digital and content marketing. A combination of strategy and creativity tools including blogs and podcasts is also evaluated. Students enhance their understanding of the appropriate use and measurement of online promotional activities in support of integrated communications strategy.

  • Hours: 33
  • Credits: 2
  • Pre-Requisites: ADVT8120 OR ADVT8121
  • CoRequisites:

Creative Strategy and Multi-media Tools II
ADVT8170

Description:

This course builds on skills covered in the previous course and introduces additional design tools. Students are challenged to take a creative strategy and implement it in a well-designed finished product. Students are also introduced to the principles of video storytelling and learn how to edit a finished production.

  • Hours: 33
  • Credits: 2
  • Pre-Requisites: ADVT8160
  • CoRequisites:

Business Practices
BUS8390

Description:

Communication professionals work in large and small organizations from charitable to public to private sectors where they will become contributors to a variety of business-related discussions. This course explores the ethics and legality of conducting business and how these can impact the communications professional. Students explore leadership styles and the variety of decision-making models used by industry professionals. Students reflect on their own styles and how that could impact their own career aspirations. Professional presentation skills are also highlighted. fDebate, discussion, presentation, and reflection in class contributes to the student's growing awareness of these important topics.

  • Hours: 33
  • Credits: 2
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Career Management
CDEV8130

Description:

This course focuses on career management skills needed to navigate the evolving workplace. Students will evaluate their skills, attitudes, and expectations within their chosen careers and explore emerging trends in the workplace. Students will refine their networking strategies and create marketing documents to position them for success. Mock interviews will provide the opportunity for practice, feedback, and reflection as students prepare for future interviews. Students will explore communication strategies that support workplace success and advancement. By the end of this course, students will have created a personalized career management plan.

  • Hours: 28
  • Credits: 2
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Co-op and Career Preparation
CEPR8200

Description:

This series of modules will prepare graduate certificate students for job searching for their co-op work terms with the guidance of a Co-op Advisor. Students will familiarize themselves with the co-operative education policies and procedures and will learn the expectations, rules, and regulations that apply in the workplace regarding social, organizational, ethical, and safety issues while deepening their awareness of self- reflective practices. Students will critically reflect on their skills, attitudes, and expectations and evaluate available opportunities in the workplace. Successful completion of these modules is a requirement for co-op eligibility.

  • Hours: 14
  • Credits: 1
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Integrated Communications Strategy
COMM8230

Description:

Integrated communications is a holistic method of viewing an organization's approach to its strategic communications planning. It suggests that for effective communications, planning must cross multiple disciplines such as marketing, advertising, and public relations, as well as both traditional and digital channels. This course integrates the student's key learnings in preparation for a capstone project in which an integrated communications plan is prepared for a client in the final three weeks of the semester.

  • Hours: 12
  • Credits: 1
  • Pre-Requisites: ADVT8150 AND PRLN8100
  • CoRequisites:

Media Relations and Crisis Communications
PRLN8120

Description:

This course prepares students to establish and nurture respectful and valuable relationships with news media through developing an understanding of what constitutes news and how to interact with the media in any situation. Students learn how to write news releases, handle media interviews, and develop media kits that will enhance their professional reputation in the eyes of the media. Students also explore crisis communications and assess the ways in which a communications professional responds when the news isn't positive. The use of social media and the evolving news industry is highlighted in relationship to the communications profession.

  • Hours: 44
  • Credits: 3
  • Pre-Requisites: PRLN8100
  • CoRequisites:

Event and Project Management
PRLN8140

Description:

Communication professionals develop and implement events in the course of executing integrated communications plans. Events can be effective tools for engaging a target public. In this course, students learn how to plan, organize, manage and evaluate corporate events. Students are challenged to apply project management principles in the development of a corporate event they envision.

  • Hours: 55
  • Credits: 4
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Writing for Public Relations II
PRLN8150

Description:

This advanced writing course continues to hone the creativity and technical writing skills of students as they apply what they learn to a variety of projects. Good writing skills are developed when writers have a chance to practice their skills, and this writing course provides that opportunity with in-class writing sessions across a variety of channels. Internal and external channels such as newsletters, sales sheets, video scripts, and online content are highlighted.

  • Hours: 33
  • Credits: 2
  • Pre-Requisites: PRLN8110 OR PRLN8115
  • CoRequisites:

Capstone Project
PRLN8160

Description:

In the final three weeks of the semester, students are provided with a client and tasked with creating and then presenting an integrated communications plan that meets the client's desired outcomes. This individual project is a summation of the program's outcomes.

  • Hours: 90
  • Credits: 6
  • Pre-Requisites:
  • CoRequisites:

Level 3

Course Details

Co-op Work Term (Public Relations - Integrated Communications)
COOP8180

Description:

This co-op work term will provide students with college-approved work experience in an authentic, professionally relevant work environment. Students will be provided the opportunity to connect theory and practice by leveraging their academic knowledge to develop specialized vocational skills. The practical applications of this work term will promote students’ awareness of key concepts and terminology in their field, improve their competencies in problem-solving and decision-making, further their application of professional judgement, hone their leadership skills (independently or as part of team), and enhance their capacity to critically analyze and reflect on their demonstrated abilities in the workplace.

  • Hours: 420
  • Credits: 14
  • Pre-Requisites: CEPR8200
  • CoRequisites:

Program outcomes

  1. Coordinate and contribute to the planning of public relations activities, including the development of clear, measurable communication objectives and project or tactical budgets and selection of strategies, tactics, tools and resources to manage a range of stakeholder relationships and issues and achieve organizational objectives.
  2. Coordinate, contribute to and adapt the implementation of strategies and tactics and the management of budgets and resources to achieve communication objectives and meet activity guidelines and requirements.
  3. Write and edit clear, accurate, targeted copy aligned to organizational objectives, appropriate for the chosen channel(s) and to a specified deadline.
  4. Produce effective, accessible, and timely print, digital and multimedia communications, independently and collaboratively, to manage specific stakeholder relations and/or issues and achieve organizational objectives.
  5. Use research results and analytical skills to guide the development of communication objectives and public relations activities, evaluate their impact, and support organizational objectives and stakeholder relationships.
  6. Engage stakeholders by adapting language, tone and presentation style to the public relations purpose, situation, audience and channel(s).
  7. Comply with and support others to work in accordance with relevant professional association and industry codes of ethics, public relations professional standards and practices, and legal obligations, protocols and policies.
  8. Monitor emerging social and economic trends, and local, national and global issues to guide the planning and implementation of public relations strategies and tactics and support organizational effectiveness, stakeholder relationships and ongoing personal professional development.
  9. Assess the selection and implications of current and emerging technologies on the quality and delivery of public relations activities and on organizational effectiveness.
  10. Select strategies and tools to build and manage stakeholder relationships to support public relations activities, organizational objectives and career development.
  11. Create strategic integrated plans that include multiple communication disciplines and align with organizational goals.
  12. Implement strategic integrated communications plans using professionally recognized frameworks and best practices.
  13. Evaluate the impact of strategic integrated communications plans to support continuous personal and organizational improvement.