Diploma in Public Relations
Our Public Relations (PR) diploma program provides relevant, in-depth training for the next wave of public relations and communications professionals. At KPU your PR education is:
- Flexible: This program is open intake, allowing you to work and complete your studies at a pace that suits your lifestyle. Courses are offered year-round on our Surrey and Richmond campuses.
- Extendable: With careful planning, you can complete the diploma as part of another degree at KPU, counting towards as much as half the credits required for a four-year BBA in Marketing or a BA in Journalism.
- Experiential: Our instructors are industry professionals who combine PR theory with hands-on experiential learning. You have the option of pursuing Co-Op work terms during your study.
- Current: Our courses are aligned with the latest academic and industry standards, and are developed with an advisory committee of PR experts.
- Credible: We're recognized industry-wide for providing students with technical expertise, as well as the strategic thinking and communications management that helps them succeed and advance quickly within organizations.
Through this program, you can achieve what is possible by learning the skills and most up-to-date practices that public relations and communications specialists need to overcome challenges and communicate effectively in today’s digital landscape.
Why Study Public Relations?
Are you a natural writer and storyteller? Do you love building and managing relationships with an audience? Do you believe in the integrity and accuracy of information? Do you love using creativity to solve real-world problems?
A PR professional makes strong connections with people, is an advocate of ethical communication and is passionate about making a positive impact on society through words, images and sound.
Above all else, you study PR because you love to communicate. Effective communication is critical to being a successful public relations professional. So, if you have a good command of English and a natural flair for honest and accurate storytelling, a career in public relations could be for you.
Who Studies Public Relations?
Successful PR practitioners are savvy communicators who combine storytelling, media production, business strategy, design, marketing and branding to reach and persuade audiences. They are creative and strategic thinkers, with excellent writing skills.
PR professionals use these skills daily to do everything from creating social media campaigns and handling reputational crises to writing content and organizing special events.
Recommended Course Progression
For students considering the PR Diploma program or adding a PR course to your studies, we recommend a general order of course progression. All students should take PRLN 1150 Introduction to Public Relations first as it provides some important fundamentals that will help you succeed in all other PR courses.
The Melville School of Business' Diploma in Public Relations is the ONLY full-time diploma program in BC. This two-year program (60 credits of coursework) is designed for students and professionals of varying experience levels.
This diploma program offers you unrivaled experiential learning opportunities, co-op work terms, and small classroom environments.
To keep pace with rapid changes in the industry, the program works closely with the professional public relations and communications community and our faculty is drawn from industry and includes full and part-time instructors who are active public relations professionals.
Amelia Reigstad, Melville School of Business Grad
Our diploma stands on its own, but is also an excellent complement for professionals with previous education or experience looking to get into the PR industry. Graduates have found employment in a variety of positions in multinational corporations, nonprofit organizations, government and PR agencies.
Specialists in public relations and communications perform some or all of the following duties:
- Create and evaluate communications strategies and publicity programs to inform clients, employees and the general public of initiatives and policies of businesses, governments, arts and non-profit organizations
- Conduct public opinion research to identify audience interests
- Write professionally for print, online, broadcast and social media
- Take photos, shoot video, produce podcasts, create websites
- Produce social media graphics, brochures and other marketing materials
- Arrange interviews and news conferences
- Build and manage relationships with media and influencers
- Design social media campaigns to engage audiences and raise awareness
- Oversee organizational communications and build organizational culture
- Manage issues and defuse reputational crises
- Act as spokesperson for an organization and answer written and oral inquiries
- Engage stakeholders and consult with communities on controversial issues
- Organize and coordinate events, presentations, reports, meetings, workshops and ceremonies for fundraising, promotional and informational purposes.
PR program graduates experience a high rate of employment in a variety of entry- and intermediate-level positions within the field, including communications manager, media relations specialist, special events coordinator, information officer and public relations consultant.