Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Event Management With Extensive Online PR Module and Arranged Work Experience (Full Time Course - 6 Months)

start date: 19 September 2017

Delivered Interactively by Ireland’s top public relations professionals, Fitzwilliam Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations course takes place in Dublin City Centre and features:

  • 3 Months in-class training, with interactive modules covering all aspects of public relations: The Meaning And Development Of Public Relations, Ethical And Legal Issues, Strategic Process, Media Specialisations, Internal Public Relations, Crisis Management, Political Lobbying, Outreach, Tools and Techniques, Sponsorship and Community Relations, etc. In addition, in-depth Online PR and Event Management modules are included in this course.
  • Practical skills training from leading public relations industry professionals. All of Fitzwilliam Institute’s public relations trainers are top industry professionals with many years of successful public relations experience across a broad range of industries. Fitzwilliam Institute’s cutting edge program in public relations contains all the core and vital public relations industry key skillset and, on completion, all of our students are industry-ready. This course also features a number of guest speakers from the public relations industry.
  • Real-life public relations briefs. You will gain exposure to a broad range of public relations best practices and prepare several real life PR briefs, enabling you to develop your portfolio of public relations. Pitching to clients follows as you prepare, present and pitch your project briefs like public relations professionals. Fitzwilliam Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in PR is a unique course, which will provide you with a wealth of hands-on experience, an invaluable toolkit, and the chance to put them all into practice during your 3 months arranged work placement.
  • CV preparation and interview techniques. An original and special feature of the Fitzwilliam Institute’s course model is the time devoted to your personal development. Commencing with an initial personal interview with Fitzwilliam Institute’s placement officer to assess, discuss and establish your future goals and aspirations within the public relations industry, vital intensive interview techniques, communications skills, team building skills workshops, interview to camera, video playback, and presentation skills continue from this, enabling you to hone your industry confidence. Careful preparation of your curriculum vitae, so that you have a clear and well-presented cv to submit to potential employers is a key part of this essential process.
  • 3 months of arranged work experience with leading public relations companies and departments across industry. Fitzwilliam Institute’s experienced and highly professional placement officer will work with you throughout the course to help you secure a 3 month full-time work placement within the public relations industry sector. This is 100% guaranteed and arranged by the institute, as we work closely with some of Ireland’s leading public relations companies and professionals from across the sector. Over 95% of our course participants secure full-time positions within the public relations industry sector upon completion of this course. As a result of over 30 years providing practical training to the industry, a significant number of our graduates are senior figures in the public relations industry today. See some of our recent postgraduate students’ amazing experiences here.


The Meaning and Development of Public Relations

Definitions of Public Relations; PR's relationship with other functions/professions - Advertising, Marketing, etc.; History and development of Public Relations in Ireland and Globally; Professionalism and industry bodies: PRII, PRCA, IPR.

Public Relations Sectors / Media Specialisations

Corporate, Consumer, Business to Business; Voluntary Sector; Financial Public Relations, including Communicating financial performance; Public Relations during mergers, takeovers, share offerings; Shareholder communications; Public Relations' role in the Annual Report Accounts; Technology; Healthcare; Tourism; Environment; Agriculture; Sport.

The Professional Environment

Consultancy structures; Client relationships; Pitching for business; Managing client accounts; In-house departments; Relationships within the organization; Preparing an in-house strategy; Relationship PR consultants; Managing staff; Entrepreneurship - Identifying gaps in the market and developing services to fill those gaps; launching a new product/service;

Public Relations as a Management Function

Public Relations' role in the organisation: Internal communication; Communicating performance; Counselling the organization; Strategy; The role of the Public Relations practitioner, both in-house and in consultancies; Business strategy and operation;

Strategic Process

Situation Analysis; Research; Objectives; Publics; Implementation; Budgets; Timetables; Evaluation; Planning and managing a PR campaign;

Ethical and legal issues

The Principle ethical codes which underpin the practice of Public Relations; Legal issues in Public Relations: Contract Law, copyright, patents, trademarks, libel, slander, freedom of information, data protection, photography copyright and licensing; Employer / employee relationships, contract of services, professional negligence;

Crisis Management

Definitions and typologies of crises; Crisis management plan and crisis management team; Communicating in a crisis; The aftermath of a crisis; Reputation management.

Tools and Techniques

Basic tools and techniques available to PR professionals; Event management: exhibitions, conferences, product launches, etc.; Controlled media: newsletters, brochures, video, websites, EPK, disc, film etc.; Uncontrolled media: Publicity in terms of print, photography, broadcast and internet; Role of the Press Officer;

CSR, Sponsorship and Non-Profit PR

Definitions and historical development of the sponsorship market; Why organisations engage in sponsorship; Using sponsorship to target particular publics; What can be sponsored? The fit between the sponsor and the sponsored; The sponsorship proposal; How sponsorship fits in to wider Public Relations campaigns; Evaluating sponsorships; Why organisations engage in community relations; The Range of CR activities. The increasing importance of corporate social responsibility, globally and in Ireland; The ethics of CSR; CSR as an integral element of overall business strategy;


Managing relationships with activist groups; Coalition building and third-party endorsements; Working with trade associations, unions, and charities.

The Political Environment, Lobbying and Regulations

Interest groups and lobbying; How to influence public policy; Planning and managing lobbying campaigns; The role of coalitions; Public affairs: Integrating lobbying and media campaigns; Involving the public in lobbying campaigns.

Case Studies

Analysis of a range of Public Relations case studies and campaigns;

Presentation Skills

Preparation; Content; Structure; Delivery; Visual Aids; Management of location and audiences;

Public Relations Writing

Press Release Writing: Date; Headline; Structure; Wording; Contact Details; Note to Editor; Structuring a press release - The inverted pyramid model; The appropriate use of language for press releases; As part of the teaching of this section, students will also cover issues such as, being able to provide reasoning for the press release content, distribution lists, additional information to be added for a press pack, a description of a photographic idea and caption. Writing styles for different media and publics; Analysing a number of press releases, and the media coverage generated.
Writing Interview Briefs: Preparing clients for interviews; Interviewing styles and techniques; Audiences; Preparing questions and answers; Use of newsworthy quotes;
Writing for Statements and Speeches: Statements – tone; wording; structure; clarifications; Speeches – preparation; audience; speech notes; structuring of speech; use of language.
Business Material for Public Relations: Writing proposals, business plans, presentations, reports.
Writing for Publication: Writing feature articles – structure; headlines; awareness of readership; use of language; Writing news articles; Awareness of the journalist's agenda; Writing for the Internet.
Grammar: The Basic rules of grammar.


The elements of the mass media in Ireland - TV, national and local radio, national and local newspapers, trade publications, specialist and consumer magazines, the Internet; The functions of different people in the media; The Relationship between Public Relations and the media: What the mass media needs from Public Relations; What Public Relations needs from the mass media; The factors involved in building effective relationships with the media; Dealing with the mass media: Pitching stories, interviews, press conferences, photography, media relations in a crisis; Publicity versus press relations.

Media Relations

How to segment audiences; Serving the client / Organising and serving the media; The “Readership Profile”; Media lists; How to watch media with publics; The role of press releases in Public Relations; Creating angles in press releases; Identifying the news angle in a story; The role of photography; The ethics of media relations; Evaluating media relations; Media monitoring;

Media & Relevant Public Bodies

BCI, NUJ, NNI, ASAI, Press Council, Office of Consumer Affairs, Consumers' Association of Ireland.

Online PR / Writing for the Web

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;

Writing for the Web;

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 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.

Internal PR

Rationale for effective internal PR; Linking internal PR to business goals; Importance of management commitment; Employee roles and business goals; Links with HR; Consequences of mistakes; How informal communication channels work; Listening and feedback; Mechanisms for effective internal communications;

Digital Marketing

Website Content and Web Usability; Website and WordPress; SEO and Content Marketing; Email Marketing;

Marketing and Advertising

Definitions; Historical development; Market research and information; Products; Branding; Marketing communications; Marketing segmentation; Marketing management and organization; The role of Public Relations in marketing management; The advertising industry and professional bodies; Codes of practice; Advertising agencies; Selecting an agency and working with it; Advertising campaign planning and management; Advertising media; Types of advertisements - magazines, newspapers, posters, billboards, ambient advertising; The relationship between advertising and Public Relations.

Event Management

Event management planning; Coordinating events; Marketing events; Event risk management; Corporate event management; Organising conferences; Exhibition Management; Sporting event management.

Course Project

Each student must submit a substantial project based on a real life PR Brief on a subject allocated to them by the institute.

Personal Development

A special feature throughout the programme is the time devoted to the personal development of each individual. This includes an initial personal consultation to assess each individual, and to discuss and establish future goals and aspirations. This is followed by careful preparation of Curriculum Vitae so that each participant has a clear and well-presented CV to submit to potential employers. Other key areas in the personal development programme include communication skills, assertiveness training and the importance of attitude and motivation. Personal counselling is provided as required throughout the course.

Practical Work Experience

During the second part of the course, placements are arranged with companies and organisations that can give course participants practical experience in the work areas in which they want to develop their careers. This phase of the course is closely monitored with regular assessment visits being made to each student and host company supervisor. Past experience has shown that a significant percentage of these placements lead to employment.

Fitzwilliam Institute offers great opportunities for anyone interested in a career in Public Relations or Event Management. The P.R course is a great stepping stone which provides top quality training, essential to all areas of the industry. I would highly recommend the Postgraduate Diploma as it is both practical and in-depth. The trainers are experienced professionals who have worked in the P.R industry for years. Unlike other courses which focus on theory, this diploma allows you to gain invaluable P.R experience. One of the highlights of the course is the arranged work placement. While working, students are given the chance to use all the skills and knowledge they learn in lectures. For anyone who likes writing, working with the media or is looking for a career with endless possibilities, Fitzwilliam Institute is for you.

Ian McGylnn


I am a current student on the Fitzwilliam Institute postgraduate course in Public Relations, and I’m so glad I chose this course.  The PR lectures were taught to an industry standard, by professionals working in the area that really challenged us and shared their wealth of experience and knowledge with the class. We learnt from real campaigns, while putting the theory into practice and discussions on a daily basis. Questions were encouraged and our understanding and practice of PR was developed through coursework, group activities and demonstrations and speakers presented to the class.

The work experience placement was arranged with great attention and consideration put into our individual skills, needs and expectations. We were prepared for these placements not alone by our coursework, but also through intensive interview and CV preparation. I feel the work experience placement has not just given us an advantage in taking our exams; it has given us invaluable insight and grounding when applying for work after our degree is completed.  I would highly recommend anyone interested in pursuing a career in PR to invest in a place on this course, as they will not only learn the academia required for their exam, they’ll learn the practical trade that will help them in starting out in their career in the PR industry.

Elizabeth McQue


The practical elements of the course combined with the information imparted by the trainers means that the learning curve was steep but it has proved entirely true to real life and priceless during the course of my placement. It is intensive and hard work but 100% worth it and I would definitely encourage someone considering the course to go for it!

Ish Fareed

Fitzwilliam Institute Postgraduate Diploma is a great gateway to the world of PR. The course is extremely relevant with current industry case studies and topical PR trends at the forefront of every lecture. It’s so reassuring to know that your lecturers are industry professionals, meaning that every course topic is approached with authentic knowledge of the subject and first-hand experience in mind. The standout aspect of the course for me was the arranged work placement. The placement challenges you to put your knowledge to the test whilst growing and learning in a real working environment and is paramount in developing a true understanding of the ins and outs of PR. The experience gained whilst on work experience plays such a pivotal role in your approach to the exams and perhaps even more importantly, the road to future employment. I did my placement at Elevate PR and was lucky enough to be hired once i finished my internship. I'm happily still working away at Elevate PR as an Account Executive. 

Sadhbh Higgins

If anyone is looking to pursue a career in Public Relations, the Fitzwilliam Institute is a brilliant foot in the door into this intensely competitive industry. After completing the PR & Event Management post-grad I went on to become an AE in one of Ireland's biggest PR agencies, PSG. After over a year here I have recently moved to become the Brand Communications Manager of Publicis in Dublin, a worldwide Advertising agency. Before I entered Fitzwilliam I was a fresh-faced recent Bachelor's graduate, ensure of what I wanted to do next. I know now that choosing to undergo the Fitzwilliam postgrad was what opened that all important first door for me into the Marketing Industry. - Rob Kenny, Publicis

Rob Kenny

Fitzwilliam Institute provided me with the practical skills and knowledge I required to pursue my career in Public Relations and Event Management. I cannot recommend the institute enough to students who wish to come out of the classroom knowing they have been prepared and trained to succeed in their chosen area.  I have now returned to complete a Diploma in Digital Marketing. - Emma Walker, Cullen Communications

Emma Walker

In 2014 I decided to go back to college after a few months of travelling and it was the best decision I ever made. After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from NUIG I wanted to specialise and looked at the PR & Event management course in Fitzwilliam Institute. The lectures were incredible in this course and got me thinking outside the box every day. Zoe Healy, one of the lectures, set us an assignment of setting up a blog and I started  that day. Last year I won Best Beauty Blogger at the Aussie Hair Awards and now write a second blog called 'Where to next darling..?' which is all about travel. Along with having two blogs I work full time as part of the PR & Marketing team for Benefit Cosmetics Ireland. Going back to college and studying with Fitzwilliam Institute was one of the best decisions I have made and has shaped my career. Through that course I made incredible friends who still all work in the PR industry - Kate Kelly, Benefit Cosmetics Ireland.

Kate Kelly

“Alice PR & Events is delighted to offer placements to PR students from the Fitzwilliam Institute.  The internship programme is a great way for agencies to identify future talent, as well as giving students practical, real-world experience that really stands to them when it comes to job-hunting”

Martina Quinn, Founder and Managing Director – Alice PR

Martina Quinn

On successful completion of this course you will receive a Postgraduate level 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 throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Asia in a total of 140 countries, by leading industries, bodies and professions.

next start date: 19th September 2017 (Tuesday)

Duration: 6 months (3 months in class & 3 months arranged work experience)

Venue: The Capel Building, Mary’s Abbey, Dublin 7 (The Capel Building is located in Dublin’s City Centre on Mary’s Abbey (Between the Jervis and Four Courts Luas stops).

Course Fees: €4,040

To secure your place on the course a deposit of 20% (€800) is required. The remainder of the course fee (€3,240) is due 30 days prior to the commencement of the course. 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 the Fitzwilliam Institute. Distance Learning courses are provided by Fitzwilliam Institute - BGLS Ltd.

Year on year, we successfully place our students into a 3-month organised work placement as part of their full-time Postgraduate Diploma. Over 95% of our participants end up in full time employment with their placement company, with many carving a long and rewarding career. A significant number of our past graduates are now senior figures in these industries today. See some of our most recent placement companies below and find out what they have to say.