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Communications Training at Centennial College Includes Social Media


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by: jasonw93
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Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 Time: 12:11 AM

“What we try to do is hone your skills so we can get you connected to the world of public relations/ corporate communications in the Toronto market, which is a highly competitive market,” says Christine Smith, the program coordinator for Centennial College’s public relations/ Communication Skill Training. “Like most college programs, we do have an eight-week field placement. One of the neat things about our field placement is that it is in the final eight weeks of their two-semester program. Our program is probably one of the leading-edge PR programs that’s incorporating social media. When they leave, they’ll have a portfolio that shows everything from a news release to their own blog to producing an event with a team. More importantly, they can go to their employers and say, ‘I can advise you on social media.’”

Let’s take a closer look at the Centennial College public relations program (officially known as Corporate Communications and Public Relations) based on Christine’s description. The one-year program is geared towards graduate students. Therefore, applicants are required to possess an official transcript demonstrating proof of successful completion of a post-secondary diploma or degree program. Applicants will also be required to attend an information session that includes writing and editing exercises and will have to submit a portfolio of writing and a resume. Those who can present a combination of partial post-secondary education (two year minimum) and relevant work experience may also be considered for Centennial College’s Communications Training.

Once in the undertaking, students learn to research, write, plan, edit, design and implement everything from strategic communications plans and employee newsletters to gala dinners for hundreds of people. They also learn to create communications strategies that influence employee attitudes, shift stockholders’ opinions and tell an organization’s story to the media. Specific corporate communications courses covered in the program include: Public Relations Writing (in a writing lab using computers, students practice writing news and feature stories typically found in internal corporate publications, news releases for the media, fact sheets, backgrounders, and reports); Media Relations (developing familiarity with media directories, creating targeted media lists, pitching stories to the media, monitoring media coverage, framing answers to questions from the media and designing special events to attract media attention are examined and practiced); Design and Layout (students develop visual sensibilities based on the fundamentals of effective design); and more.

In addition to the in-school corporate communications courses, students in communications training participate in an eight-week field placement. This placement offers them the opportunity to apply the knowledge they learned within the program and to get a glimpse at the field they will enter upon graduating from the public relations program.

According to an April 2009 survey on PayScale.com, the median salary for a PR manger is $65,959.

About the Author

In this article, Jason illustrates the benefits for students who attend the corporate communications courses in Centennial College’s Public Relations Program. These courses include: Public Relations Writing, Media Relations, Design and Layout, and more.



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