Public Relations

You have a passion for communication and connecting with people, and a desire to make a positive impact on society. In our two-year, hands-on diploma program, you will learn the theory and practice of public relations, and will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully manage relationships on behalf of businesses and other organizations through the use of creative and strategic communication.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared for careers in PR and communications, social media, publicity, media and influencer relations, public affairs, organizational communications, special events and fundraising, or continuing your studies in a Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program at KPU.

The PR Diploma curriculum is carefully aligned with the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management’s Global Capabilities Framework and Global Body of Knowledge, and was developed in consultation with an advisory committee consisting of senior PR and communication practitioners from industry, government and the nonprofit sector.

Who Studies Public Relations?

Public Relations applicants come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, but they all share a passion for communication. They are curious about the values and interests of others and have a desire to empathize and connect with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Program applicants have a flair for creativity backed up by critical thinking, and are committed to developing strong research, writing, presentation, design, and multimedia production skills to better communicate on behalf of a client or organization. PR students also develop an avid interest in social trends, communications technology, and follow local and national news and public affairs. They are global citizens who want to change the world through better communication.

Department's website: kpu.ca/business/pr

The public relations and communications industry is growing steadily across Canada. Graduates can expect to find a variety of job opportunities across industries and institutions in areas that include communications, social media, publicity, media and influencer relations, marketing, branding, advertising, public affairs, government relations, organizational communications, special events and fundraising.

Registration in some course sections is restricted to students in particular programs. See Timetables - kpu.ca/registration/timetables - for current section information.

Visit the BC Transfer Guide - bctransferguide.ca - for information about course transfer in B.C.

PRLN 1110  3 credits  
Design & Production for Public Relations  

Students will develop the basic design and production skills necessary to produce a variety of engaging visual materials and multimedia content in a timely fashion that can help organizations connect with their audiences and achieve communication objectives, for example creating a successful event poster or viral marketing video. They will learn the computer applications and design processes necessary to undertake basic photography, visual design, print production, web graphics, and video production.

Level: UG

Attribute: BUSI

PRLN 1120  3 credits  
Writing for Public Relations  

Students will learn to apply the RACE formula (Research, Analysis, Communication and Evaluation) to various public relations writing tasks on behalf of organizations, including writing marketing copy, web content, opinion pieces, feature articles, and social media posts. They will select appropriate writing styles and approaches to help achieve organizational goals based on audience analysis, the basic principles of rhetoric, and journalistic and grammatical standards, including Canadian Press Style.

Level: UG

Attribute: BUSI

PRLN 1150  3 credits  
Introduction to Public Relations  

Public relations (PR) is the strategic management of relationships between businesses, organizations and their diverse publics, including customers, suppliers, media and government. Students will learn how to formulate communication plans, strategies and tactics using research, analysis, communication and evaluation. They will learn to use PR to help organizations achieve mutual understanding with their publics, realize organizational goals and serve the public interest.

Level: UG

Attribute: BUSI

PRLN 1160  3 credits  
Media & Influencer Relations  

Students will learn the fundamentals of media and influencer relations in order to gain positive publicity and media coverage for organizations. They will learn to write professional media materials and gain exposure to real-world opportunities such as field trips to local newsrooms, developing story pitches for organizations in need of more publicity, or dissecting the performance of spokespeople in the current news cycle.

Level: UG

Attribute: BUSI

PRLN 1170  3 credits  
Public Relations Research & Evaluation  

Students will learn about the critical role that research plays in developing successful public relations campaigns, and develop the skills and understanding necessary to ethically apply research to help solve real world communication challenges. They will explore and apply different research methods, tools and metrics used to measure audience engagement in the age of social media. Students will also manage a research project based on a real-world client.

Level: UG

Attributes: ASTR, BUSI

PRLN 2010  3 credits  
Social Media for Public Relations  

Students will learn the latest social media tools and best practices for their application as a strategic marketing and campaign tactic in different business and social contexts. They will create engaging written, visual and audio content that performs well for multiple online platforms and audiences, and helps achieve public relations objectives such as sparking customer discussions or persuading citizens to vote, with a focus on analytics and campaign evaluation.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 15 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including one of the following: ENGL 1100, CRWR 1100, PRLN 1120, CMNS 1140, CRWR 1240, DESN 2000, FMRK 2120, JRNL 2120, JRNL 2230

Attributes: ASTR, BUSI

PRLN 2120  3 credits  
Public Relations Campaign & Event Management  

Students will work in teams to plan and execute an event for a client such as a press conference, product launch, or fundraiser. In the context of public relations and event planning, they will review and selectively apply the major managerial functions, including strategic planning, organizing, leading, budgeting and human resources. They will learn the role of special events as part of an overall fundraising or promotional strategy.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 15 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including one of the following: ENGL 1100, CRWR 1100, PRLN 1120, CMNS 1140, CRWR 1240, DESN 2000, FMRK 2120, JRNL 2120, JRNL 2230

Attribute: BUSI

PRLN 2130  3 credits  
Community and Stakeholder Engagement  

Students will learn practical relationship-building tools and strategies to help companies and organizations better connect and collaborate with their stakeholders in order to achieve organizational success, social license, and to advance common interests. Topics will include controversial environmental or social justice issues where citizens want to have their say. They will learn how to engage stakeholder groups, including how to organize public meetings, listen effectively, defuse conflict, and build trust.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 15 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including one of the following: ENGL 1100, CRWR 1100, PRLN 1120, CMNS 1140, CRWR 1240, DESN 2000, FMRK 2120, JRNL 2120, JRNL 2230.

Attribute: BUSI

PRLN 2310  3 credits  
Crisis Communications & Issues Management  

Students will learn to identify and monitor social trends and issues, and to assess and mitigate potential reputational risk on behalf of an organization. They will learn the theory and practice of crisis communications management, and will make operational recommendations during reputational crises such as public controversies, product recalls and management missteps, in order to protect an organization’s reputation.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 15 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including one of the following: ENGL 1100, CRWR 1100, PRLN 1120, CMNS 1140, CRWR 1240, DESN 2000, FMRK 2120, JRNL 2120, JRNL 2230

Attribute: BUSI

PRLN 2320  3 credits  
Promotional Writing & Design  

Students will learn to plan, budget, write, design and produce printed corporate communications products such as posters, information sheets, flyers, advertorials and fundraising profiles. They will produce polished, audience-directed, professional print communications projects that assist an organization to convey information about corporate goals and programs and build customer, community and public support.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): PRLN 1140, PRLN 1141 and PRLN 1250

Attribute: BUSI

PRLN 2345  3 credits  
Introduction to Fundraising & Development  

Students will examine the basics of fundraising and development for non-profit organizations, foundations and charities. They will examine the principles and strategic issues in fundraising; the role of the development officer; and the nature of fundraising campaigns. Students will develop an understanding of annual, capital and special project fundraising as well as how to work effectively with non-profit volunteer boards.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 30 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher

Attribute: BUSI

PRLN 2441  3 credits  
Organizational Communications & Culture  

Students will learn to create and manage organizational communications specific to internal audiences, including employees, contractors, shareholders, and suppliers. They will study how to design and produce professional communications plans, programs, policies, and tools to effectively communicate corporate messages, promote employee engagement and productivity, strengthen interpersonal skills, and create a positive organizational culture.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 15 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including one of the following: ENGL 1100, CRWR 1100, PRLN 1120, CMNS 1140, CRWR 1240, DESN 2000, FMRK 2120, JRNL 2120, JRNL 2230

Attributes: ASTR, BUSI

PRLN 3010  3 credits  
Ethics of Communication  

Students will examine ethical challenges that arise in the careers of organizational communications, marketing, business and public relations professionals. Students will explore the ethical codes of professional associations governing the practice of business communications. They will examine leadership roles for communicators in shaping ethical futures for profit and non-profit organizations.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 30 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher

Attribute: BUSI

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