COURSE LAUNCH DATE
23rd August 2021
Coming Soon: CIPR Foundation Award in Public Relations
Exclusive to learndirect - A new and unique partnership with PR Academy
The CIPR Foundation Award in Public Relations is designed by industry professionals to give you the essential skills needed to break into the PR industry. Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, you can gain a globally recognised qualification that makes you stand out to employers in the UK and overseas! No qualifications required to get started.
Register your interest now for more information.
What is Public Relations?
Public Relations (PR) is where an individual or team take charge of maintaining the public image of a person or business. As such, PR professionals manage the information that goes out from the client to the public. Making sure the client is viewed in a particular way by their desired audience, and their message is heard in places where their audience will take notice.
This isn’t always referring to reputation management. It’s also in terms of any updates, products or service launches that the client wishes to communicate with its customers. Ultimately, keeping the client top of mind with their target audience.
In this instance, there are many different aspects of public relations. PR encompasses everything from media to community relations, crisis communication, public affairs, social media, employee communications and more.
10 Advantages of Public Relations
There are many advantages related to the different aspects of public relations.
Effective public relations will:
- Raise brand profile
- Increase credibility and trust
- Attract your target audience
- Change the way people think
- Help combat negative press
- Protect against competitor attacks
- Portray you as an industry leader
- Generate sales and enhance profits
- Help your audience understand your goal
- Get announcements heard by a wider audience
What Does Public Relations Do?
For a start, it isn’t advertising, which is what many people assume. While PR can be part of the marketing mix, it doesn’t have the same focus as advertising. However, if you’re asking yourself is public relations a good job, rest assured it offers just as many exciting career opportunities.
Public relations professionals focus on building and maintaining relationships. This is done through various tactics like providing the media with information to use through press releases and pitches. As well as carefully controlling their owned media.
Because PR coverage is generally earnt, it is typically trusted more than advertising. Which is why public relations is heavily depended on to boost the reputation of businesses around the world.
Public relations professionals send the right message to the right people in the right place. When used correctly, it can help companies overcome obstacles, increase credibility and subsequently, the brands following. Which in turn should enhance their success.
Explain Five Public Relations Roles
Many people ask themselves ‘is public relations a good career?’ and the answer is absolutely! While you may not be as familiar with it as other careers such as marketing, it certainly leads to a similarly broad range of prosperous and innovative careers.
Depending on your level of experience and qualification, you will either start out as a PR Assistant or PR Executive. In these roles, you will learn the ropes, get familiar with the real-life running of PR campaigns and build your skills and knowledge over time. With experience, you can move up the ladder to more senior or specialist positions.
Some of these include:
- Media Relations Manager – Focus solely on creating strong relationships with bloggers, broadcasters, influencers and journalists to generate free and more trustworthy press coverage. Entice their interests by finding newsworthy and compelling stories about your client that they will want to share. Be it something about the business, product, service or otherwise. Bearing in mind that the relationship goes both ways. You will need to be prepared to provide them with fresh insights and previews about company updates when they ask for them. Which, if the relationship is nurtured effectively, can lead to you being presented as an industry leader if they regularly choose your company as a feature.
- Social Media Public Relations – Social media platforms are quickly becoming the preferred method of receiving news and updates about brands, products and services. That’s why this role is important to protect and promote the client's reputation in the social landscape. You’ll utilise relevant platforms to announce company updates, respond to and diffuse any negative situations as they arise. It’s also a great way to keep your ear to the ground as to what is being said about your client. So you can influence the public's perception as needed to amend any damage to the client's image. Social Media PR also provides an excellent opportunity to directly connect with customers and followers. Allowing you to immediately impress and rectify any negative situations.
- Crisis Communications – The PR no one hopes they need but every business should have in place. When things go wrong, Crisis Communications professionals provide swift and effective damage control. Limiting the negative impact on the client's reputation. This could be anything from issuing a product recall to public apologies in light of company leaders or employees being accused of wrongdoing. You will be proactive as much as possible and have communications prepared should typical business issues arise. Having important relationships established ahead of time with your spokesperson, so you know how your messages will be conveyed. In addition to knowing exactly which channels you will use in advance, so damage control can be rolled out as quickly as possible.
- Reputation Manager – A specialist in monitoring and shaping the reputation of their clients on the internet. You will control the online activities of the brand along with any associated sub-brands. To make sure favourable information stands out above anything negative. This involves being digitally savvy and comfortable using and navigating online platforms. So, you have a detailed understanding of things like search engine behaviour, which enables you to understand where and how your client is being talked about.
- Spokesperson – The more public-facing representative of a company. As a spokesperson, you will be responsible for handling negative press and company updates. Though you will also set up and appear at public appearances on the company’s behalf. These could be things like press conferences, television appearances or travelling to industry events. With the aim of building recognition and trust by giving the company a recognisable face and tone of voice.
Getting a Job in Public Relations
You don’t necessarily need a degree to work in public relations. Though as it’s a highly skilled and competitive line of work, gaining relevant qualifications will go a long way. Not only will it help you stand out to employers, taking a PR course will equip you with the skills to hit the ground running once you get employed.
You need to have your finger on the pulse in this career. So not knowing what to do when different situations arise will make it difficult to respond in a timely manner.
Thankfully, there are many study courses in public relations you can complete to get the skills you need. Should you need the flexibility provided by distance learning, many of these are offered online with learndirect.
What Public Relations Courses Do learndirect Offer?
learndirect offer a growing number of online study courses in public relations. The CIPR Foundation Award in Public Relations gives you an ideal introduction to the dynamic world of public relations. Though we also offer broader courses in public relations to give you a more detailed view of what the profession entails.
If you want a more specific study course in public relations, courses like our Public Relations Consultant take a closer look at specific roles. Whereas ones like our Communication Skills and Press, Publicity and Profile Raising courses help you to acquire complementary skills.
Best Public Relations Courses Online
If you’re looking for a study course in public relations, it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many options you can choose from, especially with the growing number of courses available online. The best way to avoid disappointment in this instance is to complete a course that is accredited and recognised in the industry.
For example, courses like our CIPR Foundation Award in Public Relations are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), which is the only global Royal Chartered professional body for Public Relations Practitioners.
Therefore, by completing their qualifications, you will become a recognised PR professional. And with their courses being designed by industry specialists, you can be assured you’re gaining essential workplace skills.
If you’re ready to make the move to becoming a public relations professional, learndirect can help. The range of online PR courses helps learners access all manner of public relations careers. And there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.
If you're unsure of which course is right for you, our team are here to advise. Our Course Executives will find out what your interests and aspirations are, then run through the courses most suited to you. That way, you can confidently take the next step towards your PR career. Or take the course you know will help you take the next step up the ladder.