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Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations

Posted By Crisdelis Rodriguez On September 5, 2018 @ 11:47 am

Broadcast your brand. The world is waiting.

Managing a brand’s reputation in the public eye is no simple task. Whether you’re responding to a last-minute media inquiry, dealing with negative publicity, or monitoring the web for newsworthy content, the message is clear: to succeed in public relations, you need to be strategic and quick to adapt to new trends and technology. Top public relations executives agree that career success means being an incredible storyteller and trusted strategic business advisor—Someone who can leverage emerging technologies and critical thinking to build lasting relationships with stakeholders. This shift in skill demands is why top companies are struggling to hire and keep the right public relations professionals.

Why Choose York?

Add credibility to your resume

Develop core job skills

Learn and grow with your peers


“This program is perfect for recent graduates who want to enhance their current skills and desire the opportunity to learn directly from instructors who are currently professionals working in the field.”

- Christine Bernard, Communications Manager, Shaw Communications (Instructor)

Use the technology you need to get the public opinion you want

Using the right tools at the right time can mean the difference between a media firestorm or the recruitment of countless new brand influencers to support your cause.

Created in collaboration with industry leaders, the 8 course full-time Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations gives you the expertise to broadcast your brand message to the right audience, at the right time, using both traditional and digital media. Real-world project work with actual companies will give you the chance to learn and practice effective public relations strategies, business principles and stakeholder relationship management, as well as how to respond to crises and manage brand reputation. All this, while building the core job skills that top employers are looking for when hiring for public relations jobs.

You’ll gain in-depth public relations knowledge, including:

  • Public relations fundamentals & strategy
  • Digital storytelling
  • Marketing principles
  • Internal communications
  • Data analytics
  • Effective writing
  • Presentation skills
  • Reputation & crisis management
  • Media relations
  • Stakeholder engagement

In public relations, it’s all about the story. Make sure the story of your career is a success.

“This program uniquely provides students with theoretical foundations for success in communications, reputation and corporate affairs, combined with practical knowledge, real-world insights and best practices. Graduates will have the right blend of skills required to excel as a public relations professional in an evolving industry.”

- John Crean, Managing Director, Teneo Holdings (Advisory Council Member)

Who should take this program?

The Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations is ideal for recent degree graduates and  international students who want to a comprehensive foundation in public relations.

This program can enhance the careers of people with experience or educational background in:


Liberal Arts




Political Science



… and related fields


Program Delivery

The Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations is an 8-month full-time program. You’ll come to our Keele Campus in Toronto, ON to attend class 4 days a week for 3 hours each day.

Finish in 8 months

Optional Work Placement

After your courses are complete, apply what you’ve learned with an optional 8-week work placement at a local organization!

Important information for international students

Your time in the Optional Work Placement will count against the total allowable time granted for your work permit (if applicable). For example, if you are granted a 12-month work permit, you will only have 10 months of eligibility after the work placement is complete.

Advisory Council [3]

Shari Balga
Account Director, Edelman

Priya Bates
President, Inner Strength Communications

Amy Cairncross
SVP Communications, RBC

John Crean
Managing Director, Teneo Holdings

Nikki Laoutaris
Communications Manager, Lift&Co

Anne MacLennan
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Communications, York University

Rhonda McMichael
Executive Lead, Strategic Engagement, Government Relations Office, University of Toronto

Joanne Rider
Owner, Rider Communications (former Chief Spokesperson and Director, Media Relations, York University)

Candice So
Senior Communications Manager, Rate Hub

Instructors [4]

Christine Bernard, M.C.M

Read interview with Christine [5]

Christine is a results-oriented communications professional with more than seven years of experience, specializing in internal communications. She is currently a Communications Manager for the Wireless division at Shaw Communications and has a firm grasp of corporate messaging, branding, event planning and leadership communications. Christine has always been passionate about the telecommunications industry and enjoys enhancing employee and customer engagement through internal and external communications, along with testing new products and services. She has had success facilitating the development of employee communication initiatives including leadership blogs, vlogs, town halls, emails and speaking notes, as well as identified communication gaps between management and front-line employees. Her work has resulted in new processes that better support internal stakeholders in day to day operations.

Lonny Kates, M.C.M

Lonny is a seasoned communications professional with more than 16 years of experience in public affairs, media relations, project management and strategic communications. He has held various communications positions within the Federal Public Service and is experienced in working with senior executive levels, including the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office, several Federal Ministers and senior military officials.  Lonny has had a varied career including working as a television news producer, covering federal elections, Olympics and Remembrance Day Ceremonies. While working for the public service, he was responsible for media relations for the 2010 G-8 and G-20 Summits in Ontario. Since 2014 Lonny has been managing public affairs at the Department of National Defence (DND). In this role he has coordinated communications for national events such as the 2017 Invictus Games, the visits of the Royal Family in Canada, Ceremonial Guard activities on Parliament Hill, and Canada Day celebrations.

Cathy Cowan, MBA

Cathy has worked on high profile PR campaigns with some of the most brilliant brands & marketers in Canada. She’s a 20-year PR agency veteran with an MBA, who founded Cowan & Company Communications—a communications agency specializing in premium lifestyle brands—which has been recognized 4 times as IABC/Toronto’s Boutique PR Agency of the Year. In addition to winning numerous awards for marketing communications, media relations, special events, publications, social media and social responsibility, she’s collaborated with trailblazing brands, including L’Oreal Paris, Kraft, Jamieson Vitamins, Cisco, Expedia, Nintendo and Food Banks Canada. But, ultimately, extraordinary communications results are her driving passion and greatest professional reward. She’s thrilled to share these real-world Canadian PR successes and best practices with her students at York University.

Shari Balga

Read interview with Shari [6]

Shari is an accomplished, award-winning and results-driven PR professional with a unique blend of advertising and PR agency, and client-side experience spanning more than a decade. Over her career, she has worked across a number of disciplines including technology, government and the not-for-profit sectors. Shari has a proven record in creating, activating and leading a wide range of integrated marketing communications, corporate communications, issues and crisis management, traditional and social media programs for companies including LG Electronics, PayPal, Sage Software and Hewlett-Packard Canada with demonstrated success in surpassing awareness to target markets and driving business growth. She has a keen understanding of how the PR practice continues to evolve and the skillsets needed to drive the industry forward.

Program Policies [7]


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URL to article: http://continue.yorku.ca/certificates/post-graduate-certificate-in-public-relations/

URLs in this post:

[1] Talk to our team: http://continue.yorku.ca/certificates/post-graduate-certificate-in-public-relations/?tab=1

[2] Learning Outcomes: #squelch-taas-accordion-shortcode-content-0

[3] Advisory Council: #squelch-taas-accordion-shortcode-content-1

[4] Instructors: #squelch-taas-accordion-shortcode-content-2

[5] Read interview with Christine: http://continue.yorku.ca/york-u-alumnus-passes-on-public-relations-expertise/

[6] Read interview with Shari: http://continue.yorku.ca/pr-pro-helps-students-reach-career-goals/

[7] Program Policies: #squelch-taas-accordion-shortcode-content-3

[8] Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations – Program Policies: http://continue.yorku.ca/public-relations-program-policies/

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