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Online Public Relations Certificate

Department of Communication

Online Public Relations Certificate at Drexel University

Drexel University’s online Graduate Certificate in Public Relations (PR) focuses on the basic building blocks PR professionals need. Courses cover the foundations of public relations, PR writing, PR planning, and strategic social media communication. Whether you’re new to the public relations field, are trying to expand your knowledge of PR, or find yourself needing additional PR training in your current position, this certificate will help you build a strong public relations foundation.

Master of Science in Strategic and Digital Communication

You may also be interested in Drexel’s Master of Science in Strategic and Digital Communication degree program, which offers full-time and part-time enrollment options in flexible on-campus and online formats.

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What is a PR certificate?

A certificate in public relations is designed to help current or future PR professionals brush up on the day-to-day skills they need on the job. Rather than take a broader view on communication or media, a PR certificate focuses on the specific skillset PR professionals need, like media relations, social media strategy, and crisis management.

Certificate in Public Relations Program Features

  • Courses cover topics such as:
    • Strategic social media communication
    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Reputation management
    • Crisis communication
    • Media relations
  • Learn from faculty with experience in the field
  • Can be completed 100% online
  • Will prepare you for work in a wide range of organizations and industries
  • Credits can be transferred into the online MS in Strategic and Digital Communication program, should you choose to complete a full master’s degree

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Public Relations Certificate?

This certificate requires 12 quarter credits, for a total of four classes. Typically, this certificate can be completed on a part-time basis in one year.

Unlike many universities, Drexel’s classes run on a quarter system. Each quarter is 10 weeks long, and there are four quarters per academic year. Learn more about the quarter system.

What Does Someone in Public Relations Do?

As a public relations professional, you will help promote your clients through unpaid, or "earned," media. Unlike advertising, PR professionals don’t pay for media representation. Instead, it will be your job to convince outside media entities to produce positive content about your client or create your own content for distribution. You may also have to handle public relations crisis situations. Some common skills PR professionals can expect to use on the job are:

  • Writing and distributing press releases
  • Pitching media outlets
  • Speech writing
  • Writing and blogging for internal and external outlets
  • Social media management

How Do You Get Into Public Relations?

PR professionals often have completed undergraduate or graduate programs in communication or a similar field. While not required, those new to the field may get an internship, either doing in-house PR for an organization or at a PR agency, to get first-hand experience and begin making connections. Networking is also a crucial skill for PR professionals, both in their daily jobs and in their career search. Joining an industry organization like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) or its student group is a great place to get started. Drexel’s faculty can also assist in providing guidance to those who are looking to break into the field.

What Type of Degree Do You Need for Public Relations?

Many professionals entering the field of public relations will have earned an undergraduate degree, master’s degree, or graduate certificate in public relations, journalism, English, communication, or a related area. At Drexel, you can complete the Graduate Certificate in Public Relations or choose to pursue an MS in Strategic and Digital Communication. The credits from the public relations certificate will transfer into the master’s program, which provides a broader overview of the communication field.