PRII Certificate in Strategic Public Sector Communications

This course is now full — if you are interested in undertaking the course is the future, register your interest by emailing Loading....

Designed for communicators working in government departments; public agencies; or semi-state organisations the PRII Certificate in Strategic Public Sector Communications has a purposeful focus concentrating on the skills to create, develop and implement the organisation’s communications strategy and how to plan and execute effective PR campaigns to deliver on the organisations objectives.

Start Date 10 October 2023
Course Dates 10 October 2023
17 October 2023
24 October 2023
31 October 2023
7 November 2023
14 November 2023
21 November 2023
28 November 2023
Presenter Dr Karl Anderson
Communications consultant, lecturer & trainer, former strategic communications adviser to the CEO of the HSE. Supplemented by contributions from sectoral guest speakers.
Venue Online, Remote delivery
Fees PRII Members €Course Full
Fees PRII Non-members €Course Full

Communications Officers working in the public sector have a uniquely challenging role, working to meet the expectations of colleagues, stakeholders, service clients, the wider public and the media, they have to balance a complex set of demands. 

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for communicators working in government departments, public agencies or semi-state organisations. Anyone working in a Public Relations or communications function (both external and internal) in this sector. 

Learning Outcomes

This programme will provide you with;

  • the skills to create and develop a communications strategy and plans in support of your organisation’s objectives;

  • the ability to identify, prepare and respond to the needs of various audiences, including stakeholders and staff; 

  • the expertise and confidence to lead and advocate for improved communications within your organisation;

At the end of the course you will: 

  • Understand your organisation’s strategy and strategic (corporate) plan.
  • Understand importance linking your organisation’s strategic plan and your strategic communications activities.
  • Know about the elements in a strategic communications plan.
  • Draft a strategic communications plan.
  • Think more strategically about your communications activities.

Topics Covered:

This course is delivered over modules and by a combination of video lectures and online classroom time, home study and examination by written assessment covering the following:

  • Characteristics of public sector communication
  • What is Strategic Communication?
  • Strategic Public Relations Vs Strategic Communications
  • Why you need a strategic orientation?
  • How to develop a strategic orientation
  • How to connect with strategy development & implementation
  •  Communications Context
  • Measurement & Evaluation

Designed to be highly interactive, participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and question presenters. Guest speakers will share their practical experience of working in public sector communications, media relations, managing campaigns (including social media) and communications strategy development.


The PRII Certificate in Strategic Public Sector Communications will be delivered using a blended approach incorporating a number of delivery methods (live online lectures; video lectures; live online tutorials, student group work and self-directed learning).

Remote Blended Course Delivery:

This will consist of

  •  A series of pre-recorded video lectures which you can watch in your own time;
  •  Live online sessions to discuss the material covered in the videos and associated exercises, as well as to hear from Guest Speakers (with opportunity for live Q&A).
  • Learning materials available to students will include a dedicated course resource webpage hosting video lessons, notes, readings and references.

The video lectures will be posted and then followed up during the following week with a live online session. Participants  will be able to review the videos at a time that suits their schedule while also having the opportunity to interact with fellow course participants and the Course Director via the live online sessions.

Classes are supplemented by contributions from sectoral guest speakers and subject matter experts  who will share their expertise and practical experience of the issues explored during lectures.

Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and question presenters and guest speakers.

Course Timetable:

  • 10 October – Introductory Lecture (Live online  10:00am – 12:30pm)
  • 17 Oct  — Guest Speaker (Live online  10:00am – 11:30am) & Video lectures
  • 24 Oct  — Tutorial (Live online  10:00am – 11:30am)
  • 31 Oct — Guest Speaker (Live online  10:00am – 11:30am)
  • 07 November – Tutorial (Live online  10:00am – 11:30pm)
  • 14 Nov — Guest Speaker (Live online  10:00am – 11:30am) & Video lectures
  • 21 Nov –  Tutorial (Live online  10:00am – 11:30am)
  • 28 Nov —  Closing tutorial and student presentations (Live online  10:00am – 12:30pm)

Assessment & Accreditation:

Participants are encouraged to apply learning from the readings, modules and discussions and show how these apply to their own work situation and public sector communications challenges.

Final assessment for this course is comprised of two elements:  

  • A reflective journal where the learner can record and reflect upon their observations and responses to each day’s learning and the overall learning from the course; and
  • A 3,000 word case study / report-style assignment applying the learnings to forthcoming initiatives (real or imagined).

This assessment must be completed and submitted six weeks after completion of the course.

This course is accredited by the Public Relations Institute of Ireland - the professional body for communications and PR in Ireland.

The PRII Certificate in Strategic Public Sector Communications will be awarded on successful completion of the course assessments.

What Are People Saying About The Course?

“Professionally, I gained valuable insights into strategic thinking and where this applies to my role…personally I was inspired by the scope for growth and development in the PR and Communications space within my own organisation. I now have a fully-formed strategic plan developed for my company to harness in pursuit of its business objectives."
Alec Elliott MPRII, Irish Aviation Authority

“I found the course to be very good at demonstrating how an organisation’s strategic objectives should be interwoven with communications. It was really good to hear and learn from the experiences of others and the guest speakers. I have taken onboard a lot of ideas and tips that I hope to implement in our communications area.”  
Neil Doherty, An Bord Pleanála

“The organisation and delivery of this course was fantastic. The content was excellent and between Karl’s delivery and the addition of the external speakers it was a rich and enjoyable experience. Other people on the course were from interesting backgrounds which added to the overall experience and learning.” 
Caroline Mitchell, CIS Advocacy & Project Manager, Citizens Information Board
"Excellently structured, giving a detailed and comprehensive insight on how to plan, conduct and measure Strategic Communications. Top class instruction and engaging peer to peer class discussions. This course is required learning for anyone working in Public Sector Communications"
James O'Hara, Commandant, Defence Forces Press Office

“...immediately useful in my day to day work. It’s a really practical and well-crafted course that provides practical tools and structures I have found so helpful in my role. The other great asset you will get through this course is the network of other students and guest speakers who provided great debates and discussions on the topics and issues throughout the course. I would recommend this course to anyone who works in public sector communications."
Sascha O'Toole MPRII, Head Of Communications,  Department of Children & Youth Affairs


Queries should be addressed to Annmarie Jordan at Loading....

How to Enroll:

This course is now full — if you are interested in undertaking the course is the future, register your interest by emailing Loading....


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