PRII Certificate in Strategic Public Sector Communications

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 6 May 2020
Course Dates 6 May 2020
20 May 2020
10 June 2020
24 June 2020
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 PRII Offices, 84 Merrion Sq., D2
Fees PRII Members €1630
Fees PRII Non-members €1975

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;
  • a clear and thorough understanding of the Irish media landscape across print, on-line and broadcast platforms at both a national and regional level;
  • the ability to identify, prepare and respond to potential news stories from Governmental material such as Parliamentary Questions and FOI requests etc; and
  • the expertise to comfortably execute the demands of your role.


Topics Covered:

This course is delivered over four days and by a combination of classroom time, home study and examination by written assessment covering the following:

  • Making the case for communications in a public sector body — opportunities and challenges;
  • Establishing a communications function within a public sector body, functions of a communications office - media monitoring and measurement to press queries;
  • Media Landscape and Communicating for Impact;
  • The journalistic environment - the needs of journalists across, print, broadcast, and online media, deadlines, dos and don'ts of interacting with them;
  • Proactive (pitching and promoting) and reactive (incoming queries and issues management) PR;
  • Developing relationships and processes to respond quickly to media requests and developing good relationships with media;
  • Stakeholder engagement within the public sector and effective stakeholder communications;
  • Planning and developing a communications strategy;
  • Building key relationships with other agencies and relevant bodies

The course will look in depth at:

Communication Strategy and PR Campaigns

Measurement and Evaluation

Working with the media

Issues Management

Classroom sessions are intensive and participative and will include a variety of approaches including lectures, group discussions and practical exercises. 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.


Courses are taught by a combination of intensive and participative classroom sessions which include a variety of approaches including lectures, group discussion and practical exercises / case studies, along with personal study.

Classes are supplemented by contributions from sectoral guest speakers who share their expertise and practical experience of the issues touched on in lectures.

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

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.


Queries should be addressed to Annmarie Jordan at Loading... or call (01) 661 8004.

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