PRII Certificate in Strategic Communications for Local Authorities 2022

Designed in association with the LGMA for communicators working in the local authority sector. This hands-on practical course will enable participants to assess their current communications and PR activities against best practice as well as developing an understanding of communications as a strategic management function.

Start Date 17 February 2022
Course Dates 17 February 2022
24 February 2022
3 March 2022
10 March 2022
16 March 2022
24 March 2022
31 March 2022
7 April 2022
23 May 2022
Presenter Dr Karl Anderson, MPRII
Communications consultant, lecturer & trainer, former Associate Lecturer at the School of Communications, DCU. He is also a former strategic communications adviser to the CEO of the Health Service Executive.
Venue Blended Delivery, Incorporating a number of delivery methods - in-person and video lectures; live online tutorials and self-directed learning.
Fees PRII Members €Consortium Price - Details on application
Fees PRII Non-members €Consortium Price - Details on application

Ensuring that the right information flows freely to and from internal and external
stakeholders is critical to the smooth operation of Local Authorities and enabling them to effectively achieve their strategic objectives.

Developed in partnership with the Local Government Management Authority (LGMA) this course is designed for communicators specifically working in local government in Ireland and anyone working in a Public Relations or communications function (both external and internal) in this sector.

The course will centre around participants developing an understanding of why and how strategic communications involves purposeful communications initiatives designed specifically to advance your Council’s strategic priorities. As well as drafting a strategic communication plan which includes action plans that are linked to your Council’s strategic priorities.

This will give participants a sense of how the various PR/communications practices should be integrated and work together to achieve a specific purpose.

Download course brochure PDF here.


Who is this course for?

This course has been designed in association with the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) for communicators working in local authorities.

What previous participants have said:

I enjoyed all aspects of the course but particularly listening to and meeting colleagues from other local authorities. I enjoyed the lectures too, and also the guest speakers who brought their own unique insights to the course.

I formulated a strategy on a particular strategic priority which I hope will now be implemented by the organisation.

A high point for me was gaining the reassurance of the similarities of challenges being faced in other local authorities as well as the passion and belief in communications as a profession that is needed and valued in local government. I have also found the calm and assured information from Karl Anderson very comforting - it's helping me to settle into this role and make more considered decisions as I take on each task.

Looking forward to learning from other attendees as well as lecturers and resources - I sense there's a huge amount of experience in the 'room'.

Learning Outcomes

This programme will provide participants with:

  • A clear understanding of the characteristics and challenges of local authority communications;
  • An overview and understanding of strategic communications and public relations management, and their role in organisational strategy implementation;
  • An introduction to strategic management, strategy development and the associated challenges;
  • An understanding of the professional challenge facing communicators;
  • An appreciation of stakeholder and issues mapping and management;
  • A developed appreciation of how communicators can have a positive impact on the functioning of a local authority;
  • The skills to create and develop a communications strategy and plans in support of your Local Authority’s strategic objectives;
  • The expertise and confidence to lead and advocate for improved communications within an organisation.


Given the restrictions COVID-19 has imposed on society and business this year specific contingencies have been put in place for the continued and successful delivery of all PRII training and professional development courses.

The PRII Certificate in Strategic Local Authority 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.

Dates & Course Timetable:

  • Thursday, 17 February – Introductory Lecture (Live online G1: 09:30am – 12:00 noon) 
  • 24 February – Guest Speaker (Live online  10am – 11:30am); Video lectures (posted on dedicated course resource webpage)
  • 03 March – Interactive Tutorial (Live online 10am – 11:30am)
  • 10 March –  Guest Speaker (Live online  10am – 11:30am), Video lectures posted
  • 16 March – Interactive Tutorial (Live online 10am – 11:30am)
  • 24 March –  Guest Speaker (Live online  10am – 11:30am), Video lectures posted
  • 31 March – Interactive Tutorial (Live online 10am – 11:30am)
  • 07 April –  Interactive Tutorial [Draft assignment presentations] (Live online 10am – 12:30 noon
  • Mon, 23 May — Assignment submission deadline 5pm

Course Director, Subject Matter Experts & Guest Speakers

This course will be led by Dr Karl Anderson, MPRII a communications consultant, lecturer & trainer. Karl is a former Associate Lecturer at the School of Communications, DCU teaching on the Masters Degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communications, having previously lectured in the School of Business at Maynooth University. He is also a former strategic communications adviser to the CEO of the Health Service Executive.

This core teaching will be supplemented by contributions from a number of subject matter experts and sectoral guest speakers. They will add to the theoretical learning with real world experience and best practice to represent a wide a range of experience relevant to the work of Local Authority Communications Professionals.

Assessment & Accreditation:

Participants are encouraged to apply learning from the modules, discussions and
readings and show how these apply to their own work situation and local authority
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 strategic planning assignment applying the learnings to develop a communications plan and calendar for your local authority.

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

Accredited by the Public Relations Institute of Ireland – the professional body for communications and PR in Ireland, the PRII Certificate in Strategic Communications for Local Authorities will be awarded on successful completion of the course assessments.


Queries should be addressed to

  • Frank Condon, Development & Research Manager — Loading... 


  • Annmarie Jordan, Education Coordinator & Office Manager — Loading... or call (01) 661 8004.

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