Public Relations

The Public Relations program at Algonquin College blends public relations theory with practical experience in research, writing, editing, time and resource management, concept creation, speaking, and organization. Courses are offered in a variety of learning environments such as the classroom, the computer lab, and the office setting.

Mobile DeviceBring Your Own Device (BYOD): As a student in this on-campus program, you will require a mobile computing device that meets the specifications outlined by your program at (Please note this was previously referred to as a Mobile Learning Program)

Ontario College Diploma
2 Year(s)

Program Code: 0468X01FWO
Academic Year: 2016/2017

Our Program

This two-year Ontario College Diploma program blends public relations theory with practical experience in research, writing, editing, time and resource management, concept creation, speaking and organization. Courses are offered in a variety of learning environments, such as the classroom, the computer lab, the office setting and online. In the final level, students participate in a field placement.

In addition to public relations courses, the curriculum includes courses in desktop publishing, production, photography, web content management, social media engagement and business. The emphasis of the program is on attention to detail and creative and critical thinking in all public relations activities, from media relations to special event coordination. As time for out-of-class activities equals the time allocated for in-class work, students should prepare for a full-time commitment for the program.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Students are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device when registered in this on-campus program. Hardware and software specifications required by your program are outlined at . Mobile devices/laptops and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin`s Connections Store at educational rates.


This program is well-suited for students who:
  • Are motivated, energetic, creative and flexible.
  • Enjoy working in a team environment.
  • Are detail-oriented, organized and committed to achieving excellence in their work.
  • Possess strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Your Career

Graduates may find employment in public relations, social media, or
communications departments in corporations, associations, government and not-for-profit organizations. For those with entrepreneurial spirit,
freelance, self-employment or contract work may be an option.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:
  1. Participate in the planning of public relations activities, including the development of clear, measurable communication objectives and project budgets and selection strategies, tactics, tools and resources to support a range of stakeholder relationships and organizational objectives.
  2. Support the implementation and management of strategies, tactics, budgets and resources for a range of public relations activities communications and meet activity guidelines and requirements.
  3. Write and edit clear, accurate, targeted copy appropriate for the chosen channel(s) and to a specific deadline.
  4. Apply visual, audio, multimedia and interactive elements, fundamental design principles and accessibility standards, independently and collaboratively, to support the production of effective, timely communications appropriate for diverse channels and audiences.
  5. Use information sources, research tools and results, and analytical skills to support the development of communication objectives, selection and tactics, and measurement of the impact of public relations activities.
  6. Engage stakeholders by adapting language, tone and presentation style to the public relations purpose, situation, audience and channel(s).
  7. Comply with and support others to work in accordance with relevant professional association and industry codes of ethics, public relations professional standards and practices, and legal obligations, protocols and policies.
  8. Keep current with emerging social and economic trends, and local, national and global issues to inform public plans and activities, support organizational effectiveness and stakeholder relationships, and guide ongoing personal professional development.
  9. Select and use current and emerging technologies to support the quality and delivery of public relations activities and organizational effectiveness.
  10. Use strategies and tools to build and maintain professional relationships to support public relations activities, organizational objectives and career development.
  11. Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.


Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Level: 01 Hours
ENL1604 Communications I for Public Relations To build on a solid communication skill base micro-skills necessary for success in the PR program and in the PR field. Students analyze and develop their writing, reading, speaking, listening and interpersonal skills. 45.0
PRL1504 Writing for Public Relations Students develop an understanding of media relations and the relationship between editors/news directors and public relations practitioners. They learn the basics of public relations writing, particularly for the mass media, by analyzing news stories and writing copy in the journalistic style, which includes following guidelines established by Canadian Press. Using a computer and the Internet, students produce individual writing assignments, in the proper format, for the mass media. These materials, including news releases and letters to the editor, are evaluated on their clarity, conciseness, correctness and completeness.

Co-requisites: PRL1505
PRL1505 Public Relations I An introduction to the practice of public relations in Canada, from the skills needed to be a practitioner, to the models of public relations as practiced is provided. Students are introduced to the public relations process, learning the scope and nature of public relations management roles, particularly strategic management. Students also learn about specialized functions, with an emphasis on media relations and social media engagement, and about specific activities, particularly publicity. Lectures and hands-on exercises deal with such areas as ethics and codes of standards, news values and characteristics. The evolving relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists, and publicity tools and techniques for traditional media, and emerging social media and other channels are also discussed.

Co-requisites: PRL1504
PRL1519 Desktop Publishing for Media I Students are introduced to desktop publishing and print production. Students learn the design and production aspects of print production, from the use of type to modern printing techniques. The focus is on layout principles as students learn techniques, methods, basic tools, and terminology required to communicate with graphic designers and develop basic skills to do rough layouts for public relations print materials. An emphasis is on understanding terminology, as well as basic program commands, in a desktop publishing environment. Through tests, exercises and assignments, students use desktop publishing terms and execute basic layout. 30.0
PRL1532 Cultural and Media Literacy Students examine the need for individuals in a society, functioning as citizens and consumers, to be culturally and media literate. From a sociological perspective, students also examine the source of individual attitudes, how attitudes are reflected in a person's and in society's value systems, and how culture and the mass media contribute, directly and indirectly, to the formation of individual attitudes and opinions. Using resources, such as Maclean's magazine, students discuss events, trends, and issues, and how the mass media's coverage of them affects individual and public opinion within a cultural context. 45.0
PRL1546 Principles of Persuasion Students are introduced to the communications process and various communications principles and theories, from the diffusion process to cognitive dissonance. Using this communications knowledge base, students obtain hands-on experience applying factors in persuasive communications, from audience analysis to source credibility, as they prepare plans for and deliver informative and persuasive speeches. Students learn persuasive techniques and use them in oral presentations on a variety of topics in a classroom setting. 30.0
PRL1563 Social Media Management I Students explore the impact of social media on the role of the public relations practitioner. They identify and review in detail principles for effective engagement with stakeholders and customers, using core social media tools for listening, messaging, relationship building and participating in social networks and other online communities. 30.0
PRL1565 Research for Public Relations Students are provided an overview of the role research plays in the practice of public relations. Students learn the necessity of gathering, processing, transferring and interpreting information. Lectures and demonstrations deal with research methods and techniques for qualitative and quantitative, primary and secondary, and formal and informal research using library, database and Internet sources. Students acquire experience in gathering and analyzing research data. 45.0
Level: 02 Hours
ENL1869A Business Communication for Media Students examine communication within a business context. Students practice both oral and written communication activities that are common to most professional environments. Students write memos, letters, and reports, and practice oral communication in job interviews and presentations.

Prerequisites: ENL1604
PRL1536 Desktop Publishing for Media II Students enhance their working knowledge of computers by focusing on both platforms for desktop publishing - Macintosh and IBM - and through introducing other software programs. Students practice basic techniques for word processing, presentations and desktop publishing. Students are able to use the appropriate software to produce basic publications.

Prerequisites: PRL1519
PRL1537 Contemporary Issues Students develop abilities to assess current issues, evaluate their importance and summarize key information related to these issues. Issues and trends affecting Canadian society, including genetic research, world population and the environment, corporate accountability, international peacekeeping, ethical issues and peacemaking and violence in the media are emphasized. Students are responsible for researching specific issues, preparing advocacy materials, taking part in and leading group discussions, and making presentations that brief colleagues on specific topical issues and trends. 45.0
PRL1548 Public Relations II Students experience the four-step public relations process: defining public relations problems/opportunities; planning and programming; taking action and communicating; and evaluating the program/activity. Students learn to identify stakeholders and publics, set and write process and outcome objectives, devise and implement strategies and tactics, prepare communications materials, establish budgets and set evaluation criteria. Students apply a four-step process to planning, implementing and evaluating a public relations campaign that involves strategic and communications management, community relations, fundraising, special event management, publicity and media relations. They also work on a team to plan community relations, and internal public relations activities and present their proposals through an oral presentation.

Prerequisites: PRL1504 and PRL1505

Co-requisites: PRL1566
PRL1564 Social Media Management II Students develop an understanding of the practical applications of social media as part of a complete public relations strategy. Areas such as reputation management, crisis communications and channel management in the social media space are covered. Students use computers and the Internet to produce materials. 30.0
PRL1566 Public Relations Workshop I Students are involved in the writing, production and packaging of public relations materials, from speeches to media kits. In addition to writing using computers and the Internet, students learn how to organize public relations events, such as news conferences, how to keep track of project-related details, how to manage time, money, and other resources in a public relations environment and how to prepare a public relations proposal. All copy is evaluated for its clarity, conciseness, completeness and correctness. Students also learn the difference between copy written for print and that written for electronic media.

Prerequisites: PRL1504
PRL1567 Visual Production Workshop Students develop skills required for public relations job assignments revolving around photography. From a photojournalistic perspective, they learn how to use SLR digital cameras, how to take newsworthy photographs and how to prepare photos for dissemination to mass media. Students also receive hands-on experience in taking photos for newsletters and other public relations materials. 45.0
Level: 03 Hours
PRL1542 The Public Relations Business Environment A general overview of the operation and management of a public relations business, either as a small business or as a public relations consultancy is provided. Students are exposed to opportunities for entrepreneurship in the public relations field, such as operating a home-based business or working on a contract or freelance basis. Key areas, such as business planning, budgeting and record keeping, time tracking, marketing (through traditional and social media channels), proposal writing and project management are covered. Students learn about their role as public relations consultants an how to understand the corporate requirements of public relations practitioners.

Prerequisites: PRL1548
PRL1547 Public Relations Advertising Students examine various types of corporate and not-for-profit advertising, including image, philanthropic, community service and advocacy advertising and their uses for public relations purposes. Students also examine the many forms - print, online and broadcast - of this advertising, and assess the strengths and limitations of various advertising media. Students also learn to use media and advertising terminology correctly while examining the elements of advertising campaigns, including creative and media strategies that meet specific objectives. Students then apply the theory, focusing on the design and production of various advertising and promotional materials, such as newspaper and magazine ads, outdoor and transit posters and direct mail materials. Students develop the skills to communicate with graphic designers, as well as produce clean "roughs" of their own advertising solutions. Students are provided an understanding of how to create branding strategies using advertising to support public relations principles. 45.0
PRL1551 Public Relations III Students acquire the skills, knowledge and professional qualities required to become a public relations practitioner in any field in Canada, from the corporate boardroom to a charitable organization. Students explore relationship management, crisis communications, marketing communications, investor relations and internal communications. A self-directed learning component gives students experience in producing PR materials for the workplace. Using computers and the Internet, students produce materials.

Prerequisites: PRL1548

Co-requisites: PRL1562
PRL1554 Web Production Workshop Students are introduced to the concepts and techniques used in developing websites. Students gain experience designing websites using web authoring programs and learning to manage content in a web publishing environment.

Prerequisites: PRL1548 and PRL1566

Co-requisites: PRL1547 and PRL1551
PRL1559 Government Communications A general overview of the work of a public relations practitioner in a government role is provided. Students are exposed to the various skills-based competencies government evaluates, and they understand the operation of the Government of Canada and other public sector clients. Key areas, such as planning, budgeting, project management and understanding the public and political environment are emphasized. Students learn about their role as public relations consultants in their department, and how to understand the corporate requirements of government and public sector agencies. 15.0
PRL1560 Fieldwork Prep Students produce an inventory of their own skills, knowledge and professional qualities, with an eye to developing the skills they need to be successful in field work. Job search skills are emphasized by working on resumes, portfolios, cover letters and interview skills. 15.0
PRL1562 Public Relations Workshop II Students produce materials for both internal and external audiences. Writing assignments involve producing newsletter articles, news releases and feature stories. All copy is evaluated for clarity, conciseness, completeness, correctness, and adherence to guidelines set out in print and broadcast style guides. 45.0
Choose one from equivalencies: Hours
GED0468 General Education Elective Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: DSN2001 or ENV0002 or FIN2300 or GED5002 or GED5004 or GED5005 or GED5009 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GED6022 or GEN1001 or GEN1957 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or HIS2000 or LIB1982 or SOC2003 or PSI0003 or GED5003 or FAM1218 or GED1896 or HIS0001 or HOS2228 or MVM8800
Level: 04 Hours
PRL0002 Public Relations Workshop III In this public relations agency working environment simulation, student "staff" members work with non-profit organizations (clients) on public relations planning. Students are prepared for graduation with hands-on experience in real workplace situations and roles, including client liaison, media relations, web design and special event management. Students gain experience in preparing and working with budgets, keeping files and maintaining a daily log of work assignments, and keeping track of all account work, including tasks to be done, deadlines and meetings. The student-run operation is called the Algonquin Student PR Agency. 100.0
PRL0003 Field Work On-the-job training for students who are placed with corporations, hospitals, government departments, associations, media and other organizations requiring public relations assistance is provided. While organizations are not required to pay students a salary, students are reimbursed for any job-related, out-of-pocket expenses. During their internships, students gain valuable experience in a variety of areas, such as media relations, special event planning and coordination, marketing communications, web design and maintenance, community relations, promotion, donor relations and investor relations. 280.0

Fees & Expenses   

2016/2017 Academic Year

Total Fees for the first year of the program:

Domestic tuition/ancillary fees: $8,185.62. *

International tuition/ancillary Fees: $17,711.66. *

* Amounts include tuition fee, program specific lab and material fees, applicable eText fees, Students` Association fees and compulsory ancillary fees. Fees are subject to change. For detailed fees information please visit

Note: For further information regarding your books, please visit

Books and supplies cost approximately $800 each year. Students must purchase their own PC laptop computer and software. Computers and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin`s Connections Store at educational
discounted rates. A Nikon digital SLR camera with video capability or a compatible brand equivalent (approx. $500) is required in the first level, but students SHOULD NOT purchase one until speaking with the photojournalism professor.

Admission Requirements   

2017/2018 Academic Year

College Eligibility
  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.
Program Eligibility
  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • All applicants must complete an assessment through the Test Centre, in language proficiency, critical thinking, and general and media knowledge, as well as completing an essay. Applicants will be required to pay the current fee of $50 (subject to change).
  • Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:
    • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band. OR
    • TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 80, with the minimum of 20 in each component: Reading 20; Listening: 20 Speaking: 20, Writing: 20

Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English.

Application Information

Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 5J3

Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should notify their Guidance Office prior to their online application at
Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the
International Student Application Form at or by contacting the Registrar`s Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar`s Office
Algonquin College
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
Telephone: 613-727-0002
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723
TTY: 613-727-7766
Fax: 613-727-7632

Additional Information

This program has a field work component that must be completed in order to graduate. Finding and securing an approved fieldwork opportunity is a shared responsibility. Your faculty and field work supervisor/coordinator has contacts in industry and where feasible will assist you in finding an approved field placement.

For more information, please contact Bradley Moseley-Williams, Program Coordinator, at 613-727-4723 ext. 7566, or or Diane Banks, Marketing Officer, at ext. 2510 or
Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time