Public Relations & Communication Education

October 21, 2006 at 1:40 pm 2 comments

I was in the middle of my fourth year of university, debating what I should do after graduation, when I came across Fanshawe College’s post-graduate Corporate Communication and Public Relations (CC&PR) program. It was at this moment that my research into public relations and communication programs began. 

Currently, formal education in public relations and communication is rapidly growing in Canada.  Specifically, such education can be found at the undergraduate level, graduate level (diplomas and degrees), and in continuing education programs.  Although these types of programs are expanding across Canada, no national curriculum standards exist. I believe that standardizing public relations and communication curriculum is one of the future trends that these educational programs will face.

In particular, given that public relations is an unlicensed practice, standardizing and strengthening its education will contribute to ensuring professionalism. At the same time, this shift toward professionalism will affect both existing and future public relations and communication programs. Primarily, these programs will need to tailor their curriculum in order to satisfy educational standards and best prepare students to enter the public relations field.

Just as importantly, this future trend of standardizing public relations and communication education, will affect not only those entering these programs, but also both current and soon-to-be public relations professionals. Particularly, these individuals will need to continuously seek and keep up-to-date with formal public relations and communication education. Doing so increases their chances of survival in a competitive profession where those with both the greatest knowledge and experience hold the advantage.

Linda Heredia

For more information regarding public relations and communication education please take a look at some of my reccommended sources listed below :

  1. Heath, R. (2005). Encyclopedia of Public Relations. (Vol 1-2). California:Sage Publications,Inc.                                                                                        This source offers a comprehensive look at public relations at public relations. Some of the topics include: the practice of public relations in Canada, the issue of professionalism, and formal public relations education and recommendations for the 21st Century.

  2. Grant MacEwan College. (2006). Public Relations Career Diploma. Retrieved Retrieved October 7, 2006, from                  This site is important for those seeking or wanting to keep up-to-date with formal education in public relations and communication. Specifically, this site describes Grant MacEwan College’s (Edmonton, Alberta) “Public Relations Career Diploma” with respect to program course description, program length, admission requirements, career opportunities, and the faculty. 

  3. Killingsworth, C. (March 25, 2006). The State of Public Relations in Canada. Retrieved October 6, 2006, from Canadian%20Public%20Relations%20AND%20Professionalism% 2022                                                                                                                           This is an article written by Colleen Killingsworth, National President of the Canadian Public Relations Society. Killingsworth discusses how the practice of public relations has evolved, the importance of ethically practiced public relations as it relates to maintaining trust in institutions, new trends that affect the public relations profession, and how public relations facilitates democracy.    


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Nanotechnologies Pandemic Planning and PR.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. prclass  |  October 22, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    Hi Linda

    Thanks for being the second person in the class to jump in with your assigned trend/technology topic.

    You suggested a need for national standards. I am not currently aware of any provincial or national educational networks for communication educators. I recall that a year ago June at the CPRS conference in Halifax (according to the program) there was a meeting planned for communication educators. I’d love to know what transpired at the meeting and if further developments have occured in creating national linkages. From time to time I have participated in surveys on PR education done by students in other programs.

    switching topics…
    I am really going to enjoy the surprise of seeing topics appear randomly like the juxtaposition of your PR in Education topic beside Darlene’s nanotechnology topic.

    At one point, I was going to assign blogging dates for people in the class by the category of their topic. My thought was that the posts would all come out according to themes. At these beginning stages of the prclass blog I’m thinking that the organic approach might lead us somewhere I hadn’t been expecting and that the organic approach mirrors aspects of the blogoshere.

    Darlene mentioned in one of her comments that she is in the process of discovery and that she was in doing homework on a Friday evening. This is exactly one of the communication shifts that we are collectively experiencing: we can choose to learn anytime, anywhere, and from many others. It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m choosing to participate.


  • 2. prclass  |  October 27, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    Hey Linda,

    As I had the same topic (with a different focus) as you I found it really interesting to compare our results! I liked that you noted it will become more important to standardize PR education nationally, as the industry itself is growing and seeking recognition.

    You did an excellent job!

    Jessica B.


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