Online Class: Public Relations 101

This course will help you create a solid and well thought out public relations plan can bring awareness to the products and services of your company.

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  • 12
  • 16
    Exams &
  • 894
    have taken this course
  • 3
    average time
  • 0.3

Course Description

Public relations can contribute immensely to the success of a business large or small. In short, it is a message, an image, a story or a brand, that is vital to communicate and can grow a business. 

A solid and well thought out public relations plan can bring awareness to a company's products and services. But can also provide a wealth of exposure that is necessary to keep a business alive. Not only can public relations be your number one fan, it can provide low cost or no cost advertising that is easy on a budget.

The role that public relations will play for your particular business, or organization will depend on your goals and what you intend to accomplish. In a marketing plan there are four major components a. public relations b. marketing, c. advertising and d. selling. These are four distinct areas that are interrelated but play unique roles. While we will briefly touch on the relationships of each and how they affect one another, this course will primarily focus on the Public Relations actions your business can take that can contribute to business success.

Topics will include: Tools for Public Relations, Your Message, Your Story and What You are Trying to Accomplish Using the Internet, Putting Together a PR Plan, Sample Press Releases, and the Importance of a Media List and Media Relationships, Reaching Your Audience, Events that Draw Press, and Media Attention, Avoiding Bad Customer Service Can Mean Avoiding Bad Press, The Role That Marketing Plays in Your Business

Course Motivation

Every business no matter what industry, no matter how big or small needs a certain degree of good public relations. Public relations is not just an image, it is also a solid, cohesive plan that brings together, good business, and good business relationships. It means connecting with people, the people that will use your products and services. Public relations and marketing are so often confused or used interchangeably because they intertwine so often. Most large-scale businesses budget thousands of public relations (PR) dollars in their marketing plan, some hire outside public relations agencies. However, in most cases small and medium businesses and organizations can handle their own public relations needs and benefit their business. Public relations is presenting an image to the public, and making that image work for you in terms of sales, and growing your business. Public relations = free advertising.

Paying for advertising is always an option, and a viable one in most cases. But when public relations is virtually free, it is the ideal option for smaller to medium sized businesses and organizations such as non-profits, and schools, etc. Virtually free refers to getting the media to pick up your stories, event notices and other company information as well as business networking opportunities. If you own a financial or brokerage firm, and you want to advertise your newest rate and top-notch customer service, you would ideally put together a basic press release that has a catchy headline and send it over to local media contacts that include newspaper, radio and local public television stations. After about two weeks you see a blurb in the newspapers about your new rates and customer service savvy, you have more foot traffic than ever and people are calling in who heard about your company on the radio. This is the power of public relations. The message is clear and concise. It is like the grapevine of true information that is there to benefit consumers. Think about the all of the advertisements, and marketing promotions from local retailers that were based around Americans receiving their stimulus checks recently. Every retailer jumped on the bandwagon of telling consumers they could spend their stimulus check with them. The message was clear; the goal was to get Americans to go shopping again.

One clear example of how public relations comes into play is through promotions. We have all been exposed to some type of sweepstakes at some point in time, or a contest. "Write an essay and win a free trip to Hollywood," or Enter for a Chance to Win $1,000,000!" This is not just advertising and marketing at work, but public relations had a big role in these campaigns by getting the word out about the contests and sweepstakes in the first place. Upon entering the contest or sweepstakes you find out more information about the company behind the promotion, and those companies or organizations are hoping that consumers will learn more about them and possibly use their services.

Relationships with local media, which we will also focus on in this course, is truly a key to the placement of public relations for your organization. If you are having an event that is open to the public and you want the local paper to run a story, sending in a press release is fantastic provided you know who to send it to, and how they prefer to be approached. Each media source will be different and will not accept submissions in the same way. This is because some reporters can afford to be choosy, and some will be looking to fill their pages with event information just like yours.

Non-profits and profits alike are always vying for customers, and/or donors. Publicity can really be more powerful than advertising because it is a true reflection of what your organization has to offer, why it matters to the general public and how you will benefit the customer or public.

In any business, good public relations and publicity will mean awareness of your brand, familiarity with your company, and low cost or no cost advertising.
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.4 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(557 votes)

Lesson 1: Public Relations and What it Means to a Business

Public relations is presenting an image to the public, and making that image work for you in terms of sales and growing your business. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Which Do You Prefer?; Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: Tools for Public Relations

Whether public relations needs are handled internally or externally all business owners and organizations should be familiar with the tools available for public relations. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Is Public Relations Necessary?

The various forms of public relations are always necessary to a degree, from business networking to working with local media and chamber of commerce events. Your business or organization will get noticed through these relationships. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Your Message, Your Story, and What You are Trying to Accomplish Using the Internet

In this age of internet savvy consumers, blogging the message makes complete sense to use these avenues to further your public relations and marketing reach. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Blogging Anyone?
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Putting Together a PR Plan

Most public relations plans are formatted the same and have the same goal--being published. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Sample Press Releases, and the Importance of a Media List and Media Relationships

A press release is all about the publicity that you can do for your business. The more publicity you do for your goods and services the more your business gets recognized everywhere. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Reaching Your Audience

Every business and organization has an audience, or a group of consumers and friends, and their family are potential repeat customers and new prospects. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Events that Draw Press and Media Attention

Making sure that the PR events are properly planned will help to ensure the event has an inspiring and successful outcome. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Avoiding Bad Customer Service Can Mean Avoiding Bad Press

Customer retention has a great deal to do with customer service. Customer service is really a huge facet of public relations. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Personal Power Plays
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: The Role that Marketing Plays in Your Business

A marketing plan prepares your business to be proactive in what the market does. Without one, you end up reacting to changes and to competition, which means you are always a step behind those who are already prepared. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Putting it all Together

While public relations is the key to maintaining a company's image and reputation, the bulk of work in this industry is dedicated to facilitating success. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12: All Lessons Key Terms Review

All Lessons Key Terms Review 63 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Final Course Poll - Your Opinion; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define public relations and what it means to business.
  • Describe the tools for public relations.
  • Summarize your message, your story and what you are trying to accomplish using the Internet.
  • Put together a PR plan.
  • Put together a press release.
  • Describe ways to reach your audience.
  • Define events that draw press and media attention.
  • Describe methods for avoiding bad customer service that can lead to bad press.
  • Summarize the role that marketing plays in your business.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Public Relations 101
Course Number: 8900103
Lessons Rating: 4.4 / 5 Stars (557 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: December 2022
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.3 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: John Chouinard
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $95.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "This was a great course, and I now have a better understanding of what makes any business successful." -- Eileen B.
  • "Great course. I enjoyed it." -- Jessica N.
  • "Very nice class and excellent professor." -- Michelle B.
  • "Evry aspect of the course was helpful" -- Christopher N.
  • "I think that the whole course was vital and extremely helpful. I found it to be well written as well as informative." -- Arthur B.
  • "Everything was great. I really appreciated the fact that each course offered a video to watch." -- Holland E.

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