Handling the reputation and public perception of companies and organizations is the job of a public relations (PR) expert. Their range of importance spans public events, through the coordination of press releases. PR professionals need to have a diverse skill set. They should be adept at social media plus understand how public perception fluctuates.

Responsibilities include budgetary considerations and reputation damage control. PR professionals benefit from up-to-date knowledge. For that reason, the industry requires certification. Here are 7 excellent PR certificate programs online you should check out. The list begins with single certification options, then goes on to full degree programs.

1. Penn Foster Career School – Public Relations Certificate

The first program is the most basic choice for you. The Penn Foster Career School offers various types of industry certifications including public relations. This course is perfect PR certificate programs online for public relations specialists. It is also useful for jobs in the communications field to expand knowledge of public relation principles.

  • You should have a basic writing background, because this course works to enhance your writing strategy as a PR representative.
  • This course takes three months, at which time you’ll be ready for any state PR certification exam. This is also an inexpensive starting point to see if public relations is what you are looking for.

2. My PRSA Learning – Online Principles of Public Relations Course

This structure learning environment is an excellent place to prepare for any PR certification exam. The format encompasses a wide array of public relations topics. It is also extremely affordable, costing only $50 for Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) members. Membership is free.

  • Each new concept is presented in progression, followed by quick quizzes to check your learning progress during this appealing alternative for PR certificate programs online.
  • This particular PR certificate program online alternative is restricted to recent public relations graduates or students who are pursuing degrees associated with public relations.

3. University of Denver – Public Relations Certificate

While this is one of the specific PR certificate programs online, you need to meet certain course requirements to be eligible. The University of Denver Public Relations Certificate program is offered both on campus and online. Full tuition for the complete program is $15,840, with financial assistance available if you qualify.

  • You will learn how to manage and analyze public relations programs, especially techniques for successful media exposure.
  • The certificate requires completion of 24-credit hours which fit into 6 courses. 16-hours are from 4 specific public relations and communication courses, and then there are 8-hours from electives.
  • Credits earned as part of this PR certificate programs online can be applied to the pursuit of a master’s degree in PR communications.

4. Ashford University – B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing

The program at Ashford University uses a public relations foundation based on marketing concepts. This program will essentially give you useful tools in both PR management and marketing strategy.

  • Each course towards your degree is 5-weeks in length, and you can take one course at a time. You are permitted 90-hours of transfer course credit towards a degree.
  • You will perfect your skills of message writing, ad campaigns, and tactical solutions to public image problems. While this is a degree pursuit, it is a viable alternative to PR certification programs online for all public relations professionals.

5. CDI College – Social Media Marketing

social media marketing concept with wooden spoons each with one social media logo

Since the world of social media is a critical part of image and reputation, being certified in social media marketing has profound benefits. CDI College in Canada has one of the PR certificate programs online that focus on social media skills.

  • You will explore and build your own digital marketing strategy for both a large and a small business or organization.
  • Tuition and fees at the 5 campus sites in Canada are consistent. However, before you register for any CDI College program, you will have a chance to speak with a financial adviser personally.

6. University of Virginia – Public Relations Certificate Online

This program from the University of Virginia is a noncredit certification program that is offered exclusively online. However, there is excellent support from faculty and an appointed student staff of public relations graduates.

  • Taking the average two courses per term, you can complete the full program in one calendar year. You do have the option to take the courses in two blocks, reducing completion time to six months.
  • The estimated tuition cost for the full 8 course program is $3,840.

7. Northeastern University – Public and Media Relations Online

This course was created as one of the best PR certificate programs online to address the growing need for PR focused communications experts. You will learn how to employ excellent digital media skills to strategically alter image perception.

  • The course emphasizes social media skills, including audio and video presentations and the management of website tools. This is an 18-credit course costing $646 per credit hour.
  • Understanding how to implement good public relations is one component. However, this course will also help you appreciate how to analyze public relations performance.

The Bottom Line

A public relations certification can take a number of paths. You can complete a degree program or study via an alternative route towards PR certification. These are 7 excellent PR certificate programs online you should check out.

You can explore the less expensive options to see how much you enjoy public relations. Each of the full programs will provide you with a free tuition consultation before you register. Consider any of these 7 PR certificate programs online as a great place to propel your career in public relations.

Image source: 1, 2