Maryland Graduate Certificates in Advertising and Public Relations
Todays’ Advertising and Public Relations Graduate Certificate programs could ready students with the analytical and creative tools needed to navigate the digital marketing landscape.
At the same time, participants might learn how to strategize or take the managerial reigns of projects and campaigns.
What Are Advertising and Public Relations Certificate Programs?
Advertising and Public Relations Graduate Certificate programs are comprised of a short sequence of courses – sometimes called diploma courses – that target a singular theme.
Certificates in advertising and public relations are not degrees, but rather, represent graduate-level credentials which could serve various purposes.
- On its own, a certificate might be useful as a stand-alone option for those who do not wish to pursue a full Masters degree
- As a platform for continued education, some schools allow certificate graduates to transfer earned credits to a related Masters degree program
- A certificate could enable current professionals to refine expertise in a field they are already familiar with
Credits That May Serve Multiple Purposes
Because of their compact nature, Advertising & Public Relations Graduate Certificate programs may appeal to a variety of students. For instance, they might be a perfect way for individuals to transition into a new phase of their career, refresh a resume, or update their abilities to coincide with current industry practices.
Also, and this does depend on individual university policy, students who achieve an Advertising and Public Relations Certificate may be able to transfer earned credits to a related Masters degree. Whether soon after, or sometime in the future, keeping the door open to continued education in tandem with a credential that may be useful in the present, could be a dynamic way to prepare for potential opportunity.
To apply into most Advertising and Public Relations Graduate Certificate programs, applicants need a Bachelors degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Many universities require candidates to fill out a Graduate Application for Admission and include other documentation when they submit the completed form. Here are a few examples.
- A resume and official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
- Two letters of recommendation from employers or faculty
- Personal statement of interest in and qualifications for the graduate program
Individual programs may also require applicants to have completed specific courses, so make sure to review your university’s policy ahead of time. Stay prepared and watch for admission deadline dates.
Public Relations vs Advertising Certificate Programs
Since Public Relations (PR) and Advertising serve completely different roles for a business, students could reasonably expect many certificate programs to follow suit.
- Advertising strives to create paid messages that are promoted through different types of media such as online, print, TV, out-of-home and radio, and let’s not forget – social media. Coursework could thus include marketing activities aimed at revenue generation and may be specifically focused on modern digital practices
- PR, on the other hand, tackles the strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial links between businesses, organizations, and the public (consumer). Coursework could thus include ways to sell a company or brand through effective PR strategy
DID YOU KNOW?
4% of Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists report they have a post-baccalaureate certificate.i
Certificate curricula frequently align with the concentrations for specific Masters programs. As such, they may require from 9 to 18 credits or so. In other words, one might only need to take from 3 to 6 courses to earn either a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations or a Graduate Certificate in Advertising.
Since credits vary, so might length, but on average, a full-time student could complete a certificate in two semesters or one year.
Public Relations and Advertising Diploma Courses
A Graduate Certificate in Public Relations and Advertising may meld some topics from both disciplines. Students may be exposed to theories about strategic communication that are intended to influence audience behavior in a variety of contexts.
Programs of this nature may allow students to choose some of their own courses to yield a custom-curricula tailored to professional goals and personal interests. For instance, all students may be required to take a course in Strategic Public Relations and either Public Communication Campaigns or Public Relations Writing.
To broaden out the course plan, students may select an elective(s) from their university’s menu of topics. Some examples follow.
- Persuasion and Advocacy
- International Public Relations
- Public Relations Writing
- Media Literacy
- Media Production
- Digital Media Design
Advertising Certificate Programs
A Graduate Certificate in Advertising could familiarize students with modern practices for social media, mobile marketing, analytics and more. Participants may gain a solid foundation in digital marketing while also covering the fundamental marketing concepts.
Curricula in advertising certificate programs may draw on case study analysis to provide some practical real-world experiences. Students may be exposed to core concepts and tools of digital marketing management as well as to methods used to evaluate digital marketing strategies. No two programs are the same, so we suggest searchers read program descriptions and refer to the sample courses below as examples used to pique interest.
- Marketing Management
- Digital Marketing
- Marketing Analytics
- Applied Topics in Marketing
Marketing Management coursework could explore how firms analyze market opportunities and select target markets for their marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion). It may also help students understand how to plan, manage, organize and control the marketing resources throughout an enterprise. How to deal with the competition and extend their marketing campaigns into the international sphere.
Digital Marketing coursework might take a deeper look at the rapidly evolving forces of digital marketing. It may highlight consumer behavior and opportunities as well as explore the problems, tactics and strategies linked with the integration of digital methods into the marketing function. Students may also learn about Internet and mobile marketing tools such as search engine marketing, social media, and viral marketing
Marketing Analytics coursework could explore the ways companies assess marketing performance. It may be somewhat of a survey course which could cover a variety of return on investment metrics for marketing investments. The course may also introduce formulas and ratios used to measure customer profitability, product portfolio mix and the effectiveness of advertising and web spending. Students might thus come to understand the links between finance and marketing.
Applied Topics in Digital Marketing coursework may cover one digital marketing topic from an applied perspective in-depth. Whatever topic is examined, it may be discussed from a company’s point of view with diverse examples drawn from industry. Students may get to see and understand what practitioners do with a specific issue on a day-to-day basis.
Tips of the Trade
A Digital Marketing Certificate might ‘get ones toes wet’ and could prepare students for a degree such as a Master of Science in Digital Marketing. If this is a goal, speak to an adviser from a prospective school or request info using the on-page form.
Public Relations Certificate Programs
A Graduate Certificate in Public Relations could ready students to look outside of the box and discover practices of the new digital media world. Participants may study things like online communication, viral marketing, and wireless technology which have changed how information is shared and certainly go beyond traditional practices.
Curricula in a Public Relations Certificate might also enable students to develop a potentially usable portfolio in tandem with mastery of professional PR skills. This may be a perfect way for some individuals to update credentials as they study to understand new ways of strategic planning for communicators. See below for some examples of the types of courses students who enroll in public relations certificate programs may be exposed to.
- Advanced Public Relations Writing
- Audience and Market Analysis
- Brand Building
- Crisis and Reputation Management
- Integrated Marketing Communication
- Public Relations Strategy
Advanced Public Relations Writing coursework could help students learn to write persuasively and hone the skills needed to communicate especially for an on-screen audience. Participants might also study how to address some common challenges such as writer’s block, presenting clear messages quickly, editing documents for readability, and using a positive tone.
Audience and Market Analysis coursework could help students identify target audience(s) by demographic or other means as well as use communication strategies and tactics to reach consumers. Other topics might furnish insight into to how to actually define a target audience and how to expose hot buttons for copy content and style, SEO/SEM keywords, hook development, and more.
Brand Building coursework could help students grasp the finer points of how to build brand equity, run successful brand management campaigns and measure brand equity.
Crisis and Reputation Management coursework might help participants gain insight into the practice of crisis communications. Students may be exposed to the realities and demands associated with managing organizational communications across a range of crisis situations. Students may review case studies as well as modern and common practices in the field and may be tasked to execute strategies to measure their ability.
Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is all about how enterprises plan and present unified and consistent messages to their target audiences. IMC takes into account advertising, public relations, direct marketing, promotions, and digital media. It uses both traditional and non-traditional channels to communicate to various publics. As a holistic approach to marketing, IMC factors in how consumers think, decide and act which professionals parlay into a strategic plan.
Public Relations Strategy coursework might discuss key aspects of the public relations profession, its publics, and effective processes. Areas studied might include the nature and history of public relations, the importance of ethics and transparency in PR practice and the range of PR tactics used today. Students may learn how to use strategy, develop relationships with clients, and understand the key role of digital communications and social media to PR.
A Public Relations Certificate might provide transfer credit towards a degree such as a Masters in Strategic Public Relations. If this is a goal, make sure to check the policy of the schools on your list.
Who Are Graduate Certificates in Advertising & PR Suitable For?
Advertising and Public Relations Graduate Certificate programs may appeal to returning students and current professionals alike. See if any of these statements resonate.
- I am a PR professional who needs to improve upon my social media outreach methods.
- I want to expand my PR horizons with practices that might further my career.
- I have just been tasked with new PR and marketing duties but don’t know where to begin.
- I want to take courses at the graduate level but don’t have time for a full degree right now.
- I’m transitioning back into the workforce and want to study the latest trends and techniques.
Could I work towards an advertising or public relations certificate online?
Many universities offer Graduate Certificates in Advertising and Public Relations online and on-campus.
Here are a few things to consider about each format.
On campus programs are often planned-out for the at-work adult and may involve classes scheduled on weekends and/or evenings. Real-time classes could engage learners in team exercises and face-to-face discussions as well as the chance to meet other students, alumni and faculty. Searchers could look for schools with public relations certificate programs or advertising certificate programs in a preferred location.
Online programs may provide pre-taped versions of lectures or modules specifically designed for the distance learner who needs a flexible rather than fixed schedule. The virtual classroom is usually one that students could access anytime and from anywhere they have Internet. Students may join others from around the globe and might extend their reach to apply to schools they could not otherwise commute to.
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University of Maryland University College
University of Maryland University College's Graduate Public Relations Certificate provides students with solid grounding in...