Public Relations, Communications and Organisational Reputation Management

Public Relations, Sales and Marketing

Course Overview

In a world where organisations are under increasing public scrutiny, protecting a company's corporate reputation and sending out the right messages are vital for survival. Take a first step to a career in corporate communications, public relations consultancy or in managing corporate brands.

From corporate social responsibility to crisis management, communication is becoming an increasingly major part of business strategy and a growing area of employment.  Using the latest research and details of current best practice, you learn how to manage relationships with key stakeholders, including employees, and promote a positive corporate reputation.

Course Objectives

  • Identify best practices in reputation management
  • Understand the transnational nature of reputation and its management
  • Prepare strategies to plan, research and evaluate reputation in a corporate entity
  • Explain the importance and objectives of reputation management.
  • Discuss sources of reputational risk.
  • Discuss the role of the HRM department in reputation management.
  • Develop a strategy for introducing a reputation programme.
  • Discuss the role and use of electronic media in reputation management.
  • Recommend guidelines for management to act appropriately during a crisis.
  • Propose a plan for dealing with an office emergency.
  • Recommend a communication strategy to be used during a crisis.
  • Discuss the impact of ethics on organisational reputation.
  • Discuss the management of ethics in the workplace.

Course Outline

Introduction to PR

  • Outline of the course: key areas to be covered and their interrelationship
  • Overview of the changes in the PR industry and the roles within it
  • The relationship between PR and reputation management
  • The importance of taking a holistic view of organisations
  • Overview of terminology and interrelationship between corporate communications, corporate identity/image, brand communications and corporate reputation
  • The importance of risk, issue analysis and proactive management
  • The emerging trends that are shaping online communications
  • The shift towards value communication and corporate responsibility
  • The unifying brand concept and importance of brand equity


Reputation Management

  • Introducing the importance of Reputation management
  • Fundamentals of reputation management
  • Importance of a "good reputation"
  • Link with shareholder return
  • Why reputation management is complex and requires strong teams and effective leadership
  • Overview of a reputation management framework
  • Effective methods of expressing corporate values and messages
  • Online reputation management, visibility and SEO
  • Monitoring and handling negative online comments
  • Reputation audits and evaluation

Structure and Techniques, Stakeholder Engagement and Message Development

  • The basics of strategic thinking: strategic analysis, choice and implementation and evaluation
  • Basic communication plans
  • Is strategic planning still relevant?
  • Strategic intent: role of vision and mission statements
  • Internal and external analysis
  • Tactics and actions: examples of effective communication techniques
  • Evaluation of strategic plans
  • Business intelligence and PR research
  • Tools used in online reputation management
  • Strategic development in reputation management (looking at issues and risk)
  • Stakeholders and target audiences
  • Stakeholder management and analysis: identification, mapping, and analysis
  • Engaging with stakeholders
  • Developing credible messages
  • Message framing and delivery
  • Reframing messages and keeping news away from outlets
  • Online reputation management strategies: listening and engaging
  • Handling activists
  • NGOs and engagement

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • CSR, business, society and reputation
  • Overview of key terminology and concepts
  • Arguments for and against
  • Key concepts and terminology: CSR; sustainability; corporate social responsiveness; corporate citizenship
  • The importance of green marketing
  • CSR: market place, environment and society
  • Role of NGOs and micro-constituents: bloggers and opinion formers
  • Stakeholder management and corporate sustainability
  • Business support for CSR
  • Metrics and non-financial reporting

Corporate Identity, Positioning and Image

  • The components of corporate identity (tangibles and intangibles)
  • The link between identity, positioning and image
  • Brand image development and reputation to form corporate identity
  • Logos, slogans and names in brand identity
  • The critical importance of positioning and perceptions
  • The importance of strong identity in brand success
  • Importance of colour and design thinking
  • Brand architecture: corporate; endorsed, product – line
  • Brand image development and reputation management

Sponsorship and Event Management

  • Importance of sponsorship as a corporate communication tool
  • Sponsorship and objectives
  • Sponsorship - a powerful business tool
  • Building blocks of sponsorship: contractual aspects and objectives and proposals
  • Developing a sponsorship strategy in line with the overall corporate strategy
  • How to structure and protect a relationship
  • How to implement a sponsorship strategy – the success factors
  • Benefits and good practice in sponsorship
  • Impact of social media on sponsorship
  • Evaluation of sponsorship and events
  • Success factors in event management
  • Managing successful events – the do’s and do nots

Corporate Risk and Issue Analysis

  • The importance of risk analysis and management for corporate reputation
  • The key concepts involved in risk management
  • Risk assessment: hazard, control and opportunity risks
  • Risk control: planning, mitigation and monitoring
  • Risk architecture, strategy and protocols
  • Strategic issue management: scanning identification; monitoring; analysis; options; implementation and evaluation
  • Issues analysis and stakeholders
  • Strategic responses and engagement
  • Corporate governance and regulatory issues

Crisis Management

  • Different types of crises and their characteristics
  • Key stages of a crisis
  • Pre-crisis planning: link with risk and issue analysis
  • Acute phase: strategic response, stakeholders and message delivery
  • Role and impact of social media during a crisis
  • Resolution and recovery phase
  • Dealing with ill-structured situations and ambiguity during a crisis
  • Common mistakes when handling a crisis
  • Resilience and vulnerability determination

Brand Management

  • The fundamental importance of the brand concept
  • How to develop a brand from a product
  • What makes a brand successful?
  • Brand management and brand strategies
  • The importance and nature of brand equity
  • Brand experience and narratives
  • Brand e-strategies and social media platforms
  • Brand IP protection and online reputation management
  • Role of archetypes and narratives
  • Brand metrics


Media Relations and Brand Advocacy

  • Structure of the traditional and new/social media
  • What makes a good news or PR story?
  • What makes a good press release?
  • How to engage with media
  • Importance of media strategies for reputation control
  • Techniques of media: traditional vs. social media
  • Corporate communications and media: are firms becoming their own news agencies?
  • Social media as news: role of bloggers and other critical influencers
  • Why material gets rejected or simply ignored
  • Identifying audiences and key stakeholders
  • How journalists research their stories: role of blogs, wikis, Twitter etc Overview of the portfolio of technology platforms available and their interdependence: apps, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook etc
  • Importance of corporate architecture: corporate, endorsed, product or line brands
  • Difficult issues: advertising, attention, open source innovation; social media
  • The declining influence of traditional media
  • The problem of free!
  • Issues relating to channel proliferation and complexity
  • Evaluation of key models: Skype; Apple; Amazon; Dell; P&G; Google
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