CPRS Vancouver Island
CPRS Vancouver Island

Study Guide

I. Background and Basic Premise of Public Relations
  1. Definitions
  2. Objectives or purposes
  3. Benefits
  4. History including events, dates, people, trends, developments
  5. Socio-economic and political factors influencing practice of public relations

II. Publics and Public Opinion

A. The Concept of Publics
  1. Definition
  2. The public at large
  3. Special publics
  4. Fact-finding sources and references

B. Public Opinions, Attitudes and Propaganda
  1. Definitions
  2. Expression of opinions and attitudes
  3. Nature of propaganda
  4. How opinions and attitudes are formed
  5. The role of culture, acquired knowledge, biological and social factors
  6. The role of opinion leaders and non-personal forces and institutions
  7. Dynamics of group action

C. Research: Measurement and Interpretation
  1. Informal methods of fact finding; information sources
  2. Conditions requiring more formal methods of opinion research; use of research in predicting reaction of publics and in solving problems
  3. Research methods
  4. Research as a means of program evaluation

V. Public Relations Practice

A. The Function of the Public Relations Professional
  1. As employer
  2. As outside counsel
B. The relationship of the Public Relations Professional to Management
  1. As interpreter of the external environmental trends and issues. Prepared by National Council on Accreditation June 2004. The Canadian Public Relations Society, Inc.
  2. As evaluator and interpreter of public attitude and opinion
  3. As adviser on the public relations significance of contemplated actions
  4. As communications expert
C. The Public Relations Program
  1. Defining the basic objectives of the enterprise
  2. Basing a public relations program on an institution's objectives
  3. Defining the publics
  4. Using research in developing the program and in problem solving
  5. Counseling management regarding an institution's performance and policies
  6. Adopting program strategies and tactics; managing the public relations program "by objectives"
  7. Supporting marketing and sales
  8. Determining communications priorities and aims
  9. Staffing
  10. Determining costs and budgeting
  11. Measuring results
  12. Preparing emergency and disaster plans

D. Areas of Public Relations Practice
  1. Classified by field of interest of principals or clients, for example, business and industry, financial, international, nonprofit, government
  2. Classified by special publics of principals or clients, for example, stockholders, employees, customers

IV. Communications
  1. Communications process: theory and models
  2. Barriers to effective communications
  3. Method of communication: visual, auditory, audiovisual
  4. Understanding symbols: verbal, non-verbal expression, graphics
  5. Semantics and readability
  6. Importance of feedback in effective communication
  7. Channels of communication that can be controlled by the communicaton
  8. Mass media
  9. Emerging technologies
  10. Advertising as a public relations tool
  11. Pre-testing and post-testing of message

V. Ethics, Laws And Regulations Affecting Public Relations
  1. Reasons for professional ethics
  2. The CPRS Code of Professional Standards
  3. "Declaration of Principles"
  4.  Mission Statement Prepared by National Council on Accreditation June 2004 The Canadian Public Relations Society, Inc.
  5.  Enforcement of the Code
  6.  Roles of the Board of Directors and Ethics and Judicial Committee
  7.  Nature of the judicial hearing
  8.  Penalties for violation
  9.  Laws and Regulations Affecting Public Relations Practice
VI. Professional Public Relations

1. Purpose and value of professional organizations
2. The Canadian Public Relations Society
1. Qualifications for membership; organizational structure, membership services;
2. publications
3. A career track for the public relations professional; continuing education and professional development

VII. Public Relations Firms

1. The public relations counsel
2. Relationship to counsel to client
3. Relations of counsel with internal public relations staff
4. Procedures in serving clients
5. The professional attitude
6. Economics of public relations practice such as determination of costs, method of compensation, billing procedures, need for working capital
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