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New course for PR professionals

Published: 5th February 2009

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LOCAL Government faces huge challenges in communicating its good work to the public - and explaining its problems.

When they get it wrong the cost to reputation can be massive and heads roll!

To upgrade skills in local government, Manchester Metropolitan University is launching the UK’s first course for local authority public relations officers (PROs).

Second Steps, a postgraduate qualification for local government PROs is being launched this week by MMU and the Chartered Institute for Public Relations’ Local Public Services Group.

Summer start

The first course will run from 10 - 12 June at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The programme is being launched in response to research by the CIPR Local Public Services Group amongst PR professionals that showed that an accredited, post-graduate qualification to help PROs move into more senior roles was long overdue.

Second Steps is aimed at those who have been in PR for two years or more - or for outstanding practitioners with less experience, who have the backing of their managers. It builds on the highly successful First Steps course aimed at those who are new to local government communications.

The qualification will be delivered by award-winning local government PR practitioners alongside MMU academics. Successful graduates will receive a master's level qualification.

The programme will include:

* Strategic public relations
* Reputation management
* Issues and crisis management
* Ethics, professionalism and regulation
* Public relations as a management function
* Working within a political environment

Wendy Moran, a lecturer in communication at MMU, who sits on the National Committee for the CIPR Local Public Services Group, has led on development of the course.

She said: "This unique partnership will enable local government PR practitioners to fully integrate theory and practice, so that they can return to their organisations ready to make a difference."

To book or for more information tel: 0161 247 2043, email cie.didsbury@mmu.ac.uk or visit: www.mmu.ac.uk/secondsteps.