APR - Accredited in Public Relations
 
Al Czarnecki APR FCPRS LM  sketch
Al Czarnecki  APR FCPRS
 
Establishing good relationships with important publics is an investment. Managing this is the job of public relations.


Al Czarnecki Communications - Public Relations, Social Marketing, Fundraising Support - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

| (416) 261-9828 | www.topstory.ca


Public relations career tips

Before you send me your resume, I work as an independent consultant and am not hiring.

Here, however, is some information that may help you pursue a career in public relations.

Professional associations

Distance education

If you're looking for formal education, the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island has a Certificate Program in Public Relations that's available on-line through distance learning. [ TOP ]

College and university programs

To find programs you can try a Google search on "public relations program" AND college OR university AND your city. Google offers search tips that can be helpful.

Self-directed learning

Many people work their way into public relations from another career. If you'd like to do this, it's essential to get a grounding in principles and practices. To accomplish this, you'll have to take a course or do some serious reading. Phone your local college and buy their introductory text to public relations, talk with your local librarian, or see the recommended books page on this site.

For easy reference, here are three good basic textbooks on public relations:

Books on public relations are shelved under call number 659.2 at your local library. If these are not there, ask the librarian if they might be available through interlibrary loan. [ TOP ]

If you're in Toronto, you might want to visit the Toronto Reference Library (one block north of Bloor and Yonge) and ask about the CPRS Collection , a large selection of public relations books (more than 30) and journals (more than 20). I led the project team to establish this collection when I was on the CPRS Toronto Board of Directors.

In addition to the usual public relations resources, there's a wealth of useful information in communication studies . You can research this on the Web, but don't forget the librarian's desk at your local reference library.

Portfolio and references

If you're looking for experience and an opportunity to demonstrate your skills, I recommend volunteering with a non-profit organization. Contact your local volunteer centre, find a cause you can be passionate about, and negotiate an agreement that meets the following five criteria:

  1. Time-limited project (e.g. four months)
  2. Challenges your specific strengths (e.g. writing or organizing)
  3. You commit to a number of hours per month (e.g. 15-20 - limited but meaningful)
  4. Your commitment finishes with the project (you need a variety of challenges and networks)
  5. At the outset, a manager agrees to write an honest evaluation/reference letter at the end of the project (you'll have donated dozens of hours of your time, and this is fair play)

You're building a portfolio, so repeat this process with three or four organizations. You'll likely find that your responsiblity grows with your experience. Any one of these organizations may lead you to a potential employer. You'll multiply your experience, references and contacts with each one you choose.

Career-related research

Finally, the Resource Centre at Workopolis.com has a very useful research page that can help you learn about a company or an industry. In addition to the powerful research links, there's a menu (on the left) of career tutorials, and each tutorial has (on the right) its own drill-down menu.

Job leads

If you live in Canada, eluta.ca allows you to search for new jobs within a specified radius of a postal code. You can limit your search to top employers and request e-mail notification as new jobs are posted. Eluta gets its information from jobs posted on employer websites. Employers do not pay to advertise.

Another good resource is jooble.ca . Jooble finds jobs across multiple job search engines, consolidates results, removes duplicates, and gives you the option of e-mail notification. You can refine your search by date posted, salary range, query, keywords, province or city.

Finally, simplyhired.ca covers a comprehensive range of job listings, includes an advanced search with unique filtering options, and offers an e-mail alert for new positions that fit your criteria.

Good luck with your career.

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