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Public Relations/Corporate Communications programs

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by Booty Bits, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Booty Bits

    Booty Bits TRIBE Member

    i have a friend who recently got accepted to the following 2 programs:

    Post grad in Public Relations @ Humber College
    Post grad in Corporate communications @ Seneca

    does anyone have any experience with either of these 2 programs? i want her to hear from people who have actually taken the programs so she will know which one is a better choice for her.
    so, any comments about the teachers, courses, school culture, etc. would be much appreciated.

  2. oh toro

    oh toro TRIBE Member

    what can you possibly learn in those programs? advanced rolodex 201, voicemail 202, advanced email replying 301?

    seriously, looking at those fields of study a person would learn a lot more just doing it than studying it... i suggest getting a job rather than "learning" from has-never-beens.
  3. ravinjunkie

    ravinjunkie TRIBE Member

    you can make some very key contacts through school.
  4. Access

    Access TRIBE Member

    I have a couple friends that studied in these programs. One at Seneca and the other at Humber. From what I understand, the Humber program is better for people who want to work for PR agencies, whereas the Seneca program is better for people who want to do corporate communications for a company.

    If your friend wants to hear more first hand experiences s/he should get in touch with each program coordinator and ask for contact info to recent grads of the program.
  5. ravinjunkie

    ravinjunkie TRIBE Member

    there's also a site -

    I think it's called ratemyprofessor.ca you can check out what your peers think of your teachers. I wouldn't really rely on it, but it gives you a slight idea what your potiental professor could be like.
  6. PolishPrincess

    PolishPrincess TRIBE Member

    Humber 100%

    Great reputation, teachers are fantastic.

    I go to Humber for PR and i love it, i'm in my final year (3rd). I've heard great things about the post grad program too.

    I will write more when i have some time (heading out the door soon).

    If she has specific q's feel free to PM me.
  7. PolishPrincess

    PolishPrincess TRIBE Member

    one of my teachers was the VP of one of the largest PR agencies in the US. She was VP for 12 years.........if that's your opinion of a "has-never-been" then fine...

    My teachers have real experience, and contacts. We have had some amazing guest speakers come in.....all who offer business cards. We are encouraged to contact them with any questions etc.

    Plus Humber does an internship....(i start mine this year- 2nd semester)
  8. Skipper

    Skipper TRIBE Member

    Maybe you should know a teeny bit about the industry before you make such retarded comments eh?

    a. the industry is increasingly requiring formal PR education for young people new to the industry and even for experienced PR practitioners. I work for a fortune 50 company and our Canadian PR manager with 15+ yrs/experience was required to complete formal PR education as a condition of her hire.

    b. PR encompasses and touches many other fields of an organization and the fundamental skills required by a PR practitioner can be and are learned in the classroom. Budgeting, research, media relations, marketing communications are all taught in these programs. Yes you can learn them in the field, but there are few opportunities to enter the field if you don't have the education.

    Booty Bits, I echo what Access said.
    Isn't Sassy studying in one of these programs right now? I think it's Seneca.
  9. Mr_Furious

    Mr_Furious TRIBE Member

    While that might work in Canada.....It's getting more and more difficult to do this as the years go by. Why? Because more and more kids are going to college and university.

    ...And if you're in the states? It becomes even harder to get a job like this without a university education....And even if you do manage, the person with the university education will get paid more.
  10. Mr_Furious

    Mr_Furious TRIBE Member

    That all depends on what kind of people you meet, and how they act towards you.

    I went to a school where "contacts" were important, and all the guys there were a bunch of socially inept losers that acted like vultures when it came time to get a job.

    The one KEY thing that works against you, is that when you graduate, you're all looking for jobs....So how would they help you in that department? Your other option is to go into business together. But then you have 2 or more inexperienced PR graudates that are going to open a business, who is going to hire them?

    I'd go with Corporate Communications. It's a job that trascends into so many companies....Far more than PR will. This is Toronto...There's not a lot of PR jobs here....Not like in New York City....So my vote goes to Corporate Communications.

    As for the previous post about PR being a useless program....I agree to some extent. You either have people skills, or you don't. Sometimes, they can't be learned, but they can often be honed. Things like witiness, saying the right thing at the right time, asking the right questions, and knowing the best time to strike can't be learned. In that case you're better off reading a book on Neuro Linguistic Programming, or studying human psychology.

    I'm in marketing, and I didn't have any previous experience whatsoever....I don't even have a university degree. I got my job by getting my foot in the door, and establishing an excellent rapport with my boss....Not only him, but everyone in my department. I went to every party, and every social gathering so I could chat them all up, and firmly plant my foot in my department. When it came time to fill a new position, I was the first guy he thought of. He said he liked my ideas, and that he felt I could give a fresh and new prespective to his team....And he even mentioned that everyone in the department liked me.

    They could have posted that job online and got at least 300 applicants all with related university educations.....But that doesn't mean squat if you already have your foot in the door, and established a good rapport with people in the office.

    I'm not saying university is a waste of time.....But whether you're in school or done, you're always selling yourself, and it's important to meet as many people as you possibly can....Because aside from making a good friend, that same friend could help you out in the future.....And if you're in school and you get offered a job in a company that you've always wanted to work in? Drop out of school and take the job. School will always be there, and you can always finish part time....But if you do something stupid like turn down the job to finish school, who knows if you'll ever be able to get it. You might graudate and find out that all the jobs you wanted were taken by guys like me....So whether you're in publicity, marketing, PR, or advertising.....You always have to be ready at a moments notice, cuz opportunity could strike at anytime. You could go out, and be totally wasted one night, and all of a sudden you meet the senior VP of marketing at McLaren McCaan....You better be ready to turn on the charm in an instant, cuz you might never get that opportunity again.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2006
  11. peko

    peko TRIBE Member

    Did you have to find your own placement?

    Humber is awesome.

    p.s. lots of PR jobs start out as intern spots - ask SunshyneJones, this is her turf.
  12. Mr_Furious

    Mr_Furious TRIBE Member

    Did your teacher have a formal education in PR as well? I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I know a lot of college intructors, don't actually have a formal post secondary education themselves.

    I wouldn't be surprised if PR wasn't even a college or university program back before the 90's.

    I agree that education is important....But when I was in school (for something unrelated), I got offered a job.....Even my registrar at school told me it was a great opportunity and that I should take it. Only two people told me it was a mistake. So I dropped out, and i've never looked back. I'm not rich or famous, but I have a great job in marketing, with an amazing team....And my boss has to much confidence in me that I get to make a lot of decisions that only manager's made 5 years ago.....And this job looks good on my resume....It was a shit school anyway......The point? Some opportunities only come once in a lifetime.
  13. kate

    kate TRIBE Member

    I have worked at a mid-sized PR agency for the last two years and a lot of the girls I work with did the post-grad PR program at humber, and one did the program at Seneca. As someone else said, Humber is a great program if you want to work in an agency environment.

    That said, what almost all of them have said to me is that if you are a fast learner, have some 'get up and go' and are personable, these programs can be a bit of a waste of time and money. All of the things that they teach are great, yes, and you get internships too, but a lot of the stuff is common sense. I got my job through contacts, and I guess if you don't have contacts an internship is a good 'in'.

    Skipper I find that insane that someone with 15 years experience was sent to do a PR program after the fact. That doesn't sound right at all. I know loads of people who work in corporate and that certainly isn't the case-none of the senior acct. or even VP's or presidents at my agency have done anything remotely related to PR education-wise. Even after 6 months on the job experience at an agency, I wouldn't have gone back to do this. Learning how to write press releases, pitch media, etc is something you can easily and quickly learn from others if you have the skill set to begin with. Never in any of my reviews (and I've advanced pretty quickly) has anyone ever suggested that I go back to do one of these programs.
  14. Skipper

    Skipper TRIBE Member

    My employer is fairly strict with education and it was said that if she wanted to advance, it would play a factor. they offered to pay for it, so it was really her own desire to advance and willingness to put the time in.

    corporate is a whole other ball game from agency.
  15. rejenerate

    rejenerate TRIBE Member

    I went for school for journalism and I work in publicity now...the majority of the people I work with in our communications department went to school for it, especially Humber.
  16. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    You will learn how to leverage your skill set, and maximize synergies within a dynamic work environment, while developing innovative customer solutions to move forward on global opportunities.
  17. Boo

    Boo TRIBE Member


    I want to touch base with you to take this discussion offline.

    Bah, PR and CC are the epitome of what people hate about the corporate machine. They are the souless face of the big corporation that basically lies to the public about the evil of the company for a living.

    I may be a bit dramatic, but I would think you would need a long shower after every day, and probably a priest to take your confession.
  18. Mr_Furious

    Mr_Furious TRIBE Member

    It's not lying....Lying is unethical....Like when big tobacco companies said that cigarettes aren't harmful or addictive.

    I think of it more as manipulating the truth, or creatively articulating your statements without having to lie, but not saying too much at the same time.
  19. R4V4G3D_SKU11S

    R4V4G3D_SKU11S TRIBE Member

    You know from the program names, I never would have guessed that!
  20. Mr_Furious

    Mr_Furious TRIBE Member

    I think of it more as an art.

    Over the last few years, i've been amazed at how much you can accomplish just by wording things in the right fashion.
  21. Skipper

    Skipper TRIBE Member

    A bit dramatic?
    There are lots of people in PR doing good things, both inside and outside of the corporate setting.
  22. Boo

    Boo TRIBE Member

    what are you doing PR for PR?

    Good things depends on your perspective. Many PR is needed because of the increasingly litigious atmosphere and so must use very careful language so as not to offend.

    The other half is spin, trying to put a positive light on negative aspects of the company, or hyping up any minor acheivment.

    Its the corporate quivilent of putting rims on your car, or a sweeter exhaust.
  23. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    Contact Laura (madnezz) she's in/going into the first program (which apparently is one of the best). As well, Laura (Loress' old room mate [maybe matt's New one?) just went through the first program as well and is now doing her placement (I think).
  24. kate

    kate TRIBE Member

    Or, as another example, you could be doing branded research in the company's field of interest, which then becomes a tool for consumers to use when making large and important decsions. You could be providing consumers with tools to make more educated decsions and providing media with valuable market knowledge and statistics.

    Your viewpoint of PR is very one-sided and focuses solely on 'spinning things' and crisis communications, which in the 2+ years I've been working in this field, I've done in limited amounts, b/c there hasn't been a strong need. I find my job rewarding and interesting every day-because I am helping to shape information which impacts a huge number of people.

    I might not be saving lives, but there are worse jobs out there.
  25. Muf

    Muf TRIBE Member

    I agree to some degree on the soullessness of the PR industry, but that's mainly true about big corporations in general. The need for PR isn't limited only to these big corporations. Not every organization out there is evil and trying to manipulate you as part of their world domination plan.

    There are lots of small businesses, charities, NGO's, etc that benefit from good public relations. They need public awareness and public support, and don't necessarily have the money or resources to go out and buy advertising.

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