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Three new online public relations (PR) courses created by the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and eCornell won Platinum MarCom Awards in digital media / web element / e-learning Category for 2021. Of more than 6,000 entries in all categories, only 17% received the iconic Platinum MarCom statuette – the highest honor awarded by the MarCom competition, organized and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals (AMCP).

“This is a significant achievement for eCornell and SC Johnson, and it deserves to be celebrated,” said Théomarie Karamanis, Senior Lecturer in Managerial Communication at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, and Professor and Author of eCornell’s Public Relations Strategy Courses.

The award-winning courses, launched in the first quarter of 2021, are Strategic public relations planning, Recruitment and management of public relations agencies, and Communicate with the media. From March to September, each course had an average of 100 participants and received high Net Promoter Scores (NPS); a high NPS indicates that participants are very willing to recommend courses.

For Karamanis, this success reinforces why it is crucial that training and education options address a relevant “pain point” for professional students. She says the new public relations courses, each lasting two weeks, were designed to meet a well-documented demand for qualified public relations professionals with the ability to develop strategic communications.

“We realized that there was a gap in the market for highly focused, practical and up-to-date courses in public relations planning and media management,” says Karamanis.

To bridge this gap, Karamanis worked closely with Susan Herman, director of instructional design at eCornell, and the design and development department at eCornell, to create courses specifically designed to impact practice. Toolkits and worksheets, based on solid research and theory, ensure that participants can work with their own examples and organizational settings to apply what they have learned and make strategic communication decisions that serve the purpose of their work better. With ongoing peer reviews and feedback, the online setup is optimized for professional growth.

“The modules were rich in information but concise enough that I was probably remembering what I learned,” says a participant from Communicate with the media Classes. “I also really appreciated the application aspect of our missions so that we could practice and put into practice the skills and techniques immediately.

ECornell’s new Strategic Public Relations courses empower entrepreneurs, managers and executives working in a corporate communications role – whether they have previous academic or professional experience in the field – to do their jobs better. Karamanis says the courses are also a great way for experienced PR professionals to keep their skills up to date; many recent students agree.

“I’ve been doing public relations for seven years,” says one of the participants. “I still learned a lot and the course project was invaluable for my work. “

Registration is open for Strategic public relations planning, Recruitment and management of public relations agencies, and Communicate with the media, with classes starting on December 8. Participants who complete all three courses may take two additional courses to earn a Certificate in Public Relations Strategy from Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.

Learn more about the Certificate in Public Relations Strategy, and Strategic public relations planning, Recruitment and management of public relations agencies and Communicate with the media programs.

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