Below are the full list of courses that we run. Only a selection are run each timetable period.
The course topics that we do run are based on course enquiries over previous months, expected demand for particular topics and the availability of our experts and Presenters.
News Media Essentials
Media 101: Understanding the Australian Media..for more details.
- Understanding the Australian news media environment
- Media ownership and media regulations/legislation
- How newsrooms operate
- What journalists need from PR people
- The way journalists prefer to work with public affairs officers
Media 102: Writing an Effective Media Release…in the Social Media Age
..for more details.
- Essentials of media release writing – the do’s and don’ts
- The art of professional layout and design
- The correct way to use quotes, data and statistics
- Writing a media release the way journalists prefer
- Targeting the right media in the right way
Media 103: Liaising with the Media…in the Social Media Age..for more details.
- What makes a good story from a newsroom perspective
- What journalists expect from public affairs officers
- Understanding how to play the ‘media game’
- Building rapport with the media and the Canberra Press Gallery
- Practical workshop – Contacting the Media
Media 104: Developing Simple Media Strategies..for more details.
- What to include in a media strategy – starting from scratch
- Key messages for key communications
- Targeting the right media
- Dealing with risk management and other negatives
- Practical workshop – developing your own media strategy
Media 105: Responding to a Media Crisis..for more details.
- Planning and preparation for media crises
- Professionally responding to a media crisis
- Effectively organising media briefings and press conferences
- The importance of ‘post-crisis analysis’
- Practical ‘media crisis’ workshop
Social Media Essentials
Social Media 101: Introduction to Social Media..for more details.
What’s all the fuss about? What is “social media” anyway? If you need to understand the basics of social media, how it works, who uses it, why is it so popular and whether you can afford to ignore it for yourself or your business, this is the course for you.
- What is “social media” and how does it differ from traditional media (print, TV, radio, online)?
- The variety of sites involved: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, blogs, wikis and how they differ.
- How are individuals and organisations using it?…and what for? What does it cost? – in money and time?
- Issues that concern management: “losing control”, resources, technology, loss of productivity, keeping up with it all.
- Policy directions and development in government and the private sector
Social Media 102: Develop Your Own Social Media Policy..for more details.
If your organisation doesn’t have a social media policy to guide staff in the correct use of social media, then you are leaving yourself and your organisation exposed to significant potential legal issues. Take a day to get your house in order and it will protect you down track. It will also give you an induction document to use to brief new and existing employees.
- Why you need a policy to reduce your liabilities, including case studies of what has happened to organisations that didn’t have one and faced a social media crisis
- What you can and can’t expect from your employees in relation to comments about your company…and what Fair Work rulings have been.
- What is an appropriate policy for your size of organisation
- Study examples from other organisations. (training videos, written documents, etc)
- Get practical: Write your social media policy over the course of the day.
Social Media 103: Social Media for Government..for more details.
There is great interest from government officers (in HR, in IT and many other areas in addition to public affairs) in how government can, should, is and will partake of the social media revolution. Senator Kate Lundy says “overall her experience of the public in using social media was overwhelmingly positive as people are supportive of government giving it a go to connect with them”. Hear what is going on around the globe, and in our own backyard. Who are the key experimenters, what are they doing, how are they doing it and most importantly, how did they convince the powers that be to get involved.
- What’s happening now in government? – here and overseas. What is social media being used for?
- What are the barriers to getting it up and running in organisations?
- How have others gotten past the roadblocks and convinced their organisation to work with social media.
- How does new/social media work with traditional media?
- What are the predictions for the future use of social media in government – where is it all headed? Hear from agencies using and trialling it.
Social Media 104: Developing a Social Media Strategy..for more details.
The UK Government has issued a Twitter Strategy document for all UK departments of state to use as a starting point. The US Obama Government issued policy guidelines on the use of new media not long after they won office – after using it successfully during their election campaign. Australia’s federal government has a wiki for all agencies to contribute to.
- What is a social media strategy?
- What new dimensions arise because of the nature of the new medium
- Integrating traditional and new media – what works and what doesn’t and educating the decision-makers.
- Dealing with risk management and other negatives.
- Practical workshop – developing your own social media strategy
Social Media 105: Responding to a Social Media Crisis..for more details.
Your worst nightmare has arrived. Your company has been bombarded with complaints and bad press…but you were unaware that it was even going on. How? Why? What happened? …You weren’t tapped in to any social media avenues. Your kids use them, but you don’t. None of that social media nonsense for you. So now you are being forced to “get with the program” and manage the recovery of your organisation’s loss of reputation. How do you do it?
- Learning from others. Case studies on social media issues, how they developed, what went wrong – and who even knew it was going on.
- Analysing where communication can fail – and methods to prevent or ameliorate the downsides.
- Putting effective social media alarms in place as early warning systems.
- Planning and preparation for a social media crisis
- Practical social media crisis workshop
Social Media 106: Video Production for Social Media..for more details.
This course is designed to provide you with the knowledge of how to produce a credible YouTube video for your organisation or your business. You’ll gain practical experience and insights from a news media cameraman, a corporate public affairs officer and a business owner who just “gave it a go”. You’ll be writing short scripts, pointing the camera, learning about key production values such as lighting, sound and editing and how to obtain the best outcome on a tight budget. See how to upload your own YouTube video
- identifying good and bad video production values (and avoid shoddy production values that will make your video look cheap)
- tips about your budget, equipment, talent, lighting, sound and editing and more
- navigating the corporate / government approval process.
- technical knowledge such as how to physically upload a video to YouTube.
- and, importantly, plenty of workshop time to practice with the equipment on the day.
Social Media 107: Social Media for Small Business..for more details.
You don’t have your own marketing department, you can barely keep up with your own workload let alone monitor the web, so how and why would you get involved in social media.
- Social media explained – including advantages / disadvantages of the various channels
- Setting up your business to use social media – for promotion, commenting on issues affecting your business, reaching the ear of government (local, State and Federal), online reputation management, etc
- Who’s using twitter, Facebook, Flickr anyway? You’d be surprised!
- Social media: a resource headache or a better way to stay in touch with your customer.
- Get practical: Set up a twitter account, load up a YouTube video.
Professional Writing Essentials
Writing 101: The Basics of Professional Writing..for more details.
- Basic punctuation
- Grammar and structure
- Using long and short words
- Active and passive voice
- Proofreading and editing
Writing 102: Speech Writing..for more details.
- Planning a speech – research and resources
- Knowing your audience and managing expectations
- Knowing your speaker – familiar style and mannerisms
- Introduction, main body and conclusions
- Writing speeches for different occasions/events
Writing 103: Government and Public Service Writing..for more details.
- Understanding government writing requirements and style guides
- Planning and preparing documents of differing length and style
- Ministerial, parliamentary and question time documents
- Writing memos, emails and correspondence
- Proofreading and editing
Writing 104: Writing Features and Articles..for more details.
- Building on ideas and themes
- Structuring feature articles
- Magazines, op-eds and newsletters
- Media targeting for feature articles
- 10 principles of professional writing
Writing 105: Writing for the Web..for more details.
- Layout, fonts and hyperlinks
- Using bullets and numbers
- Mastering concise language
- The inverted pyramid of web writing
- Practical exercises
Internal Communications Essentials
Internal Communication 101: Internal Communications – The Basics..for more details.
This course will explain the difference between internal and external communications – yet also how interdependent they are. It will explore who your stakeholders are – and how to keep them happy. It will also cover how to bring staff ‘on board’ and how to break down the “silo” mentality. You’ll learn the options available to you to reach your various audiences – especially when they aren’t co-located and how to reach them in the way they want to be approached. Know the rules of engagement and how to encourage the flow of corporate information within the organisation – up, down and sideways. Topics include:
- 10 Key Principles of Internal Communications
- Target Audiences and Messages
- Stakeholder Relations – Who are my stakeholders?
- Communications Channels – The Options
- Internal Communication Systems and Procedures – for CEO Messages to a major media crisis.
Internal Communication 102: Establishing Effective Internal Communications Channels..for more details.
Just how do you go about working out what’s best for your organisation? You send information out each week, fortnight or month but you don’t ever hear much back. So how do you justify the cost of the internal communications budget?
- Internal Communications Audit – Comprehensive How to Guide and exercise.
- A smorgasbord of channels – some tried and true and some novel to get you thinking about alternatives.
- The Content – Is everyone speaking the same language? – de-jargonising specialist-speak
- Frequency, reach, method (electronic or paper), style, confidentiality, and more
- Feedback – internal communication must be reciprocal
Internal Communication 103: Communicating with Staff..for more details.
Employee communication can make or break an organisation. Staff will only take notice of the official communication channels if they perceive them to be worthwhile – with regular, honest, open communication from the top – those in the know. Otherwise they will use the old grapevine – over which you have no control. Gaining the upper hand means providing quality communication from a source they trust. This you can control – but you need management onside and working with you.
- Information needs of employees
- Handling offsite and geographically-dispersed employees (local, city, State. regional, national, global)
- Handling cultural differences, part-timers, commuters, sales personnel, contractors versus permanent staff, religious differences.
- The tools: staff surveys, podcasts, the intranet, CEO’s message, internal newsletters, and much more.
Internal Communication 104: Managing Government Processes Internally..for more details.
You work in government and every year there are tasks that have to be done and papers to be prepared for government committees. Every few years an election occurs and even if the prevailing government doesn’t change, your Minister might – so you still have to coordinate material from throughout the portfolio – from the department and a range of related agencies.
- Internal Coordination of Annual Reports
- Preparation for Elections – Caretaker provisions
- Preparing for Senate Estimates Committee hearings
- Machinery of Government changes (MOG)
- Ministerial Requirements: PPQs, QoN, NPPs, QTB.
Internal Communication 105: Managing Corporate Upheaval..for more details.
Your organisation is about to undergo major change – and it isn’t exactly welcomed by the staff. Your Executive team knows it is very sensitive and are loathe to give out any information in case it isn’t received well by the troops, the market or your key stakeholders. You are the internal communications manager – the one responsible for making all the problems go away and make the staff happy. Ready? Topics include:
- Managing internal organisational upheaval: equipment/software roll-outs, mergers and takeovers
- Managing external upheaval: issues and crisis management, external factors that affect your organisation’s operations.
- Applying project management principles for major communications tasks
- What can go wrong and how to fix it
- Gaining the confidence of senior management for your messages
Marketing 101: Marketing – The Basics..for more details.
If you are new to marketing, then this is the course for you. Starting from the very basics of marketing, you will learn what it means to be a marketer and what you can do in your day-to-day job to be more effective. It will explain the difference between marketing, sales and communications. It will explore how to develop an understanding of your target market, defining who your customers are and where to find them. You’ll learn about different mediums and their respective advantages. Topics include:
- The 10 most important facts about marketing
- Determining your Target Audience
- How to think like your Target Audience
- Persuading your Target Audience to act
- Understanding different marketing mediums
Marketing 102: Establishing Your Marketing Channels..for more details.
How do you know which channel is going to be the most cost effective and provide the best return on investment? What can different channels be used for? This course is perfect for people wanting to develop a deeper understanding of marketing and how to use it to your advantage. We look at the best ways of evaluating the various marketing channels available for gaining new customers. Along the way, you’ll discover that whilst some channels may be the most effective, you don’t have the budget to use them. This course will show you how you can still be effective using the channels that are available to you. Topics include:
- What channels are available
- Frequency, reach and conversions
- How to evaluate a channel before you use it
- Different channels, different approach
- Budget versus Impact
Marketing 103: Writing Marketing Plans..for more details.
Writing a marketing plan is one of the most important things an organisation will do each year. Without it, you are simply not being as effective as you could be as a marketer. In order to plan you need to consider your organisation as a whole and what needs to be achieved over the 12 month period. This course is an overview of what is involved in writing a marketing plan. From knowing your marketplace to understanding the difference between an objective and a strategy, this course will cover the beginning to the end of your marketing planning.
- Objectives & Strategies
Marketing 104: Setting Objectives and Strategies..for more details.
Learn how to set measurable objectives and create strategies that will become the basis of your annual marketing plan. You can only know how well you have done when you set objectives and are measured by them. Marketing is a measurable since – learn to use this to your advantage. During the day, we will craft specific objectives and strategies for your business, which will be able to implement into your marketing plan immediately upon return to your workplace. Topics include:
- What is an objective?
- What is a strategy?
- Getting organisational ‘buy-in’
Marketing 105: Measurable Implementation Plans..for more details.
This is one of the last steps of the marketing plan – putting tactical executions to your objectives and strategies. Learn how to take your product or service to market in a meaningful and effective way. Learn how to gain the biggest bang for your buck, using your set objectives and strategies. Link your marketing execution activity to the overall performance of your business and prove the success of your marketing planning. Topics include:
- Linking Implementation to Objectives and Strategies
- Planning a schedule of marketing activity
- Prioritising activity
- Budget preparation
Event Management Essentials
Events 101: Hosting and Running an Event..for more details.
Hosting and running events can be fraught with problems if you don’t get the basics right. This course covers the essentials of running both small and large events as well as government and corporate functions. Using practical exercises, we work through the key stages of hosting a professional event, focusing on the importance of the planning and preparation stages and how professional post-event analysis can ensure continued success of an event.
- Planning and preparation
- Events risk managements
- Budget preparation and promotion
- Organising equipment, staff and catering
- Post-event analysis
Events 102: Public Speaking and Presentations..for more details.
Public speaking is often rated highly amongst the list of people’s greatest fears and phobias; yet it is an easy skill to master. Learn how best to impart your knowledge, information and experience in a way that is interesting and entertaining for both the speaker and the audience. This course is recommended for anyone who wants to improve their effectiveness and become a more engaging public speaker and presenter.
- Understanding your audience
- How to plan and prepare professional speeches
- Prioritising content
- Enlivening your speeches
- The do’s and don’ts of audio-visuals
Events 103: Networking..for more details.
Networking is the key to successful relationships with stakeholders, colleagues, other departments and agencies and the general public. Networking is more than simply talking to someone about what they do – networking is the art of sharing mutually beneficial information, ideas and resources. This is a very practical and fun course, with lots of interplay and exercises guaranteed to improve your ability to converse and communicate with a wide range of people.
- Networking – winning the mental battle
- Planning and preparation for networking events
- Networking etiquette
- The Conference Game Plan
- Practical workshop – networking
Events 104: Marketing an Event..for more details.
The reason some events work spectacularly, while others fail miserably, often lies in the marketing and promotion stages. There are literally hundreds of novel and clever ways to market and promote events and this lively course canvasses all angles, from the importance of booking and location to timing and event themes.
- Themes and concepts – creating a novel event
- Bookings and locations
- Advertising and promotional budgets
- Using the media to your benefit
- Creating a memorable event
Events 105: Event Etiquette..for more details.
We have all heard the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ – which is great in theory, however in today’s world, first impressions are the key to success. This practical and hands-on course demonstrates how to create a ‘complete image’ for all formal and informal occasions, specifically events, launches, openings and ceremonies.
- Appropriate attire
- Professional protocols, procedures and customs
- Do’s and don’ts at public events
- Corporate etiquette and behaviour
- Dining and dinner parties
Recruit 101: Writing Effective Recruitment Advertisements..for more details.
If you are losing the campaign to attract the best talent, then this course is a must. If you are not attracting the right people to your organisation, or the top people end up at other organisations, then part of the problem may lie in the way your organisation conducts its recruitment. One of the most important tools you can sharpen up quickly and easily in your efforts to secure the right talent, is your recruitment advertisement writing. Some of Australia’s leading recruitment specialists have created this course specifically to improve the standards and effectiveness of recruitment advertisements.
- The principles of writing effective recruitment advertisements
- The do’s and don’ts of advertising writing
- How to write in clear and precise English
- Writing advertisements for the web
- Practical workshop – writing your own recruitment advertisement
Recruit 102: Write a Winning CV..for more details.
Generally, employers only give each CV a few seconds of their time. So – to stand out – a CV needs to be interesting, precise and attractive. Resumes are the ultimate marketing tool, yet they are too often rushed and mistake-ridden. This course provides hands-on guidance on layout, formatting and content and demonstrates the importance of including achievements and tangible outcomes that will appeal to an employer.
- Understanding the purpose of a Curriculum Vitae / Resume
- Common mistakes and errors
- Layout and design – the art of presentation
- Demonstrating “achievements” and how they differ from duties and responsibilities
- What makes a highly successful CV
Recruit 103: Addressing Selection Criteria..for more details.
Selection criteria can be confusing – especially to those who don’t have any experience of this mainly public service phenomenon. This course steps participants through the art of addressing selection criteria. We’ll show you good and bad examples and explain the secrets of providing an appropriate and effective response to the criteria. For those who are new to Canberra, and government work, we’ll explain how selection criteria are used to determine the interview shortlist.
- What government employers are looking for when they read your application
- Understanding the selection criteria process
- Good and bad examples of selection criteria responses
- How to provide effective responses
- Practical exercises – addressing selection criteria.
Recruit 104: Interview Techniques..for more details.
The job interview is unquestionably the most important aspect of the overall employment process. Understand what is triggering your interview nerves and learn strategies to help overcome fears or phobias. This course covers the importance of research and how to prepare for an interview. It also looks at interview panels and the various forms job interviews can take. Our experts discuss interview pitfalls and negatives and there is a practical session with mock interviews (in a caring and sharing non-threatening environment).
- First base – getting the interview
- Preparing and planning for a job interview
- Tips to overcome nerves, negatives and neuroses
- Presentation, body language and behaviour
- Practical sessions – mock job interviews
Recruit 105: Making Yourself a Valuable Employee..for more details.
What is a valuable employee? For most employers, a valuable employee is a rare find – and one that they will go to great lengths to keep. They will pay them more, provide unique career opportunities they don’t offer others, and give glowing references (but don’t want to let them go). This course will help you understand what will make you stand out from the pedestrian masses in the eyes of your boss and make you a valuable and highly sought-after employee. This course is equally valuable for those new to the workplace or those who feel their career has suddenly stymied and they can’t figure out why.
- Seeing through the eyes of an employer – which attributes are valuable
- The top five employee attitudes that make a big difference – and why
- Typical problem areas – and the resulting dynamics that work against employees
- Being “indispensible” – is this the right approach to take?
- Key office skills to have – and other skills to develop over time
Communication Strategy Essentials
Comms Strategy 101: Develop a Communication Strategy..for more details.
This course covers the core principles of planning and writing a communication strategy. Learn how to set realistic goals for your communications exercise, identify key messages and the best communications tools and channels to reach key target audiences. Develop your own strategy during the day and learn from those who’ve run campaigns that work. Compare your strategy with our reference library of ones others have developed.
- The role of the communication strategy – and determining if you need one and who approves it.
- Setting objectives and developing key messages.
- Identifying target audiences and key stakeholders
- Choosing appropriate tools and channels
- Timelines, budget and evaluation
Comms Strategy 102: From Communication Strategy to Action Plan..for more details.
What is the point of having a strategy if you can’t translate it into concrete activities for people to do and ensure everything lines up to reach your strategic objectives? You need a timeline, responsibilities, resources allocated, management buy-in and much more.
- What does a Communications/Action Plan look like? – How put the “flesh” on the strategy “bones”.
- Allocating financial, human, time and other resources to specific activities.
- Gaining Management Commitment – Using the language of management to state your case to gain senior management support.
- Including internal communications – Keeping everyone informed during the communications activity.
- Measuring your success and reporting back to management.
Comms Strategy 103: Implementing Your Communication Strategy / Plan..for more details.
You’ve got the communication strategy developed, management is on board and you’ve started rolling out the activities. That’s it, isn’t it? Now you just get on with the job and race to the finish line? Yes? No. What happens when things come along to upset your carefully constructed plan? The assumptions you built it on are no longer valid. Developments in your industry or a related one mean big changes for your organisation and communication message. What now?
- Responding to environmental changes when you are rolling out your plan.
- What to do when you need a bigger budget? To change direction? Respond to new opportunities?
- Unforseen opportunity knocks – can you take advantage of it?
- How someone else’s disaster can help you.
- Making sure you collect information to assess the success – or otherwise – of your communications campaign.
Comms Strategy 104: Using Your Communications Strategy to avoid a Crisis..for more details.
You are looking to ensure your organisation thinks about crisis planning – and knows how to act when a crisis hits – long before it actually has to experience it. Even better, work up some simple rules to avoid a situation getting out of hand, make sure everyone knows what to do in the case of an emerging issue so you can stay on top of it. Position the public affairs team as the “go to” area when things are looking uncertain in your industry.
- How to plan for a crisis when there isn’t one in sight.
- Assigning roles and responsibilities throughout the organisation (spokesperson, experts, etc)
- Trialling your crisis plan to test it out.
- Hear from presenters who’ve worked in organisations that didn’t have a crisis plan when it hit.
- Hear from presenters who’ve created workable crisis communications plans for their organisations.
Comms Strategy 105: Recovering from a Botched Crisis Communications Episode..for more details.
So you’ve been through the wringer…your reputation is down the toilet…and you are wondering if you are ever going to be able to hold your head up high in professional circles again. Or perhaps you’ve just joined such an organisation and have been engaged to make sure it never happens again. All organisational eyes – from the CEO down – are on you. How are you going to repair the reputational damage?
- Analysis time: Determining what went wrong; but not who’s to blame.
- What do/did our stakeholders (industry, media, customers, clients, staff and those affected) think?
- How could it have been handled better?
- The opportunities to be a better prepared organisation for the future.
- Getting the new Communications Plan approved by management – while they are open to learning.
Not Found What You Wanted?
Then, please feel free to tell us about your particular training requirements: