Strategic Communication Certificate Program

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Amplify the effectiveness of your communications.

Program Overview: 

Communication has the power to inspire and change minds. Today’s spectrum of tools, from Facebook posts to vlog entries to traditional media interviews, can help you serve more people, move more products and fulfill your broader goals and mission—if those tools are carefully considered, well integrated and strategically deployed.

The Strategic Communication Certificate Program, taught by local leaders in the field, will empower you to create new possibilities for your organization and career. The ideas covered in this five-session program will help you place communications at the center of your company’s internal and external efforts at improvement. 

This program will be jointly taught by Chris Aarons, Merrill Davis and Steve Scheibal.

Learn more about the topics covered in each session:

The Power of Strategic Communications

Strategic communications help organizations and their key audiences communicate across the right channels and with the right effect. To succeed, communications professionals need to think creatively about what will resonate with their audiences and use the right tools and media to reach them and have an impact.

This course will help you to build comprehensive, integrated communications strategies that will drive your brand or organization and achieve results.

Date: 03/08/2019

Audience-Driven Narratives that Work

Successful communicators understand what motivates and drives audiences. To be impactful, they develop stories that are relevant and powerful enough to start, spread and sustain conversations over the right media. This course will show you the world from your audience’s eyes, helping you develop messages that inspire action.

You will craft stories and narratives that motivate, learn to use visuals that take your communications programs further and you will explore how to adapt messages and stories to different demographics, communities and generations to achieve the greatest impact.

Date: 03/29/2019

Next-Level Social: Engaging Your Digital Audience

Digital and social media helps drive every successful communication effort. Leveraging, listening and responding can spell the difference between success and failure — for individuals and organizations.

In this course, you will learn to create digital strategies that fortify communications programs and support organizational goals. Instructors will show how social media reveals the audience’s needs and motivations and how leading organizations leverage employees, influencers, customers and constituents to drive real ROI.

Date: 04/26/2019

Using the Media to Tell Your Story

The media landscape is powered by a fast-paced, 24/7 news cycle, and anyone with an internet connection can broadcast news. Strategic communicators need to understand what drives reporters today and how to break through the noise to tell your story.

In this course, you will learn how to tell your story, share news and build relationships with the media. You will learn key techniques for media interviews, which will then be tested through a video-taped interview. Exploring the art and importance of creating editorial calendars and the tools with which professionals reach out to share their stories will also be covered.

Date: 05/17/2019

Surviving Crises - and Turning Them into Opportunities

Unfortunately, at some point something will go wrong, and the public — your community, your customers and constituents, traditional media reporters and social media commenters — will take notice. Handled badly, such incidents can be catastrophic; handled well, you can mitigate damage and even create opportunities for your organization.

This course covers new ways of preparing for crises, getting ahead of news blasts and creating narratives before they are created for you. Instructors will discuss the imperatives and values that should drive an organization in crisis, as well as key components of crisis management plans and ways to implement and practice them. The course will feature a full-scale crisis simulation to demonstrate what such situations entail.

Date: 06/07/2019

Who Should Enroll: 
  • Communications and marketing professionals in all industries
  • Professionals who present research findings
  • Business owners and entrepreneurs
  • Risk management professionals
Learning Outcomes: 
  • Discover how leading practitioners build narratives around core messages, while engaging audiences and tracking responses across multiple platforms.
  • Consider how different perspectives help you to think like your audience.
  • Explore B2B, B2C, nonprofit and public affairs communication strategies via on-point case studies and in-class discussions with subject-matter experts.
  • Learn how to identify and execute the right solutions to common communication challenges with team exercises, including a crisis response simulation and mock media interviews.
Plan Your Certificate:

This table shows upcoming start dates for this program’s courses. Please note that program start dates are subject to change. After registering for the certificate program, email us or call the CPE Registrar at 512-232-6520 to enroll in your chosen courses.

Course Title Fall Spring Summer
Audience-Driven Narratives that Work 10/11/2019 3/29/2019 08/13/2019
Next-Level Social: Engaging Your Digital Audience 11/01/2019 08/14/2019
Surviving Crises — and Turning Them into Opportunities 12/13/2019 06/07/2019 & 08/16/2019
The Power of Strategic Communications 09/20/2019 3/8/2019 08/12/2019
Using the Media to Tell Your Story 11/22/2019 05/17/2019 & 08/15/2019
Additional Information: 

Interested students may be eligible to apply for the Road to Success Scholarship, which could cover up to 80% of this program's tuition.

For students who took courses under the previous Strategic Communication curriculum and are interested in completing the certificate, please contact the Student Enrollment Coordinator at

Program ID: 

At A Glance

Fall sessions meet between 9/20/19 and 12/13/19.
$3,499. Early bird discount available until two weeks prior to start date. Use code EBF19STRAT when checking out and save $500.
Payment Options: 

Find additional information about payment options.