The Course

Starting 3rd April 2023


How you'll learn

I’ve been learning a lot! PR is really busy, and people don’t always have time to sit down with you and go through things step-by-step. With a lot of what I’ve been doing at work, sometimes I didn’t even know if I was doing it right. It’s nice to have the feeling of “oh, I do actually know what I’m doing”. I’m definitely more confident at work now.
Amy Dance – Kindred
PR Account Executive, 1 year industry experience
Being on the course has been really positive. It’s not hugely time-intensive, you can learn at your own pace and it’s really interesting. The content is really, really good. I learned so much that I didn’t know, and I’ve been in PR for two years! I would 100% definitely recommend it to people coming into PR. It’s just such a good introduction.
Martha Lawson – Cow PR
Senior Account Executive, 2 years PR experience
This is an amazing course. The combination of digital and traditional PR is something lacking in most courses, and it’s perfectly consumable. I’m very happy that I took it, it’s definitely changed the way I look at PR. You have my five-star review!
Son Pham – Manifest
Senior Campaign Executive, 2 years PR experience

What will you learn?

The 10-lesson syllabus covers a variety of topics, from the theoretical to the highly practical. During the course you’ll learn how to:

Course modules

In this lesson we start at the very beginning, and talk about how powerful individuals have tried to shape the perceptions of populations since the dawn of civilisation. We take a whistle-stop tour through the history of PR and influence, and talk about how PR grew as an industry.

How do you persuade a client or boss that they should invest in PR?

In this lesson we look at the different ways that PR can add value to an individual or organisation. We learn about the power of brands, why they matter, and how PR can help with building them.

After spending the previous lesson talking about theory, this week we move on to the practical, and teach students how to plan an effective PR campaign.

Media relations has historically been the core skill of PR departments and agencies. Today’s media environment is increasingly fragmented, crowded and full of untrustworthy voices – which makes media relations more important than ever.

In this lesson we show how to identify and build relationships with journalists, write a press release, “sell in” to media, generate reactive media coverage and prepare someone for an interview with a journalist. We examine how to prepare for and respond to a PR crisis, and talk about some common mistakes.

By the end of this lesson, students should have the necessary skills to be a part of an effective press office.

The social media landscape is an everchanging world, where skilled and knowledgeable practitioners mix with snakeoil salesmen and all kinds of hype-peddlers.

In this lesson we build on the theory learned in lesson 2 to show how social media can effectively create value for individuals and organisations. We’ll examine some unhelpful myths and misconceptions that have built up around social media, before teaching students how to create an effective framework for planning social media content.

We show how social media is used for customer service and direct response ads, and examine the arguments for paid social media and organic social media. We also talk about the job of being a ‘community manager’ and ask – is social media really about ‘community’ at all?

We also cover how working with influencers can benefit an organisation, show how to work with influencers, and emphasise the importance of working in accordance with regulatory guidelines.

Rich Leigh is one of the early pioneers of using PR to improve SEO (though he doesn’t like to go on about it, honest).

In this lesson we examine the history of search engines, the value of Google rankings and how the Google search engine actually works. We show students how the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) industry was born, and explain how to improve a website’s ranking on Google. We then talk about the specific role that media relations can play in SEO by generating links from authoritative websites.

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to explain, sell and lead a PR campaign that delivers measurable SEO improvements.

In this lesson we examine what creativity is and why it matters in PR. We introduce students to the neuroscience of creativity, different models of creativity, and the difference between divergent and convergent thinking.

We also share practical frameworks and exercises that students can use to generate and assess creative ideas, and share advice on how to be more creative in their everyday lives.

We end the lesson by encouraging students to speak to their managers about what they’ve learned, and discuss what changes they can make at work to start generating better creative ideas.

In this lesson we talk about the importance of using measurement to justify investment in PR, as well as how to use measurement to unlock bigger budgets.

We start by introducing Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE), a popular way of measuring PR activity. We then demonstrate the significant problems with AVE, and explain why, in our view, it’s unfit for purpose.

We then discuss the Barcelona Principles, and explain alternative ways that PR activity can be measured. This includes how to set objectives, designing a bespoke measurement framework that aligns with those objectives, measuring impact on a brand, measuring the quality of coverage, using Google Analytics and Google Goals, and measuring the SEO benefit of PR.

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to choose and design a measurement approach that’s suitable for their organisation or client’s needs.

In this lesson we first examine the financials of PR, and explain how PR agencies make money. This includes explaining common terms like ‘fee income’, ‘expenses’, ‘overheads’ and ‘profit’.

We then talk about the expectations that agencies have for their staff, and how individuals can help an agency be more commercially successful.

We examine how to better understand clients, how to manage them effectively, how to up-sell and grow revenue, and how to proactively find new business.

We then show students how they can manage bosses and teams within an agency, and look at how junior members of staff can develop the skills to move into management.

In this final lesson we talk about students’ final course assessment, and how to continue their educational development throughout their PR career.

We discuss the different specialisms they’ve been introduced to across this course, “T-shaped skills”, and how they can work with their managers to further develop the specialist skills that most interest them and benefit their employer.

Ready to become a PR Highflyer?

Online learning

Next course start date

3rd April 2023


Meet the team

Rich Leigh

Rich is a best-selling public relations author, agency founder and global speaker.

Rich founded the UK’s #1 PR blog Famous Campaigns, and his book Myths of PR has been translated into more than half a dozen languages. He has been acknowledged as a communications innovator, creating industry tools and leading the charge for professional change; running the first PR agency and one of the first companies in the world to adopt a four day work week for five days’ pay in 2018.

With 15 years of industry experience and with a particular focus on creative PR that leads to measurable results, Rich has led communications for household names including Disney, Virgin Group, Just-Eat, Paddy Power and the NHS. He has delivered keynote talks to international audiences and regularly gives lectures to undergraduate and masters students across the UK.

Alex Wilson

Alex is an EFFIE-award winning PR professional with over 10 years’ experience.

Alex is an independent PR consultant working with agencies and brands, he spent 7 years working at Hill+Knowlton Strategies in London, Shanghai and Beijing. During his time at H+K he worked in a number of roles including head of business development for Asia & Greater China, and on global campaigns as a creative strategist and digital planner.

Alex has worked with some of the largest brands and businesses in the world including Adidas, General Electric, LG, Mondelez and Procter & Gamble.

Ready to become a PR Highflyer?

Frequently asked questions

The next course will start on 14 November 2022. Students will have access to the platform until 31 March 2023.

Students will be given a hypothetical PR brief, and will be asked to use a template to create a PR plan that answers the brief, and submit it within 3 weeks.

The brief will reference a number of topics covered in the course. Students will be graded on the strategic coherence of their response, its creativity, and the likelihood that their plan will achieve the objectives outlined in the brief.

Students will receive a grade based on their plans, as well as feedback from Rich and Alex. The best scoring responses will be made available to all students. 

Students can submit questions about the latest classes and readings via our Slack channel, at any point during their study. Rich will then answer all these questions during the fortnightly Q&A session, which can be accessed as a podcast on demand.

The lengths of weekly video lessons will vary, but are typically between 45 and 90 minutes.

Optional extra reading or mini-assignments could take anywhere between 30 minutes and 3 hours to complete each week, but are in no way compulsory.

Individual bookings are £850 + VAT and can be made on our booking page

For group bookings (4 people or more) or bespoke bookings, please email

Once you’ve registered and the course begins, you’ll be able to login to the course portal via the PR High Flyers website.

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