Public Engagement for PR Practitioners

In today's world, organizations are increasingly held publicly accountable and expected to be socially responsible. Members of the public expect transparent information and opportunities for consultation. They're also using social media to share their opinions with others and influence the success of programs. In light of these trends, the communications industry is shifting towards a new model of public engagement.

Good communicators understand that the days of relying primarily on one-way communications to connect with key audiences are gone. They recognize that meaningful engagement, two-way communications and good stakeholder relations are key parts of the new model of public relations.

This highly interactive workshop will provide a practical introduction to public engagement for professionals working in communications roles. Working through a case study to apply the material, you will develop basic skills for involving the public and stakeholders in your organization's activities and decisions, and incorporating public engagement into your communications efforts.

This workshop was formerly called Public Engagement 101.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Vancouver 1 Alex Russell
Amanda Mitchell
$166.95 28 Register

What will I learn?

 We will cover fundamentals such as the following:

  • Understanding public engagement and its relevance to PR practice
  • Identifying, segmenting, mapping and prioritizing audiences
  • Defining objectives and developing an appropriate communications and engagement plan
  • Effectively communicating with different audiences and engaging with hard-to-reach groups
  • Building trust and improving stakeholder relationships
  • Evaluating efforts


Alex Russell

Alex Russell is an award-winning communications consultant with a decade of experience providing effective corporate communications, public relations, media relations, issues management and stakeholder engagement strategies that achieve positive results. She has helped organizations of all sizes—from start-ups to large organizations—position themselves as leaders in their fields, build relationships with their stakeholders and make their stories heard.

She is a strong project manager and strategic communicator with experience leading high-profile and complex PR, corporate communications and stakeholder engagement programs. She has supported organizations in real estate, health care, transportation, sustainable technology, food and beverage, the academic sector and government.

Before starting Russell Communications in 2014, she served as a communications manager at the City of Vancouver, advising senior executives and elected officials, and serving as a key media contact. Prior to that, Russell held senior positions at Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care, and was an account manager at a leading Vancouver PR firm.

Amanda Mitchell

Amanda Mitchell creates opportunities for people to connect to their city. She has over a decade of experience designing public engagement processes that meaningfully involve public voices in policy decisions.

Amanda is currently a public engagement specialist at the City of Vancouver where she supports staff across the organization on their public engagement processes, offering training and strategic guidance. In this capacity, she has been involved with over 60 projects from community plans to policy development.

Amanda is on the board of the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Canada and she is a co-founder of a community of practice for Canadian municipal public engagement practitioners. She has led engagement training for the Swedish Green Building Council in Stockholm and co-authored a chapter about the Greenest City engagement process in a recent planning textbook, Planning Canada: A Case Study Approach, published by Oxford University Press.

She holds a BSc in environmental science from the University of Guelph and a Master of Advanced Studies in architecture from the University of British Columbia.


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