TCU launches new certificate program for public-sector communicators

Fort Worth, TX

Communication professionals working for cities and counties deliver critical information to citizens every day—and especially during times of crisis—to ensure public safety and government transparency. A new partnership at TCU provides support for information officers and marketing directors doing this important work.


TCU will partner with the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) to offer the Certified Public Communicator program in summer 2013. TCU partners include the Schieffer School of Journalism, the College of Communication, and Extended Education.


“With nothing of its kind in the country, the Certified Public Communicator program will have national significance for the thousands of communicators, videographers, webmasters and public information officers it will affect,” said Shannon Gowan, president of TAMIO and director of communications for the city of Temple. “As an organization of professional government communicators, TAMIO is impressed by TCU’s vision and honored by the university’s commitment to create this program.”


The curriculum, developed by strategic communication professors Jacqueline Lambiase and Laura Bright, will offer 95 hours of leadership training and coursework designed for the complexities and challenges of communicating with citizens and stakeholders. It is designed for public information managers and professionals working for cities, counties, school districts, and other public and public-private agencies.


“Participants will stay on campus for a week during two summers, so that they can engage in focused study with other public-sector professionals,” Lambiase said. “They’ll also develop three-year communication plans for their organizations, working with public relations, advertising and marketing experts. So, their cities and counties will gain from the experience, too.”


Both summer sessions will present an integrated communication approach that is infused with ethics, transparency, public affairs, branding, customer relations, and social influence, as well as theoretical and applied approaches.


Government professionals will leave the program with three-year communication plans and policies for their organizations, which are put into action during the year with time for testing and revisions before graduation. In addition, students will work with their professional cohort of colleagues, attend keynote presentations with other communication professionals, and engage in a year-long process of professional growth and goal-setting. Organizations that send their managers and communicators to the program receive tested communication plans for social media policies, research-based strategies and crisis communication.


"TAMIO is proud to stand with TCU at the threshold of this groundbreaking program for government professionals,” Gowan said.


The dates for the program will be July 28-August 2, 2013, with the summer 2014 dates TBD. The cost for the 95-hour program is $3,850, which will include tuition, summer housing, most meals, and course materials. For more information or to register, please visit: http://www.lifelong.tcu.edu/cpc.asp