Executive Leadership Certificate Program

Wednesdays from Nov. 1–Dec. 6, from 3–4:30 p.m. ET (No module scheduled on Nov. 22)

The most effective executive leaders are much more than skilled managers. They are visionaries, strategists, influencers and motivators. They understand that emotional intelligence, authenticity and empowerment are as important as budgeting, forecasting and strategic planning.  

The Executive Leadership Certificate Program will cover the key components needed to become a highly effective communications executive. Participants will learn how to lead with authenticity, emotional intelligence, inclusivity and strong ethics. They will better understand the behaviors they may display that are counterproductive to building trust, and how to effectively foster more trust in their teams. They will fine-tune their knowledge of how to conduct and implement strategic plans, keeping team members accountable for their roles. They will learn about budgeting, forecasting, resource management and how to effectively engage with financial experts — skills that are often elusive to communicators. This program also will dive into the future of communications, discussing new technologies and expanding communications channels.

The certificate program will be led by M.J. Clark, APR, Fellow PRSA, a recognized expert and author in leadership development, and will feature co-presenters and guest speakers who will provide in-depth, real-world and leading-edge examples of executive leadership best practices.

Designed as a live, online program of five modules, the Executive Leadership Certificate Program will launch on Nov. 1 and run through Dec. 6 on Wednesdays from 3–4:30 p.m. ET. (No module scheduled on Nov. 22)

All modules will be recorded so that participants can (re)listen or review them after the live date in preparation for the final exam. Additionally, participants will be given access to PRSA’s Online Community, an exclusive forum offering private access and interactive dialogue with other members taking the course.

After successfully completing and passing the 15-question, multiple-choice test at the end of the certificate program, registrants will be awarded a certificate of completion and a digital badge.

This certificate program is designed for:

  • Managers and senior-level PR and communications professionals.
  • Any professional responsible for managing a team.
  • Leaders charged with advising other executives.
  • Professionals responsible for managing digital communications.
  • Marketing professionals.
  • Communicators with 10 or more years of experience.

By the end of this certificate program, participants will be able to:

  • Apply leadership strategies across multiple organizational environments to drive stronger results in a faster, more efficient manner.
  • Articulate an authentic leadership philosophy and the role it plays in building effective strategies and a vibrant working environment.
  • Understand how personal investment with continuous learning builds successful leaders.
  • Enhance leadership skills to build stronger team trust and collaboration in pursuit of a more productive and efficient organization.
  • Strengthen mental, emotional, and tactical skills to enhance leadership successes with all/any publics, clients or teams.


Certificate Program Modules

Module 1: Preeminent Leadership: Leading With Authenticity
Wednesday, Nov. 1, 3–4:30 p.m. ET
Guest Speaker: Aaron Helton, consultant, Integrated Leadership Systems

In this module, participants will gain an understanding of what leading with authenticity, self-awareness and emotional intelligence looks like in practice and how it drives a culture of trust, collaboration and efficiency.

Module 2: Prominence Leadership: Leading Your Team Effectively
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 3–4:30 p.m. ET
Guest Speaker: Hattie Hunter, consultant, Integrated Leadership Systems

In this module, participants will learn how to build an effective, inclusive, dynamic team, leading others with assertive, confident communication and sticking to values/ethics in good times and bad.

Module 3: Proficient Leadership: Understanding Financial Matters
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 3–4:30 p.m. ET
Guest Speaker: Jason Mudd, APR, CEO, Axia Public Relations

In this module, participants will learn the basics of budgeting, forecasting, reporting, ROI, resource management and terminology to properly engage with financial experts.

Module 4: Precision Leadership: Strategic Planning and Executive Accountability
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 3–4:30 p.m. ET
Guest Speaker: Lisa Beaty, ACC, consultant, Integrated Leadership Systems

In this module, participants will gain an understanding of strategic planning and how to reach strategic goals through executive accountability, advocacy and empowerment.

Module 5: Principled Leadership: The Future of Communication
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 3–4:30 p.m. ET
Guest Speaker: Bill Balderaz, president, Futurety

In this module, participants will gain an understanding of what the future of communications may bring — new technologies, AI, expanding communications channels and new ways to utilize data analytics.

Accreditation Information

Participants with the APR credential earn 0.5 renewal CEUs for each completed module of this course, for a total of 2.5 CEUs.


PRSA members save $100 when they register by Oct. 18!



Certificate Program, Course/Workshop, Leadership & Management, Live Online