CIPR Diploma – Planning Assignment

CIPR Diploma – Planning Assignment

One of the reasons I’ve been so quiet on the blogging front recently has been the fact I’m studying for the CIPR Diploma.
I started studying back in June 2007, and was delighted to pass the first hurdle, the critical reasoning test, last Autumn.
The second formal assessment on the diploma course is the planning assignment which was handed in just after Christmas (no prizes for guessing what I spent my holidays doing!). The assignment aims to encourage students to demonstrate their ability by applying planning theory to a practical public relations situation.
This time the scenario was about crisis communications and issues management – two areas I have had limited exposure to in my career so far, so I found the assignment a challenge. The objectives were to produce an action plan and rationale for a major organisation facing a crisis addressing key issues and developing a strategy for restoring reputation for the longer term.
One aspect of the assignment I found tricky was writing a workplace strategy, but then at the end of it having to write an academic rationale for the business decisions and approaches I had taken. This certainly forced a degree of rigour into my thinking that wasn’t there before.
The results for the planning assignment were published just before Easter. I was quite apprehensive as I wasn’t sure how well I’d done, so I was delighted to be awarded a “distinction” grade.
I’m publishing the assignment and my answers here to help other PR students, particularly those studying for the diploma. I found a number of web resources useful when researching my assignment, so it seems the right thing to do to put my work into the public domain to help others.
There are three PDF files in this assignment:

Now my attention turns to the final stage in the diploma – the personal project – where I’m researching the role of social media in local government communications, but more on this as things progress.


I work with founders and senior leaders in rapid growth businesses. My focus is building resilience, coherence and high performance in teams and organisations to enable sustainable business growth.

13 thoughts on “CIPR Diploma – Planning Assignment”

  1. I too am currently studying for the CIPR Diploma and as I type, I am just trying to put together the finishing touches to my planning assignment. I just wanted to drop a note to say thank you for sharing with other CIPR students the work you have undertaken and the process of studying. And well done on your distinction.

  2. Hi Simon,
    I am currently studying for my master degree in Public Relations & we have both the CIPR Diploma Critical Reasoning Test & the CIPR Diploma Planning Assignment as prerequisites for the Master’s degree. I am finishing my planning assignment. I would like to thank you for sharing with other CIPR & Master students your work and the process of studying. I would like to congratulate you on your distinction.

  3. Congrats on your Distinction
    Well I would like to study Public Relations and I have decided to to leave IT aside for a while because I know my heart lies with in PR. Now my question is which other institute can I register with for a Diploma in PR or Communications that is reasonably priced and that I can have on line in a short space of time coz I’m in Zimbabwe

  4. Just read your assaignment I find it enlightining. I have completed a short course on Public Relations Practice with PRISA. I am only left with Public Relations Management Course to be acredited in public relations.
    Is there an internationally recognised institution which offers this course online?
    Congrats on your distinction.

  5. Simon you are an insperation, i am first year university student and i am studying a BA Corporate Communication. We have been given an assigment that requires that we find an ethical issue of pr in an organision and i don’t know where to start, please help

  6. Hello Simon, i am studing CIPR diploma, just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your assignments with everybody it is really a great gesture.

  7. Dear Simon,
    thank you very much indeed of sharing useful info with others but I really do have doubts concerning scope of my work (I am getting CIRP Professional Diploma and working on my first assignment). And I need an advice…

  8. Hi Simon I’m doing the PR professional diploma and can’t seem to download your assignments which you’ve kindly shared. Is there any chance you could email them to me please?


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