Advanced Certificate - Syllabus

Nine components from the IPA Publication: A Best Practice Guide to Developing Communications Strategy go under the microscope throughout this qualification's five modules. The components are; an objective, targeting, insight, a guiding idea, the role for each media, channel choices, integration and measurement.


1. The Media Context for Comms Planning 

Designed to establish and provide much of the context for the following modules. It revises the cultural importance of media, and how media agencies make money. It considers recent major technology shifts and how consumer reactions to these changes have impacted the way in which we plan. It then explores how these changes and reactions continue to manifest in both their impact on media industry thinking and how they may drive agency delivery and development.

2. Designing and Implementing Effective Measurement

Emphasises the importance of considering what you will be evaluating, and why, before embarking on any new strategic development. It not only exhibits a range of best practice methods for evaluating different types of activity but, signifies the importance of setting relevant and measurable objectives at the start of the process. The module brings these concepts to life using IPA Effectiveness Award examples and an outline evaluation framework.

3. Developing a Communication Strategy 

Guides learners through each stage of communication strategy planning considerations. It focuses on the importance of a good brief, setting a budget, defining a customer/target audience, gathering insight and developing ideas. The module highlights successful industry techniques and evidences them through a range of relevant material, including IPA assets and publications.

4. Approaches to Integration

Discusses the meaning and importance of integration. Combined with ‘Datamine 3’ it allows learners to consider existing data about the integration models available. Also used alongside ‘The Long & Short of It’, the module presents a cohesive evaluation of the current models of integration. The module challenges learners to voice their own thinking regarding the integration debate through identifying and defining potential models of integration, using IPA Effectiveness Award winning papers.

5. Principles and Practices for a Great Comms Plan

Considers the remaining steps to developing a plan – the role for media and channel choices. It focuses primarily on 2 key deliverables:

  • The ‘Ecosystem’ - A holistic view of all touchpoints and content that will form part of the plan
  • The ‘Schematic’ – A breakdown of investment by touchpoint and a recommendation of how that investment is phased over time.

The module shows how learners can maximise the effectivity of their communication plans through best practice principles for budget allocation and channel planning, and, once a plan goes live, through ongoing analysis and optimisation.

Last updated 21 September 2020