History of the Irish Academy of Public Relations

Irish Academy Logo Mobile

Irish Academy logo

25 years emblem

International Public Relations Association

Our History

The Irish Academy of Public Relations is a private college which focuses, exclusively, on teaching communications skills to a worldwide audience of students. The Academy was founded by our director, Ellen Gunning in 1992.

24 Years of Education from the Irish Academy (thumbnail)

The Early Years

In the 1990s, the Academy taught public relations and journalism courses at University College Dublin (UCD), University College Cork (UCC) and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).

As the Academy grew, we expanded our range of courses to include event management, radio and television presenting, grammar, social media marketing and mobile journalism.

Partner colleges

We created a network of partner colleges who teach our courses throughout Ireland. We accredit and certify courses in approx. 40 colleges throughout the country.

We also have partner colleges in Greece (The E-Learning Academy) and Nigeria (Dorben Polytechnic) who teach our courses.

We teach communications courses, online, worldwide.

The Academy has developed a suite of online courses, with special video and audio content, which is taught to students worldwide. We currently have graduates in 47 countries around the world.

We also teach TV and Radio presenting skills, in studio, in Dublin

We also teach radio and television presenting courses in studio in Dublin. These offer participants a chance to learn media skills in a real studio environment.

Our courses are available in 5 languages

(soon there will be 6!)

Our Public Relations course is taught in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Polish and Russian. We have just introduced our Journalism course in Spanish and more courses in these languages are planned for the future.

We have an Academy in the Middle East

We have created a joint venture with Orient Plant PR consultancy which is the largest PR consultancy in the Middle East. The Orient Plant Academy offers our range of courses in this region in the English Language. Our partners are currently translating the course content and our courses will soon be available in Arabic.

We have a worldwide network of tutors

Our tutors are all practitioners who work in industry and provide one-to-one tutoring to our students. These professionals have vast experience in their field and offer advice and guidance to students taking our courses. Our network is based across the world because that’s where our students are! Our tutors are also fluent in the languages in which they teach.

We have graduates worldwide

We have Academy graduates in: America, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lesotho, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. The number of graduates, and countries of residence, is growing each month.

International Alumni

We have recently created an international alumni so that our graduates can get to know each other and use other graduates as a resource for help, business information or communications advice. Visit here: http://linkd.in/1CDsAht

Social Media Forum for Students

We have also created a social media forum for students and tutors. From the time students enrol, they join this forum and can interact with other students around the world to discuss assignments, get advice about how best to approach topics and benefit from interaction with each other and their tutors.

Accreditations and Affiliations

The Academy is connected to the organisations which matter most in communications primarily in Ireland, Europe and America. We are constantly expanding our network for the benefit of tutors and students.

Specially created content

The Academy has created special video and audio content for our courses which brings real world experience and advice to students. Newspaper editors, radio station chief executives, public relations consultants, event managers, journalists, TV and radio presenters all offer insights into their world and give advice about what to do – and what not to do!

We have written and published books

The core PR text we use (and most colleges in Ireland use) is ‘Public Relations - A Practical Approach’ (2003, 2007). The text was written by our director Ellen Gunning, and is published by Gill and Macmillan.

We have also commissioned and published the core Journalism text “Working as a Journalist” which was written by John Brophy. The book is published by the Irish Academy of Public Relations.


Our Corporate Training division provides specially tailored courses across a range of topics including event management, newsletter skills, public relations and press release writing. We have worked with individuals to teach them how to make winning presentations and how to handle media interviews.  (link)


The Academy's PR consultancy service advises a broad range of clients on communications and media relations issues. We have handled some of the biggest campaigns in Ireland including a campaign to elect the President of Ireland, the Kerrygold Dublin Horse Show and National Energy Awareness Week. (link)

International Speaker

Our director, Ellen Gunning, is a highly regarded, impactful speaker who addresses conferences and seminars worldwide. Click for video.