CAS in Communication for Public Organisations

The topic

Public administrations, and public sector organisations in general, are becoming increasingly active communicators. They must promote society’s democratic values, present the issues at stake in public decision-making, justify them, promote the activities that they carry out, and face numerous solicitations from the media and the population as a whole. Communication has also become an increasingly important public policy instrument.

As the amount of information that needs to be conveyed increases and the number of media available grows (traditional media, social networks) in conjunction with the population’s expectations, mastering effective communication is becoming ever more complex and requires the use of sophisticated models and techniques.
This course will look into the basics, principles, and specific types of communication for public organisations and the communication methods and tools available to them. A significant proportion of the course will be devoted to presentations given by communication practitioners and to exercises.

Two workshops held during the course will include exercises dedicated to using the media and maintaining relations with them: one will be aimed specifically at traditional media (What are the media’s and journalists’ expectations? How do I get my message across? What are my rights with regards to the media?) and the other at using social networks (Which networks should I use? What are the limits to their use? How can I adapt my message?).

In addition, a visit to the editorial offices of the Le Temps newspaper has also been planned, including sitting in an editorial briefing.

  • Understanding the challenges of public communication and how these have evolved in democratic societies
  • Knowing the principal types and forms of public communication
  • Knowing the basic models and instruments of communication
  • Being able to develop a communication strategy for a public organisation or a not-for-profit organisation
  • Developing media relations skills
Target audience
  • Participants in the MAS in Public Administration (MPA)
  • Political leaders and administrative managers in charge of communication
  • Executives in public enterprises or not-for-profit organisations
  • Executives in companies working with or for the public sector
Speakers (subject to modifications)
Name Position
Nicolas Bideau Ambassador and Director of Presence Switzerland
Géraldine Falbriard Press officer, University of Lausanne
Philippe Gagnebin Director of UNICOM, University of Lausanne
Jean-Blaise Held Co-director of MicroPlume and lecturer at the University of Fribourg
Cathy Maret Head of Communication and Media, Federal Office of Police
Jean-Christophe Sauterel Commissioner, Head of the Prevention and Communication Department, Canton of Vaud Police
Programme (subject to modifications)
Day Date Topic
1 07.01.22 The basics of public communication
2 14.01.22 The organisation of meaning in communication
3 21.01.22 Opinion polls
4 28.01.22 Communication strategy
5 04.02.22 The instruments of communication
6 11.02.22 Evaluating communication activities
7 18.02.22 Crisis communication
8 25.02.22 Workshop on relations with the media
9 04.03.22 Policy communication
10 11.03.22 Workshop electronic media / social networks
12 25.03.22 Participants' presentations
11 18.03.22 Communication and public marketing
12 25.03.22 Participants' presentations
Teaching methods

Classes will involve a mixture of theoretical inputs, case study presentations from research work, group work and discussions, and contributions from experts from both inside and outside IDHEAP. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to carry out a personal project whose objective will be putting into practice the concepts discussed during the course.

Course materials include written documentation but also statistical data presented in the form of tables and graphs.


Martial Pasquier, 2017, Communication des organisations publiques, deBoeck Supérieur, 2nd Edition, Louvain-la-Neuve.

A copy of this book will be sent to participants before the beginning of the course.

Qualifications and Certificates

Participants who actively and regularly attend the course, and complete the course project, will be awarded a Foundation of Continuing Education certificate of continuing education/Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Public Administration (with a specialisation in CEMAP). This corresponds to 10 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits. Participants who follow the course but decide not to complete the project work will receive a certificate of attendance (but no ECTS credits).

Continuing Education regulations

Practical information and Registration

Program management

Prof. Martial Pasquier

Dates, time and place

Every Friday from January 7 to March 25, 2022 from 9.15 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. in the IDHEAP building.

For any questions, please contact

Registration fees

Total course registration fees come to CHF 3,900 (including all documentation), which should be paid on receipt of the invoice, and by the start of the course at the latest.
A discount of 5%, up to a maximum of CHF 500 per course, is available to any IDHEAP alumni—holding an MPA, DAS or CEMAP, an IDHEAP PhD or a Master’s in PMP—who wish to follow a CAS course or a Seminar for Specialist and Executives organised by IDHEAP. This reduction does not apply to participants in the DAS who subsequently wish to follow the MPA course. Any decision to withdraw from the course must be made in writing. If withdrawal from the course is announced between 21 and ten days prior to its commencement, 50% of the registration fee will remain due. If withdrawal from the course is announced less than ten days before its commencement, the entire registration fee is due. The number of places being limited, registrations will be considered on the basis of the date of receipt.

Admission requirements

This course is open to anyone with a university degree or professional experience judged to be equivalent. See the Regulations for the CAS in Public Administration.

Registration deadline


I would like to register

Click here to register. Due to the number of places being limited, registrations will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For any questions, please contact

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Course Manager
Prof. Martial Pasquier
+41 21 692
68 80

Studies Secretariat
+41 21 692 68 13

Rue de la Mouline 28 - CH-1022 Chavannes-près-Renens
Tel. +41 21 692 68 00
Fax +41 21 692 68 09