You are here: Skills Classes from SOC

Media Pitching Skills + Cision Certification

In the competitive field of strategic communication and public relations, having the ability to successfully garner media attention is the key to professional success. “Media Pitching Skills + Cision Certification Class,” geared toward current PR professionals as well as those looking to enter the field, delivers access to skills that can give you the edge to succeed.

Taught by industry pro Dina Martinez, this hybrid (on-campus/online) class explores what makes a pitch newsworthy, how to build and maintain targeted media lists, write effective pitch emails, and practice pitching skills. Students will work independently online to engage with content before the class meets and then come to campus to participate in a half-day, intensive seminar.

Integrated into the course, which can be taken either for credit or non-credit, is 20 hours of online training to master marketing/PR software from Cision, one of the most widely used systems in the industry for tracking earned media performance.

  • 20 Hours of Online Training
  • 1 Credit Skills Course
  • Cision Certificatation

When and Where:

Thursday, May 16th
8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
School of Communication American University

Cision branding

Questions about the course?

Contact Dina Martinez,
Senior Professorial Lecturer,
Associate Division Director;
Public Communication

Contact Dina Martinez


What's Newsworthy
Learn how to recognize and develop newsworthy angles to your pitches.
How to Craft a Compelling Pitch
Learn how to write compelling pitch emails and practice your oral pitching skills.
Best Practices for Engaging Reporters
Learn how and when to reach out to reporters to pitch your story ideas.
How to Use Cision to Develop Media Lists
Build your resume by earning your Cision certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may take this course for credit or non-credit.*

Credit courses are designed for students who are interested in earning college credit toward a degree or certificate.

  • COMM-620 is the for-credit option charged at $1,708

Non-credit courses are not applicable toward a degree.

  • COMM-096 is the non-credit option
    • $750 for working professionals
    • $595 for AU Alumni

Once you complete the course, you may request a transcript from American University by emailing

*After you have enrolled and completed the course, AU will not be able to switch your course from non-credit to credit.

To apply for this course, please email with the following information and we will reply with instructions.

  • Your name
  • Course name and number
  • Are you an AU student?

Payments to your student account are accepted online through the Eagle Service link. This payment option is available on the myAU Portal. After you apply, you will be provided with an AU ID you can use to log in to the AU Portal through at

Step-by-step instructions for how to make an online payment.

Please send an email to with contact information for your company and/or a financial guarantee letter to arrange billing.

You can find parking information, as well as the location of the McKinley Building, on the campus parking map.

Parking is free on all campus lots during the weekends and after 5:00PM M-F. (For events taking place during the weekdays before 5PM, paid parking is available in the Katzen Arts Center or School of International Service underground garages). There is also a free shuttle to AU from the Tenleytown-AU Metro Station that runs every 10 minutes. Here is more information about AU’s free shuttle services.

Before traveling to the university, please visit the AU homepage. In the event of an emergency or severe weather, the university operating status will be posted there. Should the university be forced to close, all classes will be canceled.

The course will be held in a classroom with computers. If you prefer, you may bring your own laptop.

Students can register for a class up to one day prior to the class start date.

Students will receive a 100 percent refund if they drop the course one day prior to class start date. After that no refunds will be issued.

The deadline to change the grade type is one (1) day prior to the class start date.

Other questions?

Contact with "Cision Certification" in the subject line.