PESO Model CertificationTwo weeks ago, during our PESO Model 2.0 Masterclass, we announced the launch of the PESO Model Certification.

This is a really big deal, not just because you can learn the PESO Model in all its glory from the creator, but because the S.I. Newhouse School for Public Communications at Syracuse University has partnered with us to offer the certificate.

Now, when you learn how to use the PESO Model, you will earn a certification that will show clients or executives you are doing PR in the 21st century.

And that certification will be stamped by both Spin Sucks AND the S.I. Newhouse School for Public Communications at Syracuse. 

What Is the PESO Model Certification?

The PESO Model Certification is for communicators who want to evolve their careers, learn new skills, and measure results.

At the end of the PESO Model certification course you will be able to:

  • Apply your knowledge and contribute to your organization’s business strategy with a PESO model framework that garners measurable business results.
  • Design an integrated strategy and connect your tactics to business goals.
  • Create an integrated lead generation program that demonstrates ROI.
  • Develop measurable objectives and correlate results with organizational goals.

The PESO Model Certification is for communicators who want to gain advanced skills and a comprehensive understanding of how to build and scale an integrated program within any sized organization.

It includes eight modules, with step-by-step instruction, case studies, downloadable templates, and actionable strategies.

Upon successful completion of the modules and online evaluation, you’ll earn your academically-recognized certification, one that designates you are a strategic digital communicator.

If you missed the masterclass, you can access the replay HERE.

If you are ready to get certified, you can sign-up HERE.

Your PESO Model Certification Questions

Needless to say there have been a ton of questions, both about the PESO model and the certification.

In today’s article, we will address the certification questions specifically and will get to the PESO Model specific questions next Friday (there were some REALLY great ones).

Logistics Around the Certification

Is the certification online?

Yes, it is. It’s online and can be taken from anywhere in the world.

Does the PESO Model Online Course teach how to measure efforts?

Ohhh, hahahaha, hahahah! We looooove our measurement here at Spin Sucks. And measurement is one of the things that really defines the PESO Model and its practitioners.

So yes, double yes, yes to the zillionth degree.

You will be taught how to effectively measure your efforts in a way that matters to organizational leadership and directly shows how our work drives business goals.

Is the course self-paced?

Yes! Take it on your own timeline and schedule. It’s available 24/7 online. So you can do the work and move through at a time and schedule that works for you.

Not Just for Americans

We are an international community. This is an international certification.

Do you think that you will roll out the certification via universities internationally?

Because the certification is online, it’s accessible for our international colleagues.

The S. I. Newhouse School for Public Communications is extremely well-respected globally for their communications program. The framework and tools taught during the certification will be equally applicable internationally.

We train communicators from all around the globe in all of our Spin Sucks Academy programs.

The PESO Model Certification doesn’t have borders on it’s value to communicators.

The Actual Work to Achieve PESO Model Certification

How big is the time commitment?

You can expect to spend about three hours a week for eight weeks.

It’s all self-directed (though we are here in the community to help you) and it’s as flexible as you need it to be.

If you need it to take longer because you have other pressing matters, that’s fine, too.

You’ll get access to a new module every week for eight weeks, but you’ll also have lifetime access to the content so you can take as long as you need to finish it.

Once you finish and pass the exam, you’ll be certified…and, from that date, you’ll have the renewal two years later.

Will the PESO Model Certification course exercises be based on hypothetical organizations or will they pertain to your organization or a mix?

There is a mix of case studies from our own work and from that of our agency owner clients.

But more, part of your passing the exams at the end of each module is providing links to some of the work you’ve done throughout the course on your own organization (or that of one of your client’s).

As you learn, you’ll do. We’ve found this is the most effective way for you to learn. And we’ll ask you to provide evidence that you’ve done the work along the way.

Is there a “test” at the end so that only people who have truly completed it and learned everything will get the certification?

Yes. It’s very important that the certification is only provided to communicators who show they not only understand the concepts of the PESO model in theory, but also can apply them correctly.

There are exams at the end of each module and a final exam at the end.

You get an immediate grade on those and you have to pass them all at 90% or higher to get your certification.

You’ll also have to prove you’re doing the work, which means you either need to demonstrate (and provide links) that you’re doing the work for yourself or for a client.

Will PRSA start including the PESO model in the APR exam process?

I don’t know the answer to that.

While we have a great working relationship with PRSA, this hasn’t come up.

Right now, we’re focused on getting the curriculum into schools and to as many professionals as possible.

After that, we’ll focus on business leaders and start those conversations with PRSA.

Is the PESO Model Certification for Me?

My current role/organization is exclusively media relations, will this be useful for me?

Yes.  It will teach you how to show how the things you do correlate to results.

We will give you the tools you need to attribute your work in a measurable way.

It’ll also give you a really good understanding of what other communications partners are doing for your clients—either in-house or at other agencies—and how you might all work together to build something more substantial versus working in silos.

Is the certification for all levels of understanding?

It is! We worked REALLY hard to make it relevant to both those at the beginning and those with more experience.

Consider it a graduate-level program that builds on your communications expertise.

Although some of my clients would be great candidates to apply the PESO model, they are not quite there yet. Do you think this has any impact on getting 100% out of the program?

No. It’ll do three things for you immediately:
  1. Teach you what else you can provide for clients (and how to sell it to them);
  2. How to you can talk about results and measure your efforts, even if it’s not a fully integrated program; and 
  3. Do the work for your own business.

If anything, you’re in a spot to learn more and take more away because you don’t have clients who expect things done a certain way right now.


We worked really, really hard to make this affordable for folks at every stage of their career.

We believe it’s a reasonable price point and provides value many, many, many <insert all the many> times more than what we are charging for it.

Our vision as an organization is to improve the reputation of the communications industry from the inside out and this certification is a crucial step to get there.

We didn’t want to price people out of it.

For that reason, there are no discounts.

Even though we love you.

Or for those of you who have taken other courses with us.

Even if you once wrote a guest post on Spin Sucks or sent us flowers (although we thank you for both of those things).

Even if you’re a nonprofit or your organization has had budget cuts.

Part of having Newhouse as a partner is to provide incredible third-party validation to this certification.

Just like they won’t provide a discount to go to school there, the same is expected here.

Do graduates of other Spin Sucks courses get a discount on this certification?


In Conjunction With Other Spin Sucks Academy Courses and Materials

Should I take the certification before or after Agency Jumpstart?

It really depends on your goals.

What’s more important to you currently: agency growth or introducing new services to existing clients?

If the former, the start with Agency Jumpstart.

If the latter, go for the certification first.

I’ve studied the Sucks articles on PESO for years. I’ve taken the Modern Blogging Masterclass. I’ve done the 30-day Communications Challenge. <Fill in Spin Sucks Program>. Will this still be useful for me?


Without question.

We get into more detail on the PESO Model here than in any of our other content.

This is a university accredited certification.

You can’t receive that from anything else we offer.

There is a big difference between reading blog posts and being accredited as a PESO model certified communicator.

Not only will you learn skills that will transform your career, you’ll have the accreditation to share with potential clients and employers.

More Questions?

We are sure you all are full of many, many, many more questions about the PESO Model Certification.

Keep them coming.

This FAQ is a living document and we will continue to update it accordingly.

Post your questions in the comments or in the Spin Sucks community. 

And, if you know you’re ready to get certified today, click the button below.


Laura Petrolino

Laura Petrolino is chief marketing officer for Spin Sucks, an integrated marketing communications firm that provides strategic counsel and professional development for in-house and agency communications teams. She is a weekly contributor for their award-winning blog of the same name. Spin Sucks. Join the Spin Sucks   community.

View all posts by Laura Petrolino