PR Education – Time for industry to invest long-term

Posted on: November 17, 2008

Earlier this year, I blogged about the value of placements and internships in supporting excellent public relations education. I took this message to the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) Congress in Beijing, where I spoke on a panel on public relations education and training, alongside colleagues from New Zealand, Peru, China and the United States.


Universities welcome the public relations industry’s partnership with academia on placements and by giving guest lectures and providing students with ‘real life’ scenarios to work on.


But the PR industry needs to commit itself more deeply to public relations education and research. Apart from the United States which has exemplary philanthropy for education, there is a lack of financial support. From my experience in several countries, the PR industry welcomes our job-ready graduates but is very reluctant to fund research or to support faculty appointments.


Industry can become more deeply engaged with PR education and research in three ways. The first is to seek appointments on university PR programmes’ advisory boards and so provide industry perspectives when they are designed or reviewed.


The second is to make the appointment of graduates from accredited PR programmes a top priority. Too often, industry leaders pay lip service to PR education but choose not to recruit students who are job-ready in favour of those from non-vocational universities.


Thirdly, and most importantly, it’s time that this industry actively funds university education and research as a long-term investment in its future. Endowing a professorial chair, offering funding for research related to your organisation’s interests, giving staff time for secondments to universities as ‘practice fellows’ and engaging with universities on joint funding bids to national research bodies are all actions to consider. Governments everywhere are looking for research bids that demonstrably benefit industry.


In summary, if the industry wants to derive advantage from academic education and research in public relations, it has to increase its active engagement and to start funding it in a much larger and longer-term manner.


1 Response to "PR Education – Time for industry to invest long-term"

That’s true, and PR needs much more status A PR degree needs to gain the same respect as any other degree.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 17 other followers



Subscribe in NewsGator Online


Tom Watson

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

%d bloggers like this: