Archive for June 2011
Recently, I undertook research with Dr Chindu Sreedharan, for the Institute of Public Relations on the skills and training needs of future senior communicators. It was a study amongst top corporate and consultancy communicators in Europe and North America to identify the skills future leaders needed, and training and education to prepare them. A video of my presentation of the report was recently made for the Public Relations Institute of Australia.
One of the key comments that framed the study came from a top European corporate communicator: “It’s no longer sufficient to have a communications background only. Senior communicators need to understand business environment and management styles to be seen as trusted advisors.”
This view that top-level communicators had to understand all the operations of a major organisation was widespread and pointed towards practice developments and education that focus on strategy development and the integration of communication objectives with organisational objectives and KPIs. The report had three groups of conclusions for early implementation:
- Communication strategy must be linked to or part of business strategy
- Communicators should understand the whole business environment, not just media and communication
- Operational experience needed; They need to speak language of the business
Training and Education
- Key subjects are business strategy, financial literacy, economics, public affairs and public diplomacy, and relationship management
- Stronger focus is needed on research and business analysis skills
Proof of Performance
- The ability to interpret and apply the most appropriate research methods is more important than technical measurement skills
- Evaluation frameworks need to be developed for judgement on organisational impact, not clip measurement
- Planning skills need improvement
The full report is available at: http://www.instituteforpr.org/ipr_info/future_leaders/
The “Responding to Extremisms: Media Roles and Responsibilities” conference is being at Bournemouth University on Friday July 15. It’s organised by The Media School in conjunction with Dorset Police. Speakers are from academia, the police, media and think tanks: Responding to Extremisms Conference programme. Register online at http://cerb.eventbrite.com.
It’s great to get recognition when it is well-merited. UK Communications Minister Ed Vaizey has told Parliament that Bournemouth University’s Media School is a world-leader: “It is one of the leading digital media centres, not just in this country, but, I suspect, the world.” He was commenting on the broad involvement of graduates, especially from computer animation, in the digital media sector.
BU is also a leader in public relations, having been one of the first UK universities to introduce a BA in Public Relations, and still attracts the best UK students.