EDITORIAL: Learning needn’t have limitations

The launch of the IPR’s continuous professional development scheme and its early adoption by a leading multi-national and a top ten agency sets an important precedent for the PR industry.

The launch of the IPR’s continuous professional development scheme

and its early adoption by a leading multi-national and a top ten agency

sets an important precedent for the PR industry.



The heat of debate at the recent Best Practice work group on this

subject underlines the crucial importance of training as an issue for

developing professionalism in the industry.



But a dearth of talented middle managers caused by the cutbacks in

training in the early-1990s has inevitably led to a concentration on

developing skills at account manager level, with enormous weighting on

implementational and, in particular, media relations skills.



As managers scale the career ladder and their skills become a more

expensive commodity, the benefits of formal training tend to be weighed

against the loss in terms of expensive man hours - with all too often an

inevitable result.



If this industry is to keep up with the incredible rate of change and

pressures not only within the internet and media, but also in terms of

corporate governance and societal expectations of corporate

responsibility, an industry-wide commitment must be made to career-long

learning. But if training is to be more than an occasional activity, it

pays to throw a certain amount of responsibility back on the

individual.



While a minimum requirement for training should be taken as a given,

companies also need to work at encouraging individuals to seek ways of

improving their professional skills through a variety of avenues and not

just through a programme of external training days. Both agencies and

in-house departments need to look at developing a culture of PR

learning.



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