MBA programs sorely lack PR courses, shows survey

NEW YORK: Jack Bergen, Council of PR Firms president, has pledged

to change the realities of Master's-level business school education by

writing lectures for top-level PR execs to deliver to classrooms of MBA

students.



A council survey of 74 business school deans found that more than half

of MBA programs offer coursework in advertising, but only 16.2% offer

coursework in PR - the smallest percentage recorded among disciplines

including sales promotion and direct marketing.



Bergen's first reaction to those low numbers was surprise.



"It was something that we expected would be in at least half the schools

and it wasn't," said Bergen, who met with business school deans last

week in St. Louis to discuss survey findings.



Nearly 40% of survey respondents said guest lecturers were the primary

way in which students were exposed to strategic communications. Knowing

that 63% of deans surveyed said providing more guest lecturers would

help the PR/communications industry to insert itself into the MBA

process, Bergen said he courted the deans at the conference on the idea

of more PR classroom guest lecturers.



"As a result of the survey, we're setting up a guest lecturer program to

make the CEOs of PR firms available to business schools," said

Bergen.



"The council will write and make lecturers available for them."



Bergen said deans approved of the guest lecturer model, explaining that

they don't offer more courses on strategic communications because there

are few people with both a Ph.D. and comms experience.



- See profile, p.18.



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