EDITORIAL: Business experience key to training

Jon White's letter on calls for an MBA in PR raises important

issues about the link between communications and general management


White says that an MBA in PR is a contradiction in terms. Taking a broad

management course and narrowing its focus to communications is a

retrograde step. Rather, as he points out, MBA lecturers should devote

more time to the role of communications in business.

But this need to marry business and communications training must begin

before postgraduate level. The most common complaint by client companies

to PRWeek centres on the inability of consultants to understand a

company's profit drivers and to see how their contribution impacts on

the bottom line. Likewise the most common complaint about PR course

graduates is that they cannot place communications in context.

Creating business-aware graduates requires PR degrees to include a

secondment not only to PR departments and consultancies, but to sales

teams, marketing departments, even the FD's office. Experience in these

departments would help breed a more valuable generation of consultants

than the creation of an MBA in PR.

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