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.