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
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
"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.