EDITORIAL: Is a masters a step too far?

Education, education, education. Just as it's a major 'issue' for both candidates in the presidential election race, it's a major 'issue' for the PR industry, too. This week, in an article on 'The masters of public relations' (see p18) we look at the effectiveness of postgraduate degrees, whether in public relations or general business.

Education, education, education. Just as it's a major 'issue' for both candidates in the presidential election race, it's a major 'issue' for the PR industry, too. This week, in an article on 'The masters of public relations' (see p18) we look at the effectiveness of postgraduate degrees, whether in public relations or general business.

Education, education, education. Just as it's a major 'issue' for both candidates in the presidential election race, it's a major 'issue' for the PR industry, too. This week, in an article on 'The masters of public relations' (see p18) we look at the effectiveness of postgraduate degrees, whether in public relations or general business.

To old-schoolers, the idea that a PR practitioner could have a masters degree at all is extraordinary, almost laughable. The pioneers of PR were largely self-taught, intuitive, often journalists, sometimes simply business opportunists.

After the war, the concept of a PR 'education' developed, and the number of universities now offering majors and minors in PR and communications rises with ever year. But a masters? Is this not a step too far?

PRWeek retains a healthy skepticism toward all forms of education that seek to turn this profession into a science. We also believe the school of hard knocks is an education in its own right. And we are not unnaturally concerned that, armed with an MBA there are many more lucrative professions for the public relations executive to migrate to.

But we are also crucially aware of the hucksterish image of this profession; of the bullshit and seat-of-the-pants advice that is oftentimes the norm.

If the purpose of a masters is to gain the proper respect of the executive team, learning to talk the same language and speak on the same page, what can be the harm?



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