Publication of our feature on ’The Future of PR Education’ was well-timed (see page 20), for it coincided with the final stage of PRWeek’s competition to find the PR Student of the Year.
Publication of our feature on ’The Future of PR Education’ was
well-timed (see page 20), for it coincided with the final stage of
PRWeek’s competition to find the PR Student of the Year.
A lot of older PR practitioners, schooled in journalism or the liberal
arts, remain skeptical about the value of a degree in public
Here was a chance to see what a PR student could bring to the table
fresh from college.
Five finalists - from public relations programs at universities all over
the country - were flown to New York for the showdown. The aim was to
test them in real-life PR skills: devising strategies to win new
business, creating campaign ideas, presenting to management, pitching
stories to the media and developing a crisis communications
The judges were impressed by the finalists’ grasp of many of the PR
fundamentals, as well as their creativity and composure under pressure.
Their performance certainly gave some credence to San Diego State
University PR professor Glen Broom’s claim that ’PR pros without
academic grounding will spend their lives experiencing epiphanies that a
student in a good undergraduate program learns in the curriculum.’
But a PR degree is only as good as the course itself, and the overall
quality of entries was poor. If PR educators are to win the support of
the industry, they need to: improve the courses; select better students;
and do a little bit of PR themselves and promote the success of
high-flying PR-educated students after they leave college. Incidentally,
our first-ever PR Student of the Year will be announced at the PRWeek
Awards in New York on February 15.