Educating the profession

The Commission on Public Relations Education has released a report called “The Professional Bond”, which offers recommendations for creating curriculum in communications departments for undergraduate...

The Commission on Public Relations Education has released a report called “The Professional Bond”, which offers recommendations for creating curriculum in communications departments for undergraduate and graduate programs. The report will eventually be available on the Commission’s website at www.commpred.org, when the site launches on November 30th.

The Commission comprises 35 representatives from 12 public relations organizations, including PRSA and the Council of Public Relations Firms. Among other things it looks at the potential impact technology, ethics, diversity, and globalization on the structure of PR programs.

I spent some time yesterday with John Paluszek and Dean Kruckeberg, co-chairs of the Commission, who talked about the goal of bringing the needs of employers and educators closer together to meet the needs of the changing profession. The academic ranks are depleted, according to the report summary, with a shortage of PR educators at the same time the student population is swelling. Some in the PR profession bemoan the fact that many educators are not experienced practitioners.

Interestingly, at the Newsmarket dinner last night, two of the corporate PR people I spoke to teach classes at their local universities. Their rationale was they want to bring more to students today than they had available when they were students.

You can’t learn to be a good communicator from a book. The more real-world professionals who enter the classroom, the better it will be for the industry. Recruiting adjuncts, or even career-changers, may help the colleges and universities solve two problems at once.

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