The school curriculum is failing PR and we need to fix it

Something I've learned since working in communications is that PR has a PR problem.

While I was studying at university, my course had around 30 students. That’s all. This number decreased by the time graduation rolled around, too. 

It doesn't take an expert to identify that there’s a gap in the education of PR.

Most popular undergraduate PR courses revealed

Unfortunately, it’s actually not hard to see why people aren’t picking PR as their first-choice career when you trace back a few years to GCSEs and A-Levels. 

From an individual who actually did start their career in PR, I’d still not heard about the industry until I’d done some research before picking my university course. 

Let’s not delve into the gruesome details of this "teaching" of PR to young and impressionable individuals; instead, I want to talk about why PR deserves to be more included in children’s education and why more young people should consider a career in communications.

Let’s educate our kids about PR

PR isn’t a practice that’s spoken about a lot in schools, not even at A-Level, so it really is up to the students themselves to do their own research and consider it a career path.

This lack of education is not only limiting the options presented to our children as they begin to plan out their working life, but the PR industry itself also suffers a big blow, too. 

PR should be on every business curriculum.

One reason is that by not educating school children on the public relations industry, we’re probably missing out on heaps of young talent. 

We may just be letting some of the most brilliant and creative young minds that would flourish in this industry pass us by, simply because they didn’t really know much about public relations before heading off to university, and therefore never considered it a career choice. 

There’s also the issue of not educating kids about the PR and communications industry and therefore negative stereotypes and misconceptions will continue to remain. 

The PR industry has enough of these to last a lifetime, such as: PR is about writing press releases, PR is about free advertising, PR is deceptive and deceitful...to name just a few.

And if we continue to teach children that PR is a ‘cheap and easy way of getting noticed’ then these stereotypes aren’t going to go away. 

However, if we do educate individuals early on about the proper practice of public relations, then maybe there’s a chance we can shake these misconceptions for good.

It’s time the school system started doing PR some justice. 

There’s an abundance of opportunities in communication careers and there are still plenty of misinterpretations that need wiping and, just for these two reasons alone, we need to start teaching our children about PR.

Jessica Pardoe is digital PR executive for Tecmark

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