ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; Do PR qualifications matter?

Rosemary Graham IPR Education and Training Committee

Rosemary Graham IPR Education and Training Committee

‘The UK has only had full-time PR degree courses for five or six years -

unlike the US, where they’ve been around for decades. There are between

100 and 200 students on the go at the moment and we may not have jobs

for all of them. That’s why students should be encouraged to think about

it for its intrinsic interest and value and not necessarily because they

want to become a PR practitioner.’

David Lake Countrywide Communications

‘I don’t believe it is essential that people have those qualifications.

Given our commitment to training, we can find ways of helping people

with all the basic craft skills of consultancy if they stay with us for

three or four years. But it does mean they start that much further

ahead, and that their contribution to the business and to clients’

business is that much greater. Also it gives them confidence.’

Benedicte Martin Media Appointments

‘It is quite unusual for clients to specifically request candidates with

public relations qualifications, such as the CAM certificate. However, I

am finding that candidates making a later start into public relations

are studying for CAM in order to demonstrate their commitment to the


Susie Gale PR Matters

‘I believe PR can’t be taught and is something you either have or you

don’t. Savvy and know-how are as important as qualifications. Although,

due to the competitive nature of the industry, I would always advise

people obtain a recognised qualification. I also think students should

seek out work experience while studying. Too many public relations

graduates feel they can leave college and walk straight into a plum

account executive job.’

Lucie Bieber Lynne Franks PR

‘I did a PR degree course at Leeds Metropolitan and found it very useful

in terms of teaching you about the practicalities of PR - about how to

write a press release, how to deal with the media, and organisational

skills. What you can’t learn is the day-to-day running of an agency.’

Jonathan Simnett A Plus

‘I think it is better to be educated in another discipline before you

start learning about public relations. It’s a sub-discipline of

marketing and best taught as a post-graduate qualification or as

continuous learning.’

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