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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2002

James E. Grunig and Larissa A. Grunig

The 15‐year study of excellence in public relations and communication management in the USA, the UK and Canada produced an explanation of the value of PR to an…

Abstract

The 15‐year study of excellence in public relations and communication management in the USA, the UK and Canada produced an explanation of the value of PR to an organisation and a set of theoretical principles describing how the communication function should be organised, structured and practised in an organisation. These principles provide a theoretical benchmark for auditing the quality of a PR unit. This paper identifies the implications of these principles for PR education at the undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education levels and for management education in MBA programmes. The excellence study suggests, first, that all PR education must instil in students the view that PR is a strategic managerial function rather than a technical support function for other managerial functions. Undergraduate programmes should continue to develop superior communication skills in their students, but they must frame these technical skills in principles of strategic management, research and ethics and social responsibility. Postgraduate and continuing education programmes should focus on strategic management and research skills and educate future managers to be ethics officers in the organisation. MBA programmes should include a unit on PR in a subject area such as strategic management, public affairs or corporate social responsibility to prepare them to work with PR professionals when they become senior executives. PR education at all of these levels and in both communication and MBA programmes should educate students to practise PR globally.

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2002

Krishnamurthy Sriramesh

Public relations (PR) education has not kept pace with the rapid globalisation that has occurred since 1992. The existing PR body of knowledge, and PR curricula around the…

Abstract

Public relations (PR) education has not kept pace with the rapid globalisation that has occurred since 1992. The existing PR body of knowledge, and PR curricula around the world, have a US bias. In order to prepare PR students in various parts of the world to become effective multicultural professionals it is essential for experiences and perspectives from other continents to be integrated into PR education. The complexities of societal factors such as culture, political systems and media systems make Asia a challenging place to conduct strategic PR. It is time for educators to integrate experiences from other continents into the PR body of knowledge, thereby building PR curricula that contribute to training truly multicultural PR professionals.

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2018

Esi Eduwaa Thompson

The purpose of this paper is to examine how lecturers in public relations (PR) in Ghana are preparing students to be effective practitioners. The study also aims to extend…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how lecturers in public relations (PR) in Ghana are preparing students to be effective practitioners. The study also aims to extend understanding of PR education to an emerging democracy in response to calls for examining how future practitioners are shaped in different contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopted a qualitative open-ended key informant in-depth interview approach with 12 purposively sampled PR lectures in accredited higher education institutions in Ghana.

Findings

PR education in Ghana is shaped by the local socio-political and economic context and influenced by western approaches. The opportunity to teach PR at the diploma level (prior to a bachelor’s level) provides another layer of PR training. Extensive use of social media in Ghana suggests that more focus should be placed on teaching about the strategic use of these technologies in industry. In the face of real challenges, under-resourced lecturers find ways to appropriate and provide students with skills needed for industry.

Research limitations/implications

The use of a qualitative data gathering method suggests that this study should be considered an introduction into PR education in Ghana, which requires further investigation with generalizable samples.

Originality/value

This study profiles PR education in Ghana. It also responds to calls to examine the preparation of future practitioners in different context beyond the western world.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2014

Damian John Gleeson

– The purpose of this paper is to explore the foundation and development of public relations education (PRE) in Australia between 1950 and 1975.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the foundation and development of public relations education (PRE) in Australia between 1950 and 1975.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper utilises Australian-held primary and official industry association material to present a detailed and revisionist history of PR education in Australia in its foundation decades.

Findings

This paper, which locates Australia's first PRE initiatives in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide in the 1960s, contests the only published account of PR education history by Potts (1976). The orthodox account, which has been repeated uncritically by later writers, overlooks earlier initiatives, such as the Melbourne-based Public Relations Institute of Australia, whose persistence resulted in Australia's first PR course at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1964. So too, educational initiatives in Adelaide and Sydney pre-date the traditional historiography.

Originality/value

A detailed literature review suggests this paper represents the only journal-length piece on the history of PRE in Australia. It is also the first examination of relationships between industry, professional institutes, and educational authorities.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2020

Khaled Zamoum and T. Serra Gorpe

The development of teaching public relations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an important topic to uncover because it is related to and to some extent parallel with…

Abstract

Purpose

The development of teaching public relations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an important topic to uncover because it is related to and to some extent parallel with the development of the UAE and its vital sectors. The purpose of the study is determine the circumstances of the emergence of teaching public relations in the UAE, to investigate public relations education offered in the UAE universities, to discuss the development of public relations education including challenges and opportunities.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted 12 semistructured interviews with public relations educators in the UAE universities to understand the importance, development and current status of public relations and education.

Findings

The finding indicates a lot of developments took place in the establishment of public relations programs and its professionalization within a short time span, but more empirical research is needed to address the issues that have been brought up in the study.

Research limitations/implications

The current research looked at the undergraduate public relations programs, but the status of graduate programs in communication and public relations needs to be investigated. More research in academic field is needed to discuss how the development of the public relations education influenced the public relations practice in UAE.

Originality/value

There is not much research done specifically on the public relations education in the UAE. The study sheds light on understanding the perspective of public relations educators on public relations programs and provides insights on how public relations education can be integrated to the local context without losing the global perspective.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2002

Sally Sykes

This paper examines the growth of the public relations (PR) discipline in the UK with reference to some of the possible business drivers behind growth and the changing…

Abstract

This paper examines the growth of the public relations (PR) discipline in the UK with reference to some of the possible business drivers behind growth and the changing strategic role of communications in companies. Some of the factors at play are discussed, with particular reference to corporate social responsibility, transparency, stakeholder relationships and reputation management and the role of PR in creating the “employer brand” for those companies competing for the scare resource of new corporate talent. The paper also discusses the role of PR education in the UK in preparing aspirants to the profession for the working life of a PR practitioner and considers the expectations of companies for strategic PR management and whether the supply of practitioners meets the need and demand. Finally, the author draws upon experience in having undertaken a course of further formal PR education at Masters degree level and comments on the practical and strategic communications benefits to be gained from framing experience of PR in action within the growing body of PR and communications theory encountered during academic study.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2016

Astrid Spatzier

Little is known about the effects of education on the practice of PR. This chapter aims at demonstrating the differences between economics-educated practitioners and…

Abstract

Little is known about the effects of education on the practice of PR. This chapter aims at demonstrating the differences between economics-educated practitioners and communication-educated practitioners. Based on a quantitative survey among 790 practitioners working in non-profits in Austria, the research presented here sheds light on the influences of education on thinking and acting by practitioners in communication practice. Although public relations are not a protected profession, education has become an on-going topic in public relations literature and practice. Furthermore, education for public relations increasingly takes place in various environments. Courses available range from one-day seminars at community colleges to PR-specific studies. Furthermore, public relations are not only a topic in communications-related studies, but also in economics and humanities. The results highlight the differences in practice in relation to the education.

Details

The Management Game of Communication
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-716-8

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Article
Publication date: 11 August 2020

Kate Fitch and Jacquie L'Etang

The aim of this paper is to begin a conversation about historicising the public relations (PR) curriculum in universities.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to begin a conversation about historicising the public relations (PR) curriculum in universities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses PR history and historiography to identify the underlying ideological and methodological influences. It considers scholarship on PR education, and the inclusion or, more often, the exclusion of history except where it serves to reinforce a narrative of steady, and apparently unproblematic, professional development. The paper reviews the presentation of history in textbooks and discusses the authors' experiences of teaching PR history. The paper concludes with a discussion of how the inclusion of history in the PR curriculum offers an important critical intervention in PR education.

Findings

The PR curriculum tends to meet industry expectations around practice and skills in order to develop students as future practitioners. But this paper argues that a more historical and historiographical understanding of PR can develop in students important skills in research, analysis and interpretation. It can also introduce students to working with ambiguity and alternate perspectives. Foregrounding new histories and challenging existing histories introduce students to richer and more complex understandings of PR. It also introduces students to epistemology and ethics, and therefore offers a way to introduce critical thinking into the curriculum.

Originality/value

A more historical understanding of PR develops student skills in research, analysis and interpretation as well as critical thinking.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Graeme William Domm

The purpose of this paper is to explore the practices and outlooks of public relations (PR) and corporate communication practitioners in six countries of South East Asia…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the practices and outlooks of public relations (PR) and corporate communication practitioners in six countries of South East Asia, through the eyes of practitioners themselves.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the findings of a doctoral research project comprising an online questionnaire sent to 100 active PR and corporate communication practitioners in six countries of South East Asia, attracting 30 responses; and a subsequent series of 14 semi-structured, in-depth face-to-face interviews. While taking some account of a range of theories in formulating questions, the research is primarily inductive in nature, seeking to reveal self-perceptions of the working worlds, worldviews, values and concerns of practitioners themselves.

Findings

The project confirms, in the South East Asian context, hypotheses previously advanced by researchers including Sriramesh (2004), Sriramesh and Vercic (2001), Bardhan (2011) and others which assert that distinctive worldviews and local and regional cultures can be significant considerations in understanding the ways that communication strategies are developed and applied in different geographical locations. Going further, the research confirms that local practitioners see other environmental variables including differences in infrastructure, the composition of local languages and a range of other factors which go beyond “attitudes” and “values” as having important impacts as well, and therefore being worthy of more detailed attention by international communication planners and scholars.

Research limitations/implications

The research has implications for practitioners seeking to develop effective communication strategies in South East Asian environments. For scholars, the research has implications for better understanding of the significance of a range of environmental variables which may impact the effectiveness of professional practice in the region but which as yet may not be sufficiently recognised by existing theory and case studies. The project has a small sample size, with respondents drawn primarily from the membership of two English-speaking international professional associations. All research was also conducted in English. It may therefore not be fully representative of all practitioners across the region.

Practical implications

The findings draw attention to ways that communication strategies might be more successfully developed and applied in particular Association of South East Asian Nations countries, and how professional practice in this region can help to better inform the development of more inclusive, comprehensive and critical “international” PR theory, curriculum and pedagogy.

Social implications

The research has social implications in regard to promoting better understanding of the outlooks and influences upon a group of professional people who arguably enjoy disproportionate influence upon the communities and societies in which they operate, by virtue of the work they undertake to explain, persuade and build relationships on behalf of other influential parties.

Originality/value

This is the first research project providing extensive first-hand simultaneous insights into the working worlds and personal outlooks of a broad cross-section of corporate communication practitioners across a number of major countries of South East Asia, embracing a comprehensive range of discussion topics.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Book part
Publication date: 24 September 2018

Astrid Spatzier and Jessica Breu

Little is known about the connections between mediated knowledge and promoting creativity. Based on a quantitative survey among 1,102 graduates from University, University…

Abstract

Little is known about the connections between mediated knowledge and promoting creativity. Based on a quantitative survey among 1,102 graduates from University, University of Applied Science and Vocational Academy in Salzburg, Austria, this research sheds light on the influences of knowledge transfer on the development of creativity. Moreover, the chapter highlights types of mediated knowledge that foster creativity.

Along with Csikszentmihalyi and Wolfe (2000), creativity refers to ideas or products that are originally worked out and valued by society. Regarding that, two contrary theses exist. On the one hand, according to Hadamard (1954), it can be assumed that creative processes are not linked to background knowledge. On the other hand, along with Weisberg (1993), it can be noted that creative ideas or products are affected by mediated knowledge. Moreover, extraordinary creativity in a certain professional field presupposes not only qualifications and abilities, but rather particularly knowledge. Although qualifications for public relations (PR) practice and education are ongoing topics in literature and practice (e.g. Szyszka 1998; Merten & Schulte 2007; Spatzier 2016), little is known about the empirical linkage of knowledge and creativity. This chapter deals with the question of the connections between knowledge transfer and the development of creativity in the education for public relations, marketing, advertising and graphic design.

In summary, the findings indicate the types of knowledge that foster the development of creativity, in which basic knowledge matters, as well as the other types. Last but not least, it can be demonstrated that knowledge transfer at the university should be changed concerning the embedding of creativity.

Details

Public Relations and the Power of Creativity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-291-6

Keywords

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