Taking the debate about PR degree further, I would like to mention some more points for your consideration… (please read, my previous blog and comments to follow this post)
Making PR equivalent to a higher level of qualification than it is currently, is not a short term objective, it’s a long term plan.
Let’s think Long Term… Our efforts will yield results for the upcoming PR industry. However this will happen if only we take up this issue seriously right now, since we all know that changes of this magnitude don’t happen overnight, but they happen over the years to come.
Simon just got married, and he will plan for a child in the future. Of course he will plan for a secure future for himself and his child. Every person looks ahead to the future, making moves which might secure him and his loved ones.
As human beings, (which is a highly progressive species) we are all taught to look ahead and plan for the future, develop our skills and make improvements. If we didn’t we probably would still have been eating bananas, had we not taken part in the evolution theory.
This is in reference to TWL’s point about the fact that the oldest and greatest people from the PR industry, were the ones without any formal PR qualifications (Point taken). However that is what they did in their time and that was their contribution to PR. They made the best use of the circumstances available to them (there were no formal PR academic courses at that time).
In today’s day and age don’t you think we ought to move ahead, and carry this legacy forward (in terms of attaining PR specific qualifications?) If we don’t, this industry might stagnate, because if we keep on looking back we will never move ahead. There will be no influx of new ideas to take the PR industry to the next level. This is where I think CIPR plays an indispensable role in introducing new ideas, concepts and following them.
As mentioned earlier, I still stand my ground and I am a strong advocate of Specialized PR qualifications.
I come from a computer engineering background and am now studying PR. I don’t think that after my Engg. degree, I should have been allowed to enter the PR profession. I am sure that technically I could have contributed something to the IT PR industry (considering my IT background). However, I would have still required the necessary skill sets of PR to communicate my creativity and my ideas. Moreover, my engineering degree would have limited my contribution to PR. I could be technical, but that is not what the PR profession is all about. It is about building relationships, it is about communication, how you harvest a relationship, and in my case how to articulate my IT ideas to the public.
I can talk about SEO, SAP etc… and other technical jargon or short forms, but is that what every other human being is going to understand? No! They will lose interest in my creativity, in what I have to say, as soon as I fail to communicate effectively, which only PR can teach me, NOT Engineering, NOT English Literature, but only PR.
PR focuses not only on communication about a particular issue or product, but on how you communicate, in a way which makes ideas and creativity comprehensible for the public. PR degree dwells deep into what human beings respond to, which a person from any other degree cannot articulate.
Lastly, The way PR does role spanning is commendable, every other department looks to PR for an answer, WHY? Because we can communicate their ideas in a better way. Can any other department undertake role spanning at a level which PR can? I think not.
Bottom line, We are specialized people, who should to be recognized and acknowledged as separate professional entities.