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A co-orientational, mixed-methods analysis of competencies, skills and knowledge among Canadian public relations practitioners: Do they have what it takes?
Terry Flynn APR, FCPRS, PhD
Assistant Professor, Communications, McMaster University
The objectives of this study were to conduct benchmark research among Canadian public relations practitioners to understand their overall knowledge, skills and competencies, educational backgrounds, business management literacy and accreditation within the profession. Furthermore, a co-orientational analysis between those hiring public relations practitioners (expected competencies, knowledge and skills) and those in the profession to determine if there are any gaps in these important employment and practice requirements. Our research team has completed a content analysis of job postings (CPRS, IABC and Linkedin) over the last three years to assess the skills, competencies and requirements required for advertised positions in Canada. And finally, our findings will be benchmarked against recently published data from New Zealand (Jeffrey & Brunton, 2010), the United Kingdom (Gregory, 2008) and Europe (Watson & Sreedharan, 2010).
This study will report on the first two phases of this year-long, funded research project identifying both the requisite skills, competencies and knowledge expected of 21st century workers and public relations professionals along with a content analysis of near 300 public relations job postings. The final two phases (depth interviews with hiring managers and a survey of practitioners) are currently in the field and will be reported in the Fall of 2013.