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Still in vogue? Evaluating 20 years of trends in communications education and practice. Inaugural lecture of Dr Ralph Tench Professor of Communication Education 24 th March 2010. Image problems?. Definitions.

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still in vogue evaluating 20 years of trends in communications education and practice

Still in vogue? Evaluating 20 years of trends in communications education and practice

Inaugural lecture of Dr Ralph Tench

Professor of Communication Education

24th March 2010

definitions
Definitions
  • Mexico 1978 World Assembly “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counselling organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of action which will serve both the organization and the public interest”
  • PRSA 1988 “helps an organization and its publics mutually adapt to each other”
  • DTI/CIPR (2003) “Influencing behaviour to achieve objectives through the effective management of relationships and communication”
  • CIPR (2004) “About reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you…”
trends in education and practice
Trends in education and practice
  • History
    • 21st birthday PR at Leeds Met
    • Growth since 1988 (Stirling, Bournemouth, Leeds)
    • JCM special issue (2008); book on the history of UK Public Relations (2004); Bournemouth 2010 conference
  • Research agenda moved on since 2002
    • Ethnicity (Edwards, ESRC 2009-10)
    • Gender (Fielden, Tench and Fawkes, 2003)
    • Propaganda (Fawkes in ‘Exploring Public Relations’ 2006 and 2009)
  • Theme for the rest of the talk is on ‘trends’
researching education
Researching education
  • Public Relations in the UK (Tench and Fawkes 2004, CIPR)
  • Reported on:
    • ethics
    • balance of theory and practice
    • scope for a core curriculum
    • professionalisation
    • and departmental location (business versus media schools)
  • Theory v practice divide – ‘Mind the Gap’
how can it take three years
How can it take three years?
  • 66% of practitioners said PR education makes a positive contribution to UK industry
    • Pro: “adds credibility to profession”; “provides skilled employees”; “PR graduates more committed to profession”
    • Anti: “how can it take 3 years to teach?”
international education trends and issues
International education trends and issues
  • US
    • Port of Entry (1999)
    • Professional Bond (2006)
    • PRSA follow up (2010 pending)
  • Europe
    • EduProj (2009)
      • Theory-practice integration
      • Use of work placements
      • Curriculum content
      • BA and MA level
balance theory practice bachelor
Balance ‘theory-practice’ Bachelor

11

EduProj (2009), Cotton and Tench

graduate employment
Graduate employment

National first destination statistics (CIPR, 2005)

  • 77% PR graduates find employment
  • 46% earn 16-20K
  • 19% earn over 20K
  • 45.6% work in London
  • 31.4% work around the UK
  • 54.6% work in consultancy
  • 44.1% work in-house
who and how many
Who and how many?
  • Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) estimated 48,000
  • 4,200 agencies (Actimedia 2010)
  • Not all in London!

http://www.actimedia.com/statistics/

location of pr agencies march 2010 ww w actimedia com statistics
Location of PR agencies March 2010www.actimedia.com/statistics
what does the research tell us
What does the research tell us?
  • Consensus on value – different perspectives on content
  • Agreement on theory and practice integration
  • Professionalisation through education and training (international growth)
  • Will expansion continue?
  • HE challenges (Mandelson, Feb 2010)
  • Have we changed what we teach?
  • Should we?
    • What is the difference today from when our first graduates studied the discipline?
trends in practice skills
Trends in practice - skills
  • Writing as core for all stakeholders (Tench, 1999, 2003)
  • Communication competencies (Hargie, 2000)
    • Cognitive
    • Technical
    • Social
  • 10 Competency factors (Gregory, 2008)
trends in practice
Trends in practice
  • European Communication Monitor
    • Since 2007
    • 11 advisors and 5 universities (Leeds Met; Ljubljana; Amsterdam; Madrid and Leipzig)
    • EUPRERA and commercially sponsored
    • Managers and directors of communications from 34+ European countries
    • 2009 focussed on challenges for communications in the recession and media crisis
worldwide patterns of professional behaviour
Worldwide patterns of ‘professional’ behaviour
  • Studies mapping the contours of the PR sector internationally (e.g., Shiramesh & Kim, 1999; DeSanto & Moss, 2004; Grunig et al., 2002; O’Connor & Musi, 2004; Moreno & Molleda, 2006; Molleda et al., 2008)
  • These studies described professional practice all over the world and shaped the debate about the context and the generic principles of public relations (e.g., Shiramesh & Verčič, 2003; Tilson & Alosie, 2004; Lim et al, 2005; Kent & Taylor, 2007)
  • European practice studies
    • EBOK (2002; 2004) Qualitative
    • ECM – Quantitative since 2007
  • US – GAP study (Swerling et al 2008)
ecm theoretical perspective
ECM theoretical perspective
  • New institutionalism (Tench et al 2009; Sandhu, 2009)
  • Institutions defined as: “regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive elements that, together with associated activities and resources, provide stability and meaning to social life” (Scott, 2008: 48).
  • ECM hypothesis is that public relations becomes more and more institutionalised until it finally becomes a condition for obtaining social legitimacy for the activities of the organisation
ecm research questions
ECM research questions

RQ1 What are the individual characteristics of European public relations professionals (demographics, job status, education, salary, qualification needs and self perception. What are the characteristics of their organisations?)

RQ2 What is the influence of public relations professionals in Europe on management decisions and corporate planning and strategy. How does it relate to individual and organisational characteristics?

RQ3 What is the perceived importance of several sub disciplines in communication management, communication instruments and strategic issues?

RQ4 How is the economic recession and the media crisis affecting communication management in Europe?

RQ5 What is the current state of affairs in communication research, internal communication and in interactive communication?

research framework and questions
Research framework and questions

E

Person (Communication Manager)

Organisation

A

B

Demo-graphics

Jobstatus

Education

Selfperception

Structure

Culture

Country

European homebase, Q17

Professionalrole, Q7Optimism, Q16

Age, Q17Gender, Q17Association Member, Q17Social NetworkMember, Q17

Experience, Q17Hierarchy, Q17

Academic, Q17Communicative, Q17

Characteristics of organisational culture, Q15

Type of organisation/agency, Q17

Situation

Perception

C

D

Future

Present

Communication objectives, Q8Evaluation practice, Q9Economic recession, Q1

Disciplines and fields of practice, Q4Communication channels, Q5Strategic issues, Q6Impact of the media crisis, Q2Emerging interactive channels, Q10Online communities, Q11Internal communication, Q12, Q13Needs for training and qualification, Q14

Position

E

Advisory/executive influence, Q3Personal income, Q17

geographical distribution
Geographical distribution
  • Participants from 34 European states:
    • Northern Europe (e.g. Norway, United Kingdom, Latvia) 31.1%
    • Western Europe (e.g. Germany, Netherlands, France) 41.4%
    • Southern Europe (e.g. Italy, Slovenia, Croatia) 19.0%
    • Eastern Europe (e.g. Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria) 8.5%
  • Membership in a professional organisation
    • EACD 12.7%
    • Other international communication association 16.2%
    • National PR or communication association 55.4%
slide28

Sample: 1,863 participants from 34 European countries

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / n = 1,863 PR Professionals from 34 European countries; Q 17

annual salaries of female and male pr practitioners
Annual salaries of female and male PR practitioners

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / n = 1,768 PR Professionals from 34 European countries; Q 17: In which of the following bands does your basic annual salary fall?; What is your gender?

individual and organisational characteristics of european communicators
Individual and organisational characteristics of European communicators
  • Significant difference between women and men in highest positions:
    • only 45.8% of the CEOs and Head of Communication are women against 54.2% men ( t = -4.651, p < .001)
    • Earnings - significantly more men than women in the categories of annual salaries over €80.000, χ2 = 104.107, df = 11, p <.001
  • Mode salary range reported by the respondents is between €100,000 and €150,000 per year
  • Practitioners in Western and Northern Europe earn significantly more than professionals in the south and the east of Europe, χ2 = 286, 830, df = 33 , p <.001.
education training and influence
Education, training and influence
  • Most of the participants are well educated
    • 25% hold a bachelor degree
    • 60.2% a masters
    • 7.4% holds no academic degree and the same %have a doctorate
  • Three main areas where extra training is necessary:
    • dealing with online channels (26%)
    • developing communication plans linked to business strategies (21%)
    • and coaching peers and top managers (20%)
  • Bad news for the supporters of communications moving up the power structure of business leadership.
    • Practitioners perceive themselves more as ‘communicators’ than as ‘facilitators’ for the strategy of the organisation.
    • Facilitators help to define business strategies by adding a communicative dimension to strategy formulation
    • On a 7-point scale respondents score significantly higher on being a “communicator” and support business goals by executing communication programs (M = 5.60, SD = 1.19) than on being “facilitators” and help to define business strategies (M = 4.75, SD = 1.57), t = 23.596, df = 1862, p <.001.
slide32
A clear majority of practitioners execute communication based on business strategies, but only 6 out of 10 try to define them

84.8%

focus on supporting business goals by planning and executing communication

60.7%

feel responsible for helping to define business strategies

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / n = 1,863 PR Professionals from 34 European countries; Q 7: In your dailywork, how much do you focus on supporting business goals by planning and executing communication? (1 = not at all; 7 = very much) / … how much do you feel responsible for helping to define business strategies? (1 = never; 7 = always); considered scale points 5-7

expected development of disciplines and fields of practice
Expected development of disciplines and fields of practice

2012: compared to average increase

Important discipline

-1.7

-7.6

-8.1

+9.0

-0.5

-3.3

-12.0

+11.0

+4.5

+9.0

Importance todayImportance in 2012

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / nmax = 1,863 PR Professionals from 34 European countries;Q 4: How important are the following fields of practice in your organisation or consultancy? Will they gain more or less importancewithin the next three years? (1 = not important; 5 = very important); important discipline = scale points 4-5.All disciplines are considered more important in 2012; comparison shows difference to the average increase (23.6%).

findings most important disciplines in communication management
Findings: Most important disciplines in communication management

In 2012

Today

Corporate Communication

1

1

Corporate Communication

Marketing/Brand and Consumer Communication

2

Internal Communication and Change Management

2

Marketing/Brand and Consumer Communication

Crisis Communication

3

3

CSR and Sustainability

Internal Communication and Change Management

4

4

5

Public Affairs / Lobbying

Public Affairs / Lobbying

5

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / nmax = 1,863 PR Professionals from 34 European countries;Q 4: How important are the following fields of practice in your organisation or consultancy? Will they gain more or lessimportance within the next three years? (1 = not important; 5 = very important); important discipline = scale points 4-5.Arrow symbols indicate changes within the ranking of most important disciplines; in general, all disciplines are ascending.

development of communication channels
Development of communication channels

2012: compared to average increase

Important instrument

-34.7

+20.2

+2.2

-9.2

+31.5

-11.3

-5.4

-13.8

-1.7

-12.0

+34.6

Importance todayImportance in 2012

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / nmax = 1,863 PR Professionals from 34 European countries;Q 5: How important are the following methods in addressing stakeholders, gatekeepers and audiences? Will this change within the next three years? (1 = not important; 5 = very important); important instrument = scale points 4-5.

important channels and instruments
Important channels and instruments

In 2012

Today

Press and media relations: print media

1

1

Online communication

Online communication

2

Press and media relations:online media

2

Face to face communication

Face to face communication

3

3

Social media

Press and media relations: TV/radio

4

4

5

Press and media relations:print media

Press and media relations:

Online media

5

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / nmax = 1,863 PR Professionals from 34 European countries; Q 5: How important are the following methods in addressing stakeholders, gatekeepers and audiences? Will this change within the next three years? (1 = not important; 5 = very important); important channel = scale points 4-5. Arrow symbols indicate changes within the ranking of instruments.

slide37
84% of European PR professionals evaluate impact on the media, but only one third tracks effects on their own organisation

Most popular measures on different levels of evaluation

Outflow (effects on the own organisation)

Business goals (i.e. with scorecards)

34.4%

Outcome (effects on stakeholders)

Understanding of key messages

53.9%

Output (availability of messages/offerings)

Clippings and media response

84.0%

Input (initiation of communication)

Financial costs for projects

46.9%

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / n = 1,863 PR Professionals from 34 European countries;Q 9: Which items do you monitor or measure to assess the effectiveness of public relations / communicationmanagement? (1 = do not use at all; 5 = use continuously); methods used = scale points 4-5

impact of the economic recession
Impact of the economic recession
  • Until 2009 consecutive years of growth in Europe
  • 47% reported budget cuts
  • 22% reduced staffing levels
  • Most impact on joint stock/private companies
  • Consequence of the recession (both public and private sector) need to focus communications activities on ‘most relevant stakeholders and issues’ (66% and 64% respectively
slide39

Recession and the media landscape

    • Could impact dramatically on communications practitioners’ working life
    • Media outlets declining as well as numbers of journalists
    • Positive reaction from the sample – claim to be adapting their practice (72%)
    • 33.2% in fact believe they will help the media survive!
    • Death of news? Nearly a fifth state that being reported in the media will be less relevant
in spite of the recession and media crisis european pr professionals are rather optimistic for 2010
In spite of the recession and media crisis, European PR professionals are rather optimistic for 2010

“Thinking of the communication function within your organisation orof your consultancy, are you optimistic or pessimistic for the next year?”

83.0%

„optimistic!“

Professionals working in

agencies/consultancies

85.1%

„optimistic!“

Professionals working in

communication departments

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / n = 1,863 PR Professionals from 34 European countries; Q 16

main challenges in internal communication until 2010
Main challenges in internal communication until 2010

Linking internal communication

to corporate strategies

68.8%

Supporting organisational change

and restructuring

66.1%

Dealing with information overload

54.7%

Coping with the digital evolution and the social web

34.1%

Re-establishing lost credibility in management

28.7%

Avoiding reputation risks through online word-of-mouth

28.4%

Internationalisation of internal communication

19.5%

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / n = 1,863 PR Professionals from 34 European countries;Q 12: What are the main challenges when communicating to employees within the next 12 months? Please pick those threewhich are most important from your point of view (1 = not important; 5 = very important); considered scale points 1-2

communications role in loss of trust
Communications’ role in loss of trust?
  • Trust in CEOs down to 17% (Trust Barometer 2009)
  • Corporate responsibility has become a corporate imperative
  • Certainly a focus for communications directors (ECM 2008, Tench 2009); business leaders and other media practitioners (Balkhi and Tench, 2009)
  • 73% predict increased importance by 2011
  • Reputation is the driver
  • Authenticity, sincerity and legitimacy crucial
  • Being ‘attuned to its community’ (Heath and Palenchar, 2009)
trends in the media landscape
Trends in the media landscape
  • Changing consumption
    • Steve Busfield, head of media and technology from The Guardian, stated: “Media and communications are constantly changing. Little more than a decade ago most people in the UK had four TV channels and read a daily newspaper. Today the UK's online audience is around 35 million* (about 70% of the UK population), and most people are as likely to get their news from the internet, blogs, talkboards or Twitter as from a newspaper.” (* comScore, Dec '08)
  • Means we are changing how we communicate with a range of stakeholders (customers, clients, competitors etc)
  • Collapsed advertising revenue (switched to on line?)
  • Oriella PR Network (European survey, 350 journalists, September 2009) stated 10% journalists switching from traditional to on line
  • 40% of sample claim dependence on PR will increase
media trends
Media trends….
  • 60% journalists in sample believe number of printed media will shrink
  • 40% - rely more on PR
  • All in a context of what Nick Davies (2008) sees as a declining quality of media with:
    • ‘churnalism’
    • ‘hidden persuaders’
    • ‘truth manipulation’
trends in new and social media
Trends in new and social media
  • Social media - share ideas, information and personal detail (Bauman, 2006; Beer and Burrows, 2007)
  • No longer have powerful media gatekeepers
  • Impact of simplifying and sharing web technologies has been to encourage sharing and collaboration
  • Power taken away as media controllers support UGC (user generated content)
  • Generation C (Dye, 2007)
    • C stands for content, creation, consumption and connectivity
    • This generation want to be communicating with the world
    • Want everyone to be able to trace and track them through social media
    • A perfect example of this is
pr professionals anticipate increased use of online channels this year
PR professionals anticipate increased use of online channels this year

Increase comparedto average

Interactive channels relevant for public relations

+11.6

+7.0

+1.3

+0.1

+2.4

-2.8

-4.6

-15.2

Importance todayImportance in 2010

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / n = 1,863 PR Professionals from 34 European countries; Q 10: Can you indicate the level of importance for public relations today and in the next year of the following communication tools (1= not important; 5= very impor-tant); important = scale points 4-5. All are considered more important in 2010; comparison shows difference to avg. increase (29.28%).

slide48
85% of European communication professionals are members of online communities like LinkedIn, Facebook and XING

Not a member (15.0%)

Professional and private profile (41.3%)

Private profile only (16.5%)

Professional profile only (27.3%)

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / n = 1,863 PR Professionals; Q 17: Are you a member of one of those social networks? Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Plaxo, XING, Other (With my professional profile/With a private profile)

linkedin is the most popular social network among communication professionals in europe
LinkedIn is the most popular social network among communication professionals in Europe

Facebook

12.2%

48.5%

LinkedIn

55.4%

11.2%

MySpace

6.0%

1.1%

Plaxo

14.8%

4.3%

XING

19.8%

4.7%

Other

11.3%

14.8%

PR professionals with aprivate profile

PR practitioners with a professional profile

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / n = 1,863 PR Professionals; Q 17: Are you a member of one of those social networks? Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Plaxo, XING, Other (With my professional profile/With a private profile)

slide50

Untapped potential? Social networks are utilised within communication strategies for a variety of reasons – not always to support communication strategies

www.communicationmonitor.eu / Zerfass et al. 2009 / n = 1,863 PR Professionals in communication departments;Q 11: How will your organisation use social networks within its online communication strategy within the next 12 month? (1 = do not use at all; 5 = use extensively; methods used = scale points 4-5)

media engagement with sm
Media engagement with SM
  • Twitter supports instant news (headline published faster)
  • European media organisations have 10s thousands followers (El Pais; Le Monde; The Guardian)
  • Web used to generate as well as archive material
  • PROs changing how they research and present material
  • 3rd party/blogger endorsement
  • Journalists increasingly using third party on line verifiers
  • 68% European journalists encourage comments on stories (Oriella). A quarter quote bloggers
  • UK parliamentary lobby passes for ‘approved bloggers’
  • UGC – user generated content
  • Crowdsourcing examples e.g.Kenya/Haiti and Ushahidi
teaching the new trade prize winning graduate bloggers
Teaching the ‘new’ trade? Prize winning graduate bloggers
  • European prize winners
    • Ben Cotton – the best young practitioner blog http://socialwebthing.com
    • Laura Fischer – the best student blogger
  • And helps with employability
  • Trends in recruitment
    • Application of learning
    • Role of placements
    • The future graduate?
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Complex and fast moving issues and challenges
  • Understand and navigate this landscape
  • Thought leaders and provokers
  • Constructively critical voice
  • Responsibility; equity; fairness and equality of voice
  • Education is ‘the plank’ (L’Etang, 2002) for standards and status of the profession