New year, old theme

5 Jan

It sounds like incoming CIPR president Lionel Zetter has professionalism at the top of his agenda. But I’m even more intrigued by some comments from outgoing president Tony Bradley in an as-yet unpublished interview with two students for Behind the Spin magazine.

Talking about his travels and the lessons learnt, he spoke about the high regard for UK public relations beyond these shores. (He didn’t mention this, but the large numbers coming to study the subject in the UK support his argument).

The US has the largest body of PR practitioners; the practice and its academic study have largely been American creations. Is it possible that little Britain still has some lessons to teach others? I suspect there are, and will revisit this theme from time to time.

Behind the Spin will be available early next month.

4 Responses to “New year, old theme”

  1. Karel Mc Intosh 05/01/2007 at 3:17 pm #

    As someone who went to England to study PR myself, I don’t think it’s a case of being impressed with the UK’s public relations per se. On the other hand, it may be a matter of the UK having a wealth of degrees being offered to supply demand for a public relations / corporate communication degree.
    The reasons why I chose the UK is because:
    1. A Masters degree in public relations/ corporate communication is not offered in the Caribbean.
    2. I liked the programme I saw at Thames Valley University.
    3. Completing a Masters in one year, as opposed to two in the US was great for me since I didn’t want to be away from home for too long.
    4. It was cheaper to pursue education in the UK than in the US.
    My class was very international, with students from Italy, Russia, France, Spain, Mexico, Greece, Ghana, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan. Some countries’ tertiary institutions don’t offer PR degrees. The large numbers of international students flocking to UK universities may have to do more with issues of demand, availability and supply rather than great impressions.
    My explanation is not meant to discredit the high quality of education at most UK universities 🙂

  2. Richard Bailey 05/01/2007 at 5:44 pm #

    That’s a good point, Karel. But I wasn’t seeking praise for the way PR is taught in the UK, but rather for the way it’s practised over here.
    It’s not a popular argument, I know, but it’s a topic worth exploring.

  3. Sherrilynne Starkie 05/01/2007 at 10:53 pm #

    I’ve practiced PR in four countries now: Canada, UK, USA and the Isle of Man (yes, it is too an independent nation). 15 years ago the styles of practice were quite distinct. But globally, the media industry has changed so drastically and quickly, I see fewer differences as time goes on. Just my two cents (pence) worth.

  4. Karel Mc Intosh 09/01/2007 at 8:13 pm #

    Hi Richard. Yes I caught your point. What I meant was that people going to the UK to study had to do more with demand and supply of public relations and corporate communication degrees rather than a “high regard”. Now, that’s something for CIPR to research 🙂

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