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Public relations education, 1950s–1990s: the IPRA perspective.

Watson, T., 2023. Public relations education, 1950s–1990s: the IPRA perspective. Corporate Communications. (In Press)

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Tom Watson - Public relations education (CCIJ 2023).pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1108/CCIJ-12-2022-0148


Purpose: The aim of this article is the exploration of historical themes that formed education and training in public relations and corporate communication. Its timeline is from the early 1950s to the mid-1990s when university-level education became widespread. It also acknowledges recent initiatives to propose a Global Capability Framework for the field. Design/methodology/approach: Archival material, primarily from the International Public Relations Association, was reviewed in order to understand the historic influences that have shaped public relations and corporate communication education in the, mainly, English-speaking world. This was compared with other sources such as journal, articles and other archives in the Germany, Spain, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Findings: Three findings are offered from the archival research and analysis conducted for the article: (1) There was extensive debate over the structure of education between a skills-based approach that was taught as a minor or major stream in an undergraduate degree or graduate level study (Master's) in public relations theory and practice; (2) there was continuing tension between practitioner organizations and academics over the design, content and validation of educational programmes; and (3) there was little interest in the international harmonization of public relations education and training, despite extensive discussion. Originality/value: No previous historical research has taken such a broad and international view of the development of education and training in public relations and corporate communication. The article also uses archival material that has become available in the past decade.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Curriculum; Professionalization; History; Education; Public relations; Harmonization
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:38833
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:31 Jul 2023 14:18
Last Modified:31 Jul 2023 14:18


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