There is widespread if not universal agreement that education and training are important to advancing a field and helping it gain legitimacy and recognition as a profession. But what is not agreed, and often controversial, is the balance between theory and practical skills. Public relations is no different, with theory often being thought of as esoteric, remote from practice and, even, dangerous.
From 30 years working in public communication practice, I am very familiar with frequent calls for educational institutions to produce graduates with relevant practical skills. My ears resonate with the regular lament that young practitioners “can’t write” and don’t understand day-to-day business practices.
[This is a guest post written by Professor Jim Macnamara, an experienced public relations professional and educator.*]