Perhaps one of the reasons that many do not understand what public relations actually does for businesses is that in 2010, 80 percent of MBA programs did not have coursework that gave students specific training on the role that PR plays in strategic communications. In recent years, business schools have recognized that PR is no longer a specialized skill. It is an important skill for all business professionals in a leadership role.
PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) has aided the process for business schools to add PR coursework by developing a curriculum to distribute to schools. Paul Argenti, a professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, was the professor who developed the program. His college will be one of five in the nation where the program will be tested in the upcoming school year.
The business schools of Northwestern, Maryland, Quinnipiac, and University of Texas El Paso are the other four schools that have seen the need for PR to be a part of their MBA programs and have signed on to be a part of the pilot program testing PRSA’s curriculum. After the pilot this year, PRSA will develop a guide for business schools to use to unveil new PR programs in the 2013-2014 school year.
As a student strongly interested in corporate communications, I am thrilled to see that top business schools are expressing a need for PR to be incorporated in their programs. I believe this is a step in the right direction for the PR industry – when working for a company with upper-level management who have been educated on the importance of PR, the activities of our department will likely have stronger support.
Do you also think incorporating PR into MBA programs is good for the profession? Let us know!