This is an important effort that our industry should rally around. Every day public relations professionals help companies communicate their value to customers, investors, the media and other stakeholders, navigating clients toward higher sales and greater brand awareness. Yet, as an industry, we often don’t practice what we preach. We’re doing a poor job communicating the value of public relations to the C-suite that we serve.
Sure, business leaders understand the benefit of public relations expertise when it gets them out of a crisis, but communications experts should not only be brought to the table when it’s time to clean up. Rather, public relations should be as intrinsic to a business strategy as the advertising budget, finances or the inventory, and it should be taught in MBA programs right up there with accounting and talent management.
Business schools have the opportunity and a responsibility to graduate well-rounded leaders, who have all the tools in their toolbox, including a core set of public relations skills. Yet, according to a recent survey conducted by PRSA and Kelton Research, and funded by MWW Group, 98 percent of business leaders agree that MBA programs aren’t doing enough to instruct future leaders on corporate communications and reputation management strategy. As a result, business school academia is failing to prepare future business leaders for the modern reputational and communications challenges they will face.