Posted by: sytsma6 | February 18, 2011

Public Relations For Real

Why do all of our textbooks keep saying that the public relations practitioner is not recognized as a professional? In Tom Hagley’s book, Writing Winning Proposals: PR Cases, Hagley states, “Public relations has yet to be fully accepted as a true profession.” Obviously, I am not arguing with the legitimacy of his book, he has a ton of public relations experience. However, I do disagree with this statement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes public relations professionals. The practitioners held 275,000 jobs in 2008. Most of them have college degrees in some form of journalism focus, and the employment of the specialists is expected to grow by 24% from 2008 to 2018. Learn more facts:

It is time that we start recognizing ourselves as a group of people within a defined profession. We “influence behavior” right? This myth of being a misunderstood sect of the journalism world needs to stop. It’s almost like a viral video. I can remember reading this idea in almost every public relations focused textbook since I have been in the School of Journalism at the University of Oregon. What do you all think about it? It is the degree we will be mounting on our walls, after all.



  1. I agree that public relations should be a profession, but as addressed in Tom Bivin’s Media Ethics class last term, a profession is a career for which one must have specific credentials and that has a specific code of ethics.

    While PR practitioners may become certified through the Universal Accreditation Board, there is no law stating that one must do this in order to practice public relations. Take doctors and lawyers, by contrast, who must be certified by a board or bar in order to practice.

    PRSA has a code of ethics, but again, a PR practioner is not legally responsible to follow it.

    One other point as to why PR is not yet considered a true profession: while a college degree in public relations is helpful in attaining and succeeding at a position in this field, it is not a strict necessity.

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