Croatian Employers' Perception of the Knowledge, Skills and Competencies of PR Students or Graduates

  • Lect. Boris Hajoš VERN' University Zagreb, Trg Drage Iblera 10, Zagreb, Croatia
Keywords: public relations, employers’ perceptions, knowledge and skills of public relations students, cooperation of employers with public relations universities

Abstract

The main research question was to what extent are employers satisfied with students’ education in public relations (PR), which they rated with average grade. The professional knowledge formally taught at universities is not a crucial factor for getting a job in public relations in Croatia. Employers as more important factors rate personal and social competences (74%), student's personality (56%) and experience in PR (55%) whereas professional knowledge is on the fourth place (37%). Employers claim most important qualities for students are good writing and reading skills, verbal and presentation skills and teamwork skills (social intelligence and interpersonal skills). In employers’ opinion graduate PR students are more capable to work in profession than undergraduates. University curricula are not in line with the needs of the labour market, given that 18% of employers said that they teach students insufficiently and 97% that PR students require further training at work. Cooperation between universities and employers in Croatia is insufficient as only 25% of companies/organisations and 30% of the participants cooperate with PR universities personally. Employers comment on students’ insufficient competences, knowledge, proactivity, motivation, as well as their excessive expectations from work, which translates into an issue in retaining them at the job.

References

Ahles, C. B. (2004). PR skills vs. personal skills: what matters most to the boss? PR Tactics, 12-13

Brown, A., & Fall, L. T. (2005). Using the port of entry report as a benchmark: survey results of on-the-job training among public relations internship site managers. Public Relations Review, 31(2), 301-304. DOI: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2005.02.007 [10. 5. 2018].

COMPRED (2015). Commission on Public Relations Education Industry - Educator Summit on Public Relations Education, New York 2015, http://www.commpred.org/_uploads/industry-educator-summit-summary-report.pdf [10. 5. 2018].

Corporate Communication Institute (2005). Communication Practices and Trends. [Online] Madison, NJ: Corporate Communication Institute. http://www.corporatecomm.org/pdf/MergedReport2005.pdf [10. 5. 2018].

DiStaso, M. W., Stacks, D. W. & Botan, C. H. (2009). ‘State of public relations education in the United States: 2006 report on a national survey of executives and academics’, Public Relations Review 35(3), 254-269

Goodman, M. B. (2006). Corporate communication practice and pedagogy at the dawn of the new millennium. Corporate Communications: An International Journal 11(3), 196-213.

Gregory, A. (2008) Competencies of senior communication practitioners in the UK: an initial study. Public Relations Review 34 (3), 215-223

Hajoš, B. (2017). Student motivation for enrolling in public relations studies and their perception of the public relations profession and study in Croatia. Mednarodno inovativno poslovanje - Journal of Innovative Business and Management 9(1), http://journal.doba.si/year-9-2017-volume-1/student-motivation-for-enrolling-in-public-relations-studies [1. 5. 2018].

Jeffrey, L. M., & Brunton, M. A. (2011). Developing a framework for communication management competencies. Journal of Vocational Education and Training 63(1), 57-75.

Jugo, D., Ciboci, L., & Alavanja, M. (2017). Trends in education of communication professionals: The perspective of educators and employers in Croatia. Public Relations Review 43 (2017) 998–1006.

Kruckeberg, D. (1998). The Future of PR Education: Some Recommendations. Public Relations Review 24 (2), 235-248.

L'Etang, J. (1999). State propaganda and bureaucratic intelligence: The creation of public relations in 20th century Britain. Public Relations Review 24(4), 413-441.

McCleneghan, J. S. (2006). PR executives rank 11 communication skills. Public Relations Quarterly 51(4), 42-46.

Molleda, J.C., Kochhart, S., Moreno, A. & Stephen G. (2015). An Intertwined Future: Exploring the Relationship between the levels of Professionalism and Social Roles of Public Relations Practitioners. Research : Journal of the Institute for Public Relations, https://instituteforpr.org/intertwined-future-exploring-relationship-levels-professionalization-social-roles-public-relations-professionals/ [1. 5. 2018].

Moreno, Á., Tench, R. & Okay, A. (2017). Re-fuelling the talent tank. A qualitative study of key deficiencies, future needs, and life-long learning needs of communication management professionals in Europe. Communication & Society 30(3), 109-127.

Oughton, L. (2004). Do we need core competences for local government communications? Local Government Communication Leaders Development Programme, Ideas in Communication Leadership. London, UK: Improvement and Development Agency, pp. 65-72.

Sha, B. L. (2011). 2010 practice analysis: professional competencies and work categories in public relations today. Public Relations Review 37(3), 187-196. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2011.04.005 [10. 4. 2018].

Szyszka, P. (1995). Öffentlichkeitsarbeit und Kompetenz: Probleme und Perspektiven künftiger Bildungsarbeit. In: G. Bentele & P. Szyszka. (Hrsg.), PR-Ausbildung in Deutschland. Entwicklung, Bestandsaufnahme, Perspektiven. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.

Tench, R., Verhoeven, P., & Juma, H. (2015). Turn around when possible: Mapping European communication competences. Studies in Media and Communication 3(2). DOI: 10.11114/smc.v3i2.1138

Tench, R., Zerfass, A., Verhoeven, P., Moreno, A., Okay, A. & Verčič, D. (2013a). ECOPSI Benchmark Report. May 2013. Leeds, UK: Leeds Metropolitan University. / Ecopsi Research Report May 2013

Tench, R., Verčič, D., Tkalac Verčič, A., & Juma, H. (2013b). Contemporary issues impacting European communication competencies. Medijske studije, 4(7), 111–24

Tench, R., Verčič, D., Zerfass, A., Moreno, A., & Verhoeven, P. (2017). Communication Excellence: How to develop, manage and lead exceptional communications. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

van Ruler, B., Verčič, D., Bütschi, G., & Flodin, B. (2000). The European Body of Knowledge on Public Relations/Communication Management: The Report of the Delphi Research Project 2000. Ghent/Ljubljana: European Association for Public Relations Education and Research.

Wang, J. (2004). Building a Winning Public Relations Education Program: Developing the Next Generation of PR Professionals. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans, May 27.

Zerfass, A., Moreno, Á., Tench, R., Verčič, D., & Verhoeven, P. (2017). European Communication Monitor 2017: How strategic communication deals with the challenges of visualisation, social bots and hypermodernity: Results of a survey in 50 countries. Brussels: EACD/EUPRERA, Quadriga Media Berlin.

Published
2019-05-15
How to Cite
Hajoš, B. (2019) “Croatian Employers’ Perception of the Knowledge, Skills and Competencies of PR Students or Graduates”, Mednarodno inovativno poslovanje = Journal of Innovative Business and Management, 11(1), pp. 61-71. doi: 10.32015/JIMB/2019-11-1-7.
Section
Original article