Author(s)

Diana Gervasi

Date Approved

9-16-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Public Relations

Department

Public Relations/Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Basso, Joseph

Subject(s)

Public relations personnel;English language--Rhetoric--Study and teaching (Higher);Social media

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The purposes of this exploratory investigation were to (a) evaluate the current writing abilities of entry-level public relations practitioners (b) determine the industry's demand to effectively write for new media and (c) identify educator's perceptions of entry-level public relations practitioners' writing abilities and current curriculum changes as well as future industry projections. The researcher conducted Web-based surveys of management level public relations practitioners who were all members of PRSA and telephone interviews with educators in college and university public relations programs across the country. The data collected from Web-based surveys showed a slight improvement in the perception of entry-level practitioners' writing abilities. Overall, Web-based survey respondents reported that entry-level public relations practitioners generally possess a sufficient, or average, level of expertise in writing. The majority of educators who participated in the telephone interviews reported that writing abilities in public relations students are of concern and that most students entering the programs lack basic writing abilities. In addition, all participants reported new or recent curriculum developments in response to new media as communication tools. The study also revealed current industry trends in strategy, planning and measurement.

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