Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations


Public Relations & Advertising


Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts


Bagin, Don


English language--Rhetoric; Public relations consultants


Public Relations and Advertising


Through a survey of roughly 50 public relations practitioners, this study identified specific writing skills public relations graduates lack and compiled recommendations for improving public relations education.

The author sent double post-cards to 100 public relations professionals nationwide. The post-cards asked for participation in a public relations writing questionnaire. At the same time, the author posted the questionnaire to two professional listservs (e-mail groups). A total of 46 professionals completed the questionnaire.

Nearly 90 percent of respondents ranked writing as one of the top three skills essential for public relations success. However, 70 percent of the professionals rated recent graduates' writing skills as between needing major improvement and acceptable. Respondents ranked graduates weakest in grammar, spelling, active voice and news style.

Overall, respondents thought educational institutions successfully meet the needs of the profession by providing a basic grounding in theory and practices. Respondents recommended internships, more practical writing exercises, and more focus on grammar and spelling as ways to improve.

With these research findings, the profession can hopefully improve the quality of writing emerging from our academic institutions.