I am now in New York teaching a 42 hour Global Relations and Intercultural Communication course at New York University’s Master of Science in Public Relations and Corporate Communication
I have in my course some 30/32 students; mostly women in their 28-35’s; all have BA’s; some MA’s; they work in public relations agencies or have public relations assignments in private, public or social organizations; some others perform different duties for their employers but desire to enter into public relations.
The course is basically divided in four parts:
°a satellite view of the global professional community; swat analysis of existing models of practice; reasons for a new framework; characteristics of new framework (generic principles and specific applications, updated and somewhat revised);
°a vertical look at public relations in Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, North America and other regions;
°a horizontal look at some of the principal emerging global issues affecting public relations;
°two main sessions in which my revered friend Michael Morley, chairman of Echo Research International and past deputy Chairman of Edelman Worldwide, reviews and updates his excellent book‘How to manage your global reputation’ 2002 NYU University Press.
Required books are: The Global Public Relations Handbook (2004) edited by Sriramesh Krishnamurthy and Dejan Vercic (LEA); Public Relations in Asia (2004) edited by Sriramesh Krishnamurthy (Thomson Learning); Public Relations and Communication Management in Europe (2004) edited by Bettek van Ruler and Dejan Vercic (Mouton de Gruyter); Michael Morley’s just mentioned book; and a number of other essays and reading materials, many of whom by Juan Carlos Molleda related to public relations in Latin American countries.
The experience is intense and students appear eager to learn, discuss and confront their views of the profession in the global arena. In reading their weekly papers I understand more than ever how correct Sriramesh is when he says (I paraphrase of course…) ‘you cannot today perform effective pr for a grocer or a butcher in Memphis or Tallahassee if you do not have a worldview of how the profession is evolving around the world and if you are not constantly curious about current events’.
The other day I had the privilege of participating to a breakfast session in Madison New Jersey where the local PRSA Chapter and Susan Youdovin convened some 20 senior professionals from that area to discuss international public relations, and it was fascinating do see that many, if not all, of issues and questions raised where similar to those of my students.
Although many others (including of course all the above mentioned authors) have been working on conceptualizing and rationalising global public relations for many years, it seems to me that this subject (discipline?) is still in its infancy….and hopefully this blog, if able to attract comments, experiences and opinions from many countries and walks of professional life, will be able to contribute to this emerging body of knowledge.