Here is a study finding that is apropos to PR as we move into 2012: a PRSA/MWW Group survey conducted in fall 2011 finds that nearly all (98%) of more than 200 business leaders polled believe that in the future, it will be important for executives to have working knowledge of building and protecting a company’s credibility.
This insight puts PR squarely in the business conversation as, obviously, negative reputation issues are something a company truly wants to avoid. How they are handled is critical in the business world. Laura Kane, VP of corporate communications at Aflac, discussed just how important effective handling of reputational/crisis issues are during a PR News Advisory Board roundtable discussion, published in the 12/19/2011 issue. “Taking into account that the European economic troubles and the Japan earthquake and tsunami affected us at Aflac, from the corporate perspective, I think that all the talk in the media about how these crises were handled from a PR perspective made 2011 a good year for us,” she said.
In that same PRSA survey, 98% of the corporate leaders polled also felt that business schools should incorporate instruction on corporate communications and reputation management strategy into MBA curricula. Which is why the PRSA is working with Paul Argenti, professor of corporate communications at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business (and another PR News Advisory Board member), on developing an MBA program that will make strategic communication a key element of MBA curricula. This is a big step in the right direction—one that will give PR the business boost that it truly needs.
—Scott Van Camp