Capabilities of PR professionals for key activities lag: Asia-Pacific study shows theory and practice gaps

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Journal Article
Public Relations Review, 2018, 44 (5), pp. 704 - 716
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© 2018 Elsevier Inc. A number of studies of the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs), competencies and capabilities of public relations and communication professionals have been carried out in the USA, UK and other countries. However, most have not engaged to any significant extent with literature in the human resource development field which specializes in defining and developing these characteristics. Also, few studies to date have related the KSAs, competencies and capabilities of practitioners to the key activities of public relations and communication management required for the future. This article presents findings and analysis from a regional survey conducted in 22 Asia-Pacific countries in 2017/18 that compared, for the first time, the capabilities of practitioners in relation to activities identified as the most important over the next three years. This data, and comparison with equivalent regional surveys in Europe and Latin America, confirm a gap in capabilities in relation to key communication activities and suggest a gap in theory as well as practice. The findings and conclusions present a challenge for higher education and professional development for public relations and communication management and point to potential future directions in theory building.
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