I have been very active in the social media sphere for approximately three years now, but you have to think of that in terms of dog years to compensate for how quickly social media and technology develop and evolve. Over the course of those three years I have been very involved in my local social media community, I worked full-time at a public relations agency, and one year ago, I decided to go back to school to earn my Master’s degree. Most recently, I’ve also become involved in Social Media Club Education Connection (#SMCEDU).What I discovered when I went back to school to learn and to teach an undergraduate course, was that the gap between practice and theory that we always talk about is getting wider by the minute. And it’s getting away from us. This is a huge problem. And I’ve decided to look further with the hope of finding some solutions.
Enter my study.
I wish to gain an appreciation for how the relationship between PR professors and professionals shapes the destiny of future PR professionals in today’s fast-evolving, world 2.0. Through applying and potentially extending relationship management theory, this study will seek to understand what PR professionals expect from recent graduates in terms of technology and social media knowledge and skills, and what professors are doing to prepare students to meet those expectations.The study aims to contribute to the field of public relations by attempting to identify and bridge any communication and relationship management gaps that may exist between professionals and educators and proposing solutions that will benefit current students and graduates entering the field
I will be interviewing public relations educators and practitioners throughout the months of October and November. I would only need one hour of your time. Interviews can take place over the phone, Skype, or in person if you are in the DC area.Please share this with colleagues and friends. I’d love to interview as many educators and professionals as humanly possible.If you have any questions or would like to participate leave a comment, send a tweet (@andinarvaez), or write an email to andinarvaez [at] gmail [dot] com.
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Are you a #PR pro or prof? Help @andinarvaez with her study RE: bridging the gap between theory and practice http://bit.ly/prprosandprofs
A short note on relationships management theory and this study
Relationship management theory of public relations explores how organizations can better relate to their customers. I am throwing in a new twist and extending the use of this theory beyond organizations as we know them.If we think of public relations educators as the organization and PR students as the product of their work, then PR professionals who hire these students become the customers educators must build relationships with. If we think of PR professionals as the organization and industry best practices as the product of their work, then PR educators who adapt the PR curriculum in order to teach these to future professionals become the customers and PR pros must build relationships with them to ensure that students are being prepared accordingly.