5 Schools Start New MBA Course To Enhance Public Relations

The schools join with the Public Relations Society of America on a pilot project that aims to improve communications skills of MBA students

By Neil Johnson
Posted June 07, 2012 09:27 AM

MBA Programs to Add Public Relations Courses
MBA Programs to Add Public Relations Courses

Recognizing a nearly universal view among business leaders that executives need better preparation in public relations and communications, the Public Relations Society of America has joined with five major business schools in a pilot project to hone the skills of MBA students.

Under the program, the schools will initiate a new public relations course into their Master’s of Business Administration programs in the 2012-13 academic year, the society said in a news release.

The public relations society developed the course along with Paul Argenti, professor of corporate communications at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.

Ultimately the program will yield a public relations course and guide the society will release for business schools nationwide, the release said.

The society selected the schools based their how their MBA programs emphasize the value of public relations at the graduate level and looked for ones whose programs do, or previously offered, public relations coursework in their MBA programs, the release said.

The schools taking part are:

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. The school was ranked ninth in the annual U.S. News & World Report rating of graduate business schools, the school’s website said.

University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The school’s MBA program was ranked 28th in the nation by Financial Times, according to the school’s website.

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The school’s MBA program was ranked 16th globally in 2012 by the Financial Times, and has maintained an average ranking of 20th over three years.

Quinnipiac University’s School of Business. The university ranked 11th among northern universities in graduate and master’s degree programs in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 America’s Best Colleges issue, the school’s site said.

University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Business Administration. The college’s MBA program received the top ranking for Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine two years in a row and has been in the Top 10 the past four years, according to the school website.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the field of public relations managers will grow by 21% through 2020, faster than the nation’s overall job growth. The median salary for a public relations manager is $91,000, the BLS said.

A survey conducted by the public relations society in 2011 reinforced the need for a more robust public relations emphasis. In that survey, roughly 97% of business leaders said in addition to having public relations professionals onboard, a company needs senior executives who understand principles of corporate reputation management. Furthermore, 94% of those surveyed said executives need more communications training.

The same survey also found 93% of leaders said public relations held the same importance to their business as marketing and advertising and 98% said schools should teach students about corporate communications.

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