Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Too many PRs spoil the broth?

Unlike some professional services, PR and indeed marketing are not regulated. We do not need to pass exams or have membership of a professional body to be PRs or marketers.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing had a wish that all marketers would need the CIM Diploma. I have only been asked, as far as I can remember, about whether I had it once. It never hurt me passing the exam. It was worth it for the knowledge, but career wise it was a "nice" extra for an employer, nothing more.

PR is increasingly popular amongst graduates and journalists switching professions.

I was talking to an accountant recently and he told me the exams he did were hard and no more than about 55% passed. And that is 55% of very bright people that take it - with degrees and professional experience. The idea is to keep the industry exclusive and well-paid irrespective of how many people are capable of being accountants, whether that is right or wrong.

I am not claiming me and a select few have the right to do what we do and no one else has. I do not have a PR qualification and I would only want to study a PR course that had real value and not for the benefit of saying I have it. All mine are marketing focussed qualifications. And anyway it would probably be unworkable, as the CIM found out, to put in place barriers to entry into marketing and this would apply to PR for the IPR.

I have not conducted a study nor do I have hard evidence, but as more PR graduates are produced and journalists look favourably on switching surely it will become an issue, even though PRs switch careers as well.

There must be a threshold to how many marketers and PRs the world needs. I do not know the breaking point on our marketing/PR eco system but it must be there somewhere.

Of course the other argument, especially if a recession bites, is only the fittest will survive.


Anonymous Tom said...

In 8 years in PR and Marketing I have never been asked about my qualifications, except on forms for public sector tenders. I would argue that I wouldn't gain much from having studied PR/marketing - in fact my main advantage as a technology PR was a degree in engineering, which meant that I understood the bits and bytes that clients talked about. But the average quality of people who claim to have a job in PR or marketing is frighteningly low. Trade shows and nightclubs have both brought me in to contact with dimwits who made me realise why our profession gets so much abuse. For that reason, and that reason alone it might be a good idea to introduce some sort of formalised CPD. We might not be able to stop the dross from entering the industry, but it would at least codify the difference between the true professionals and the rest. Crikey that sounds pompous...

8:34 AM


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