Crisis communication and public affairs - top skills gaps

Perhaps it is no surprise that crisis communication is one of the top skills gaps identified in our annual trend survey - there have been some pretty high profile crises in the past year making it top of mind for many communicators.

It is interesting in light of this finding to also learn that for many respondents influencing senior managers about the value of PR remains a challenge.  Managing a crisis is one thing, but what we really want is to avoid it in the first place and PR can help here, acting as the eyes and ears of the organisation and ensuring that thinking about reputation is business as usual.  Making this happen means having influence in the organisation.

For me, the first step to having influence is having confidence in one's own advice and that is what many of our students say that they gain from a qualification.  Knowing that there is research and theory out there that underpins a particular approach makes a world of difference to many of the practitioners that we work with.

So, it was good to see from our survey that organisations are backing practitioner study; the number of respondents indicating that they have funding for qualifications available through their employer has increased to the highest it has been in six years, at 79%.  We also found:

  • 85% of respondents claim that holding a professional qualification has led to career progression, or they are confident that it will.
  • More respondents than ever before are studying to improve their career prospects - 83% in 2015 vs. 60% in 2010. 

There is lots more in the findings available here.  Let us know what you think, do the findings mirror your own situation?

Finally, a huge thanks to everyone who took part in the survey, it meant we made a donation of £131 to Crisis, the charity for single homeless people.

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About the author

Ann Pilkington

Ann is a co-founder of PR Academy, a leading provider of public relations and communication education.  Her special areas of interest are internal communication and project communication.

Ann leads PR Academy’s CIPR internal comms certificate.


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