A co-orientational, mixed-methods analysis of competencies, skills and knowledge among Canadian publ

Terry Flynn APR, FCPRS, PhD, Assistant Professor, Communications, McMaster University
The objectives of this study were to conduct benchmark research among Canadian public relations practitioners to understand their overall knowledge, skills and competencies, educational backgrounds, business management literacy and accreditation within the profession. Furthermore, a co-orientational analysis between those hiring public relations practitioners (expected competencies, knowledge and skills) and those in the profession to determine if there are any gaps in these important employment and practice requirements. Our research team has completed a content analysis of job postings (CPRS, IABC and Linkedin) over the last three years to assess the skills, competencies and requirements required for advertised positions in Canada. And finally, our findings will be benchmarked against recently published data from New Zealand (Jeffrey & Brunton, 2010), the United Kingdom (Gregory, 2008) and Europe (Watson & Sreedharan, 2010).

This study will report on the first two phases of this year-long, funded research project identifying both the requisite skills, competencies and knowledge expected of 21st century workers and public relations professionals along with a content analysis of near 300 public relations job postings. The final two phases (depth interviews with hiring managers and a survey of practitioners) are currently in the field and will be reported in the Fall of 2013.
Terry Flynn APR, FCPRS, PhD
Assistant Professor, Communications, McMaster University
Dr. Terry Flynn is one of Canada's leading public relations/communications management scholars and an important bridge between the academy and the profession.

Following a 20-year communications consulting career, Terry joined the faculty of McMaster University after completing his Ph.D. studies at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. During his professional career, he built an international communications practice specializing in crisis and risk communications.

He is a member of a number of professional and academic organizations including: the Canadian Public Relations Society – and was its elected President in 2009-2010; the Institute for Public Relations (elected 2013); and the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication.

In 2007, he founded Canada's first and only Master of Communications Management degree program at McMaster University. Terry's innovative teaching style was recognized in 2010 and 2011 when he was named “Teacher of the Year” by the DeGroote School of Business.
2013 CPRS Educators Roundtable Research Presentations: