Ryan Anderson has a thought provoking post looking at “radical transparency in PR” which links to a discussion I had with 1st year PR undergraduates at Bournemouth University today.
We were considering the forthcoming CIPR Wessex event at the Uni, “Meet the Professionals” (6pm, 27 February). This annual event sees local practitioners spend an hour or two chatting with the students about working in PR. The seminar task I’d set was to identify the objectives of the event from the perspective of (a) CIPR Wessex, (b) the professionals and (c) the students.
From the professionals’ perspective, attending the event is primarily altruistic. A few may attend to scout for potential placement students, but most see this as giving back to the profession. As we noted, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs self-esteem or actualisation applies. (Image source: www.angelfire.com)
Some of the students were quite surprised that PRs would be open in this way – they also believed the main motivation of CIPR Wessex was to sign them up as members – and their own objectives were to secure placement opportunities.
If we’re hoping to open up the profession of PR in the spirit of generous transparency, we’ll need to overcome this type of cynicism and self-interest in our “newbies”.