Public Relations to be included in MBA programmes, as Tuck School of Business Partners with PRSA
June 2012 — The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth is one of five business schools which has been selected by The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) to participate in a groundbreaking pilot programme, aimed at enhancing the strategic communication and reputation management education provided to the nation’s MBA candidates. The course was developed by PRSA in partnership with Tuck professor, Paul A. Argenti.
The schools selected by PRSA have demonstrated a commitment to teaching the strategic value of public relations at the MBA level, and currently offer or have previously offered public relations classes or coursework in their MBA and/or Executive MBA programmes.
The other institutions taking part in the pilot include the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business; Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; Quinnipiac University’s School of Business; and the University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Business Administration.
Under the pilot programme, Tuck and the other schools will integrate a new, turn-key public relations course into their MBA curriculums for the 2012-2013 academic year. The programme is designed to strengthen the understanding of corporate communications strategy, methodology and value among current and future business leaders.
"I am delighted that PRSA has decided to base its pilot programme on Tuck's Corporate Communication curriculum and my textbook,” Argenti said. "Tuck has had a required course in communication since its founding. We look forward to working with the other schools in the pilot programme to set the standard for how business schools will teach this important topic as corporations face an increasingly negative environment and look for graduates equipped to face those challenges head on."
Tuck will also work collaboratively with the other business schools to identify and document best practices in terms of subject matter and teaching methods, and will incorporate its findings into a formal report to be released at the pilot programme’s end.
Upon successful validation of the curriculum, PRSA will offer the public relations course and best-practices guide to business schools nationwide.
"We’re extremely proud of the quality and diversity of the university programmes that showed interest and were selected to take part in our MBA pilot programme,” said PRSA Chair and CEO Gerard F. Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA. "Our aim was to identify schools that were best-in-class in their respective categories and representative of various geographies, sizes and specializations, and I’d say we exceeded those goals, given the caliber of the institutions selected.”
PRSA Study Underscores Need for Public Relations Training
In October 2011, a Kelton Business Leader Study commissioned by PRSA surveyed 204 American business leaders (vice president and above) to gauge the organizational value that U.S. business executives place on corporate communications and reputation management, and on senior managers having advanced knowledge and grounding in those areas.
The survey results showed that many American business leaders view recent MBA graduates as being under-prepared in the areas of strategic communication and reputation management. The results also showed that many of the business leaders surveyed believe MBA programmes lack sufficient emphasis on communications strategy and related leadership skills.
To help address this lack of training, PRSA’s MBA initiative is a multi-year, collaborative effort to advocate the value of including foundational communications strategy in MBA programmes. Ultimately, the programme is intended to give MBA candidates a better appreciation of public relations’ strategic value and help them understand the communications methodologies required for success in the future.
The programme has the support of the Arthur W. Page Society, Council of Public Relations Firms and International Association of Business Communicators. Initial funding was provided by the PRSA Foundation, and ongoing financial and material support is being provided by MWW Group, Kelton Research, Hilton Hotels Corporation and Southwest Airlines.