Paul Rogers

Paul Rogers

The importance of professional training in the PR industry

This year’s hits and misses in crisis communications demonstrate the importance of professional training in the PR industry.

At only halfway through 2015, it’s already a year to remember for crisis communications.

Thomas Cook set a new precedent for how today’s fast-moving press can escalate a situation by the minute. Delays in communication from the brand meant that there were often calls of a knee-jerk reaction or actions coming too little, too late. On the other hand, Alton Towers were praised for their social media responsiveness following their recent crisis.

Consequently, the image of PR is beginning to change from the ’old days’ of champagne and flowers, as the challenges of managing a brand’s reputation before the glare of the world’s spotlight become clear. PR is more recognised as a respected discipline, requiring strategic thinking and thorough training to deliver a consistent brand message no matter the situation.

All of this means that focussed professional training and accredited qualifications are receiving renewed importance. Brands need to know that their PR consultants and agencies will give informed advice underpinned by a thorough understanding of their discipline.

It’s therefore an exciting and highly pertinent time for MOL to expand its CIPR accredited programmes. Our Foundation Award programme already provides a solid foundation of PR theory for learners who are new to the world of PR, or looking for a stepping stone to move up in their career. We will soon be offering Advanced Certificate and Diploma courses, suitable for experienced professionals who may be looking to formally certify their skills, expand their communications skillsets, and gain further credibility in the industry.

Modules within the programme have been chosen for their relevance and significance within the current PR profession:

  • crisis management
  • corporate responsibility
  • stakeholder theory
  • media relations
  • communications theory

The new programmes will be delivered using MOL’s proven blended learning approach that combines guided home study with workshops, webinars and personal tutorial time. All MOL tutors are skilled practitioners in their field and discuss real-world application of theory. MOL is always looking to build its network of associated tutors; experienced industry leaders who are keen to share their knowledge can get in touch at any time to discuss opportunities.

The ever-changing social media environment, the rise in importance of reputation management as well as corporate social responsibility coming to the fore and the evolving nature of print media have shifted the PR landscape immensely over the past 5-10 years. Building a strong skillset across all areas of the field is essential in becoming an asset to a brand and implementing a confident, reliable strategy.