University research to explore level of PR expertise in Central Scotland

ACADEMICS at a Scottish university are to explore the level of expertise among PR professionals in Central Scotland.

Says Queen Margaret University of the pilot study: “The research will involve professional PR bodies and a range of both private and public sector PR practitioners.”

A QMU media release quotes Jacquie L’Etang, chair of Public Relations and Applied Communications at the university, as saying: “In recent years, the PR profession has experienced significant changes. By working closely with professional bodies, we aim to get a clearer understanding of current working practice in Scotland for the benefit of both academics and the wider PR profession.”

The release adds: “The pilot study, which looks at the knowledge base and daily professional practice of PR professionals across Scotland, involves interviews and focus groups with practitioners across Central Scotland, and some from the north of the country. The research team will also offer interventions that may change the way practitioners think about their work and methodologies.”

And it quotes Laura Sutherland, chair of the Scotland group of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, as saying: “After speaking to Professor L’Etang at Queen Margaret University, we realised that there was no real research into how people got into the profession and indeed the way in which people approach their work. We agreed to contact members and non-members of the CIPR, allowing a better ‘cast of the net’, to participate in the study.”

Early findings are expected in November.