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Good writing skills are one of the most important skills in public relations. Writing is one of the crucial methods of communication and communication is an essential part of public relations. Therefore, a person who seeks a public relations career and has poor writing skills is doomed to fail. Generally, the quality of writing in public relations is not at a satisfactory level, and it has actually decreased compared to where it was five years ago. Many factors can be of importance to the slowly fading art of writing. All of this means that the public relations experts in the USA are slowly losing their professionalism.
Before we touch the entry level public relations experts, we should note that Psychology Today reports that college students no longer possess any basic writing skills (Leahy, 2012). Students are slowly losing writing skills, and something needs to be done if we want to have a society in which people are able to effectively communicate. Psychology Today have found out that students can no longer demonstarte the critical thinking skills they used to as well as some basic competencies such as spelling and using proper sentence structure.
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The prevalent problem of decreasing writing skills, inevitably raises questions about the content of public relations curriculum. A keen look at what should be taught necessitated for a review of the curricum. A total of thirty-seven necessary knowledge skills were added to it. Public relations students who underwent through these knowledge skills were expected to become all-around professionals (Richard T., Larry A. & Andrew D., 2006). The development or rather a review of the curriculum took into account that there were a deficiency and that the graduates possessed rather poor writing skills.
However, these thirty-seven key points that were marked as important concepts needed to be included in an undergraduate public relations curriculum. The shocking revelation is that only two of those topics appear to address the actual problem of poor writing skills. These two are "Mastery of language in written and oral communication" and "Informative and persuasive writing" (Pell, 2004) As easy as it would be to place the blame on the undergraduate students, it appears that they are not taught well enough. Those who develpoed the curriculum did not have the future of public relations discipline in mind. We can safely call this curriculum the primary cause of the problem at hand but we are still doing less than needed in order to solve it.
Writers do not become proficient by way of words, and more actions need to be taken. The United States of America leads the world in many areas and it should do so in the field of public relations as well. The sure way to achieve it is to enhance the writing skills. However, in the modern world, a lot of things are rapidly changing. The discipline of public relations is constantly becoming more complex and professional. A curriculum that fails to address this dynamism in the field will only contribute to production of poor writers which then become experts in public relations (Marken, 2006).
Public relations experts teaching at the undergraduate level must realize the fact that there are new demands of the field. These new demands mean that new academic resources should be developed and incorporated into the curriculum (Tench, 2001). The field is growing wide with some aspects, such as IT, playing a big role. Public relations as a field has found itself in the middle of technological progress. However, despite the progress, the key requirements in writing cannot be ignored. These and other emerging issues are very important and must be addressed for relevance and success in this field.
Due to the advancements that every professional field is going through, every professional is seeking independence. The current problem of poor writing skills in public realtions can be attributed to search for such independence (Richard T., Larry A. & Andrew D., 2006). Initially, public relations in the USA was a subfield of journalism. However, certain people have worked tirelessly make the profession an independent discipline that is taught at the undergraduate level.
The questions that come up with this kind of changes is the reason why public relations should be a discipline of its own. There seem to be no apparent reasons for this move. However, even as America goes through these changes, we can not cover the fact that the majority of public relations experts are actually former journalists. This fact alone is enough to convince anyone that journalism is a very important component of public relations.
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After separation of public relations from journalism, entry level public relations experts no longer possess the skills of journalism. When public relations majors and specializations are developed, they put less emphasis on writing skills and on journalism as a topic in generall (Marken, 2006). The result of it is the situation that we see today; people who have covered the required undergraduate curriculum, they have spent a lot of time, but they actually have not much to show in terms of their writing skills. At the end of the day, we end up having poorly written scripts, poor communication in high offices and a general deterioration in the field of public relations.
America today enjoys a lot of technological advancements. These advancements have brought in remarkable changes, but one of the areas that they have affected negatively is writing. Development and use of electronic gadgets in communication have created a state that can be called casual communication. According to Psychology Today, this type of technology has severly simplifeied and limited the communication. For example, communication with a person on Twitter one is limited to 140 characters (Leahy, 2012). In several other modes of communication that our undergraduate public relations students are using, they are also limited in the number of words that they can express. At the end of the day, this affects the habits and skills of expressingthoughts.
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