Public relations and communication professionals have never had a formal roadmap in the same way that accountants and lawyers have. That is, we’ve never had universally agreed descriptions of our range of skills, nor documentation of those workplace experiences and pathways that lead us to the destination of our career choice. Up until now, who is and what a PR and communication professional ought to be able to do has gone undefined, unlike other professions.
Arguably, this has encouraged diversity and creativity of PR and Communication talent in Australia. I’m firmly of the belief that mapping our competencies will be a valuable reference for our profession, clarifying who we are and what we do.
Having a Professional Framework allows emerging practitioners to make informed decisions about future career directions, comparing their own existing strengths and identifying what competencies they need to develop to progress through each stage of their career. A Professional Framework could work similarly for senior managers wanting to diversify.
A common understanding of what level of experience and skills are required to fill a Senior Account Manager role or its in-house equivalent will be a useful reference for employers. Being able to benchmark skills and salaries will make the recruiter’s work easier too.
Lastly, a clear description of the work that professional communicators actually do will better inform their education and provide a greater degree of work readiness.
The Professional Framework was announced at the 2016 PRIA National Conference: Communication Innovation on 14 November 2016. We are confident that all PR and Communication practitioners will derive enormous benefit from their contributions.
We commend this Professional Framework to all members as a reference that can guide our personal career path, the professional development of our staff and contribute to the success of our organisations.