Bournemouth University

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PR questions answered

14 December 2010

L-R Jay O'Connor, Tom Watson and Jane Wilson

Q&A with Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

President of the CIPR Jay O’Connor and new Chief Executive Officer Jane Wilson gave a Q&A session at Bournemouth University (BU) last night.

BU’s Professor of Public Relations Tom Watson described the visit, which was open to academics, students and Wessex CIPR members, as ‘a real honour’.

Professor Watson added: “We had a very positive discussion on the future direction of public relations education and training, which is of importance to our students and to regional practitioners. Our voice will be heard strongly at national level through the CIPR leadership.”

The CIPR is the public relations sector’s professional membership organisation with 9.5 thousand members. It offers training, course accreditation, events and news for the Public Relations industry.

Areas up for discussion included Continuing Professional Development, particularly for mid and senior level practitioners, the relationship between Head Office and the regions and the value of CIPR membership. Inevitably the conversation turned to Higher Education and course accreditation, which is currently being examined.

Professor Watson stressed the importance of BU’s continued relationship with the CIPR and active PR practitioners, which gives “a three-way benefit to students who graduate with highly employable skills and knowledge, to the professions that gain well-prepared entrants and knowledge transfer from the university and to BU which can replicate professional activities and structure in its teaching and research."

Jay O’Connor noted how valuable BU’s International History of Public Relations Conference was for practitioners, academics and students to better understand their profession. She committed CIPR’s full support to the conference, which returns to Bournemouth University on 6-7 July 2011.

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