This post appears courtesy of the Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management. The full report can be found here.

The Global Capabilities Framework for Public Relations and Communication Management is a two-year research project led by the University of Huddersfield (UK) in partnerships with eight countries across the globe. The Global Capabilities Framework (GCF) represents the findings of the research collected from practitioners, educators and employees in each country. These groups were asked what they thought public relations is capable of and how it can best fulfill its potential.

Public relations practitioners around the world can use the framework below to assess their own capabilities and potential to set their own goals. This framework should assist employers and leaders in identifying strengths and where training resources need to be utilized. Educators should use this framework to base curriculum for educating the future of the profession. When utilizing these capabilities, it is important to remember there are certain cultural, geographic and maturity differences between countries. It is up to the practitioners, professionals and employers to decide what is most appropriate for their organizations.

The framework is separated into three categories: communication capabilities, organizational capabilities and professional capabilities. Once categorized, sub-capabilities are listed below each main idea.

Communication Capabilities
  1. To align communication strategies with organizational purpose and values
    1. You set clear communication objectives that are aligned to organizational objectives and then see them through
    2. You act as an architect of communication plans, enacting the purpose, values and policies of the organization
    3. You understand how communication can – and cannot – help an organization realize its objectives
  2. To identify and address communication problems proactively
    1. You create short and long-term narratives to facilitate communication with multiple organizational stakeholders
    2. You identify opportunities to design organizational communication and outline core content
    3. You develop integrated communication operations
  3. To conduct formative and evaluative research to underpin communication strategies and tactics
    1. You use research to listen to and understand situations before, during and after communication and relationship-building activities
    2. You manage research design, data collection and analysis to improve communication outcomes
    3. You establish evaluation systems to demonstrate the impact of communication
  4. To communicate effectively across a full range of platforms and technologies
    1. You have command of communication specialties, such as investor relations, and understand the optimum channels for specific stakeholders
    2. You communicate effectively across paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) channels
    3. You have or can source strong written and visual skills to create and tell stories that engage and connect with diverse publics
    4. You synthesize complex concepts and convert them to simple, clear and relevant content
Organizational Capabilities
  1. To facilitate relationships and build trust with internal and external stakeholders and communities
    1. You identify, analyze and listen to stakeholders and their communication needs
    2. You develop stakeholder engagement strategies and partnerships that are mutually beneficial
    3. You communicate sensitively with stakeholders and communities across a range of cultural and other values and beliefs
  2. To build and enhance organizational reputation
    1. You identify, analyze and strategically advise on key issues and risks for the organization
    2. You help the organization to define and enact its purpose and values
    3. You help shape organizational culture and its processes
    4. You understand and manage key intangible assets (e.g. brand, culture, sustainability)
  3. To provide contextual intelligence
    1. You see the bigger picture – socially, culturally, politically, technologically and economically
    2. You identify strategic opportunities and threats, issues and trends
    3. You operate in a connected world, demonstrating broad understanding of local and global diversity in culture, values and beliefs
Professional Capabilities
  1. To provide valued counsel and be a trusted advisor
    1. You combine a long-term perspective with the agility to manage crises
    2. You offer strategic counsel to executive management, particularly regarding the interests of multiple stakeholders
    3. You influence organizational decision-making and development
    4. You negotiate with empathy and respect for all parties
  2. To offer organizational leadership
    1. You are part of or have access to the executive management team and help build internal alliances within the organization
    2. You demonstrate communication leadership by encouraging management based on dialogue
    3. You demonstrate business and financial acumen through sound knowledge of the organization’s business and core processes
  3. To work within an ethical framework on behalf of the organization, in line with professional and societal expectations
    1. You consider business objectives in the light of society’s expectations
    2. You clarify the consequences of a proposed action on others, ensuring potential outcomes are understood by decision-makers
    3. You understand and apply ethical frameworks
    4. You recognize and observe the societal obligations of professionals
  4. To develop self and others, including continuing professional learning
    1. You take responsibility for your own continuous professional development, through a range of activities including training and education
    2. You participate in industry events, represent the industry in public, and educate others on the role and value of public relations to employers and clients
    3. You are able to offer professional guidance which involves, motivates and contributes to personal and team development

In addition to the common framework, there are nine specific country frameworks: Australia, Argentina, Canada, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the United States, which can be found in the full study.

  • There is a broad alignment on capabilities.
  • There are important cultural, geographic and maturity differences.
  • The Framework allows an external point of reference that is useful or advocacy.
  • It is helpful to practitioners for articulating their own role.
  • It empowers practitioners, professional bodies and employers to decide for themselves and their context what is appropriate.

Furthermore, PR Professionals can use this to review team strengths, draft job ads, prepare for appraisal or promotion, argue for more responsibilities and set long-term career goals.

For the full study, please visit here.

Jordan McCrary is a communications assistant for the Institute for Public Relations and the president of the University of Florida chapter of PRSSA. She is a junior public relations major and leadership minor at UF. Follow her on Twitter @mccrary_jordan.

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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