Los Angeles, CA – In a milestone for the profession, four major professional organizations in the communication/PR industry have joined forces to support the USC Annenberg Strategic Communication and PR Center’s seventh Generally Accepted Practices (GAP) Study.

The biennial GAP study is generally considered to be the most comprehensive and in-depth study of the field. Its mission critical data is used by practitioners in managing and optimizing their communication organizations. The studies track emerging trends, shifting roles and responsibilities, and best practices in the profession. The Strategic Communication and PR Center makes the findings available to practitioners, educators and students free of charge.

Teaming up to support participation in, and publication of, GAP VII are The Arthur W. Page Society, the 400+ members of which are generally the heads of communication in major U.S. organizations; the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), which will serve as research partner contributing its expertise in researching the science underlying the practice of communication; the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), with its 15,000 member global network of communicators; and the 21,000 member Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

“As we prepared for GAP VII we decided to take a fresh look at the entire project. We spoke with dozens of senior level practitioners across the country, either one-on-one or in group “Connector Conversations,” and concluded that, among other changes, we needed to make GAP more of a ‘big tent,’ industry-wide initiative,” commented Jerry Swerling, Director of the Strategic Communication and PR Center. “That led to discussions with the four professional groups, the outcomes of which have exceeded our hopes. The big winner will be the profession, since the participation of our four partners should make the data from GAP VII more reliable and projectable than that produced by any of its six predecessors.”

The link to the study can be found at http://annenberg.usc.edu/gapsurvey . Using multiple channels the associations will encourage their members to participate either on-line or using a hard copy questionnaire. The survey will close in late November and data will be analyzed over the following months. The findings of the study will be released in the second quarter of 2012.

The Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center is part of USC Annenberg’s Public Relations Studies unit. Its mission is to advance the study, practice and value of strategic communication and public relations by conducting innovative applied research in partnership with other visionary organizations.

Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism is a national leader in education and scholarship in the fields of public relations, communication, journalism, and public diplomacy. With an enrollment of more than 2,200 students, USC Annenberg offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs, as well as continuing development programs for working professionals, across a broad scope of academic inquiry. The school’s comprehensive curriculum emphasizes the core skills of leadership, innovation, service and entrepreneurship and draws upon the resources of a highly networked university located in the media capital of the world



Jerry Swerling: 310-456-8045; swerling@usc.edu

Burghardt Tenderich: 213-740-0446; burghardt.tenderich@usc.edu

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