mary_welch_webThe recent “Nobody’s Baby” postings by Dr. Ana Tkalac, Ward White and Sean Williams provide strong support for including internal communication in public relations teaching programmes.

Ana Tkalac highlights the need to find a good academic home for the internal communication discipline within the public relations field. Ward White provided a fascinating insight into his experience with accredited public relations programmes, most of which pay surprisingly scant attention to internal communication. Sean Williams helpfully contributes course objectives from a current internal communication class.

Previously, I’ve posted about a framework for internal communication knowledge on this Research Conversations blog. As Ana mentioned, the framework is published in Public Relations Review, it provides multiple internal communication topic options for educational programmes.

Like myself these contributors clearly see a pressing need to prioritise internal communication education. The communication engagement model is gaining recognition as a key management model ( so it’s important that future communication professionals have access to internal communication knowledge to enable them to make informed contributions to practice.

Ward White suggests that communicators can lobby their local university to effect change.

Another way we and like-minded educators and professionals could highlight this need, and influence future public relations education across the globe, is to contribute to a global review of undergraduate public relations curricula.

The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management announced in July 2014 that the widely used Commission on Public Relations Education (CPRE) report on undergraduate curriculum is under review.

As a member of the Commission, the Global Alliance is working to stimulate discussion on undergraduate public relations curricula and to update curricula guidance provided by the CPRE in its 2006 Professional Bond report. The Global Alliance has issued an invitation to public relations professionals and educators to influence the review and help to create new education curriculum guidelines.

The GA held consultation meetings during the World Public Relations Forum (WPRF) in Madrid in September 2014. Professionals and educators who could not attend those meetings and who wish to be heard are invited to send their thoughts to the Commission’s co-chair Jean Valin.

I have written to Jean Valin and asked him to encourage the Commission to take account of the vital role of internal communication and the need to equip future communication professionals with specific internal communication knowledge. I’ve asked him to do his best to ensure that the Commission recommends internal communication as a clear part of future public relations undergraduate curricula.

If you want to see internal communication included in future public relations undergraduate programmes or have other views to share, you can contribute your views to the Commission co-chair Jean Valin at

By contributing our views on the vital importance of internal communication perhaps together we can rescue internal communication from being Nobody’s Baby and ensure it becomes lovingly nurtured as Public Relations Baby.

Dr. Mary Welch, is a Senior Lecturer in Communication Management, University of Central Lancashire, UK.

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