Special Issue Introduction Letter

Dear JPRE Readers:

We are pleased to introduce this special issue, which includes the article “Undergraduate Public Relations in the United States: The 2017 Commission on Public Relations Report” by Dr. Marcia DiStaso, Past Co-chair, Educators, Commission on Public Relations Education (CPRE).   

Dr. DiStaso’s article highlights the omnibus survey results of public relations practitioner and educator perceptions of how we can best prepare undergraduates to enter the field of public relations.  The survey’s findings were a basis for the CPRE 2017 Report on Undergraduate Education, Fast Forward: Foundations + Future State. Educators + Practitioners. 

The latest of several major reports released by the Commission since its founding in 1973, Fast Forward includes several recommendations on undergraduate curricula that have been adopted by the PRSA Educational Affairs Committee as criteria for Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR). The report offers chapters by content experts on ethics, theory, research, technology, academic structure and governance, educator credentials, online public relations education, program certification and accreditation, internships, professional and pre-professional organizations, diversity, and global perspectives on public relations.  It is available at www.commissionpred.org.

Recognized internationally as the “authoritative voice” for the advancement of public relations education, the Commission brings together public relations educators and practitioners on its 65-member board in this important cause. Board members represent over 20 public relations professional and academic organizations. Commission work groups are currently developing recommendations for new writing, ethics and online courses based on its latest findings.  In addition, the Commission sponsors regional educator/practitioner summits to help develop ways to better serve employers and the students who will be tomorrow’s leaders in our field. Overall, CPRE is committed to ensure that undergraduate public relations meets the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s public relations profession.

Judith T. Phair, APR, Fellow, PRSA
Practitioner Co-chair
PhairAdvantage Communications, LLC

Elizabeth L. Toth, Ph.D., APR, Fellow, PRSA
Educator Co-chair
University of Maryland, College Park