13 Sept 2015

The management game of communication

Over the last decennia, in many other countries, the number of communication students has shown an enormous increase, following student preferences and societal needs. In Finland, the number of places for students per discipline is regulated. There are no entrance fees but selection of candidates for an earlier set maximum number of freshmen. Over the years the number of communication students has approximately remained the same, and thus was kept artificially low compared with the number of applications. Only on the BA level in applied sciences a raise is noted in the percentage of communication students within the total number of students. At the national and university level it seems that the planners are not aware of how different the balance is when compared to other countries.

To quote Jason Schmitt in HuffPost: “At a college near you, at this very moment, a student is switching their major to Communication Studies. As an academic discipline, Communication Studies is posting strong growth. ... Perhaps equally important is that the discipline seems well positioned to maintain strong future growth potential.”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-schmitt/communication-studies-ris_b_6025038.html

One can also wonder how to position communication studies within universities. Interest has risen in connecting with organizational studies and business schools. The EUPRERA 2015 Congress in Oslo (October 1-3), has as its central theme “THE MANAGEMENT GAME OF COMMUNICATION: How PR/Corporate Communication Supports Organizations and What Communicators Can Learn from Management Disciplines”. http://euprera2015.no/

To quote the EUPRERA website: “Kotler and Mindak in 1973 lamented the lack of management and economics courses for Public Relations students as well as the refusal of business schools to teach Public Relations. This state of affairs is not so much different today, as we see communication graduates with little organisational/ business knowledge and business graduates with little communication knowledge. ... There has been growing understanding based on research that communication practitioners need more business knowhow, that they need to have a better understanding of how their organizations operate, and that a strategic orientation ensures that communication executives are invited to participate early in organisational strategic decision-making.” http://www.euprera.org/?p=125

These are interesting matters to discuss in Oslo, and at the various universities.