New tool to identify “ace” candidates for entry-level PR jobs

Just heard that Edelman PR’s Toronto branch gets between 95 and 120 CVs per month from entry-level candidates – – for between one and three positions! And they’re not the only ones. We hear the same thing from firms in Montreal and other cities. Public relations and communications management is a growing field – which means growing competition for good jobs. I’m glad to say many of our graduates do very well in the job market – but it doesn’t always come easy.

There is now a way for entry-level candidates and recent PR grads to distinguish themselves in the market: the new PRK (public relations knowledge) exam. Developed by the Canadian Pubic Relations Society (CPRS) after extensive research with industry, students and educators, the exam measures knowledge of the field, as well as qualities employers told CPRS they need most from new hires: writing skills, judgement and workplace readiness. After a pilot project in Calgary last fall, the exam debuts this month – January 26 to be precise – in five Canadian cities.  (Montreal is not anong them but will probably be added next time.) It’s done on line, but from a proctored site in each city.

Graduates wiith less than two years’ experience who want to take the PRK exam can check out the CPRS website. For a more detailed story, see the recorded presentation (which can be watched on Slideshare to speed it up). There is a preparation package for those with little PR background, but graduates of the McGill programs should not have much difficulty.

Spin Doctors? I don’t think so!

Richard Edelman has a blog worth following at http://www.edelman.com/speak_up/blog/. A recent post concerned yet another journalist, Jeff Jarvis  in this case, who in his new book questions the motives of public relations people because we are paid by clients and employers. I’ve posted a strongly-worded comment on the post, as have several other PR professionals. This is an ongoing debate, one with which our students should be familiar, and in which our instructors and colleagues should be vocal.  Attitudes are changing, but sometimes they need a little push!

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