Date: 10 September 2017

Subject: Laying the Foundation for a Global Body of Knowledge in Public Relations and Communications Management

MLA Citation: Manley, Dustin, and Jean Valin. “Laying the Foundation for a Global Body of Knowledge in Public Relations and Communications Management.” Public Relations Review, vol. 43, no. 1, Mar. 2017, pp. 56–70.,


Research Assessment #2

This article was extremely informative in beginning my research in public relations. It focuses on the Global Alliance of Public Relations and Communications Management working to create a global body of knowledge (GBOK), or set of globally acknowledged knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors (KSABs) required for public relations professionals. In order to meet the definition of a profession instead of a practice, an industry must possess an accepted cognitive base and code of ethics; public relations does not necessarily have this yet, so the global industry leaders in public relations are working together through research (expressed in this passage) to create these.

The most prominent knowledge that I gained from this article is the many skills commonly required for a public relations professional. I already possess a few of them, including those that I learned in ISM and my leadership on Stars (leadership, creativity, strategic communication, and research). However, I also realized that there are skills associated with the industry that I have no prior knowledge about, including ethics and law, business literacy, differentiating between PR and marketing, and account management. My questions when I saw these skills included, “who can help me learn this,” and “where do I start learning this?” These, obviously, I will have to learn and acquire these through further research and my mentorship if I am seriously considering a career in the field. One of the skills listed, business literacy, is clearly emphasized as an admirable and beneficial trait in public relations, as PR professionals collaborate with business executives, managers, and administration on a very regular basis. This made me consider whether a business degree would be of aid to me in my public relations endeavors; perhaps a college minor or even a certificate in business would give me a comparative advantage in the PR industry. If I am educated on business practices, the goals of executives, and the relationship between public relations and businesses, then I am likely to excel and stand out amongst other entry-level practitioners.

I also had a moment of realization when I read that PR specialists are expected to be able to apply and explain many widely accepted public relations theories and communication models, in addition to the history of PR and current trends in the industry. I now plan to locate and study these theories and models heavily for future research assessments, including keeping up with PR current events and research being done in the field. Having this base knowledge will be crucial in my understanding of public relations and why practitioners behave the way they do. My next step, as far as my further research is concerned, is locating credible sources of information on these theories; the extensive list of references at the conclusion of this article may prove helpful with that.

Furthermore, I was overjoyed when I discovered that I will be able to implement my knowledge from my journalism mentorship last year to my independent study this year! This research states that an important skill for PR professionals is being able to maintain objectivity, a subject that I did extensive research on in ISM last year. I look forward to researching how to be objective in PR; how does it differ from the level of objectivity required in journalism? What does that logistically look like in the workplace?

Overall, this article was eye-opening in many ways, and it helped me assess where I stand in comparison to the ideal public relations employee. I now know what skills to begin building, as well as background knowledge imperative to my success in the industry. I will also continue to follow this GBOK effort and see if it eventually does come to fruition; if so, I will certainly be adequately prepared for a job in public relations.

​Annotated Article: See Below