I was lucky enough to attend the Euprera 2012 Annual Congress in Istanbul the other week, and there were many excellent papers delivered by respected academics and new researchers alike, but what was missing from this, as with many other PR conferences, was practitioner input. There is a great deal of very good research being done by academics in this country and across the world into many different aspects of PR theory and practice but very little seems to make its mark on practice.
This is a lost opportunity for both academia and practice. Practitioners could benefit from the findings of robust research projects, use the findings to guide their practice, even partner with academics to produce research that is pertinent to their operations. Whereas academics can benefit from the first-hand experiences of practitioners and use practitioner networks to produce research that really reflects modern PR practice and captures and investigates the dilemmas and triumphs of the industry.
So why isn't this happening? The CIPR once ran an annual conference aimed at bringing academics and practitioners together but this has not run for a couple of years. It needn't be as grand as a conference but I think that together industry and academia should investigate fora for sharing research and ideas to develop and strengthen the industry.
At a time when Lionel Zetter is calling for a strong, unified professional body to represent the industry, perhaps it is also time for PR academia and the PR industry to find ways to unite?
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