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Entry-Level Attitudes

Entry-level PR employees show range of expertise and confidence in essential skills, grit and emotional…

  • November 15, 2017

Entry-level PR employees show range of expertise and confidence in essential skills, grit and emotional intelligence, a new study finds.

The study, from The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), found that:

  • Entry-level professionals identified themselves as having advanced levels of knowledge in multiple areas of writing, critical thinking and public speaking. Conversely, entry-level professionals rated research capabilities and environmental scanning abilities as low.
  • Surprisingly, results related to social media platforms for business use were mixed.
  • Entry-level professionals need to improve their business skills and ability to apply theories, and be able to apply business acumen, including financial literacy, to their everyday job responsibilities.They should also be steeped in theories to help understand attitudes and what drives behavior.
  • Nearly all (98%) respondents said they would be more open to learning new skills if their employer paid for all or part of their training. The majority reported paying out of their own pocket for new training programs.
  • More than three-fourths of respondents (81%) said the degree to which their employer funded professional development was a significant factor in staying at their jobs for the next year.
  • Women rated themselves as grittier than men, with grit defined as perseverance or passion for long-term goals.
  • However, compared to previous studies on grit, both female and male professionals rated themselves lower on their ability to work strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity and lack of progress.

The study also gauged respondents’ Emotional Intelligence, which includes self-control, sociability, well-being and emotionality, which entry-level professionals rated themselves the lowest in, saying they find it difficult to recognize their internal emotional states and to express their feelings to others.

“Identifying the core capabilities and gaps in the industry’s entry-level professionals is critical to ensuring we have the best workforce we can in the profession,” said Dr. Tina McCorkindale, APR, President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations. “It’s clear that these professionals are willing to learn new skills, especially if paid for by their employer, which is great news for the profession.”

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