8 Dec 2013

Which are the skills International Public Relations pros need to have to be effective in today’s challenging global business world?

Next Thursday, 12th December 2013, I will be speaking at a very interesting event hosted by Hanze University of Applied Sciences (Groningen, NL) entitled “Meet your IC Future” - IC stands for International Communication. It targets the first and second year students of the International & Intercultural Communication undergraduate course of the respective University.

I believe it is a good initiative from the Hanze UAS staff because it gives the opportunity to students to have a clearer idea from the very beggining of the course of what to expect when graduating and the type of jobs that International Communication field has to offer. These advices will be given by young professionals that a few years ago were in the very same situation, full of questions...

Hanze UAS, Zernikeplein, Groningen/NL

There are a few areas of main concern – or doubts – when someone commences a University Degree. But first of all, what is central is to find out whether or not the course truly reflects what you want to do for the next decades of your life.

Once you start a University degree, I would advise you to check out its full content programme for the years to come, the modules you will have to study and if they are compatible with what you expected – and mostly important, if you can imagine yourself working with related subjects for a considerable part of your life from now on.

If you feel the course is right for you, great. If not, try to find your real vocation, everyone has an easiness for something, a natural feel for one or more areas, find yours and prepare yourself to be a good professional in that area(s).

The three main areas of concern are as follows:

1. What to expect from an International Communication course?
* The course will give guidelines, you have to go after what matters most to you within it
* Study and give a lot of attention to « Intercultural Communication »
* Do further research on the themes you have interest in working with
* Attend conferences, seminars and symposiums in your city, region, country and even abroad
* Participate in debates and forums
* Dig for opportunities – the web is a valuable resource to do it

2. What to expect from you as a student/professional/person?
*** To be a world-citizen – Professor Hofstede in his November 2013 lecture at Hanze UAS, pointed some of the vital characteristics for being considered a citizen of the world, which are as follows :
Live and work abroad
Suffer culture shock and learn from it
Intelectual curiosity on history, geography, literature
Recognise cultural differences between societies
Recognise one’s own cultural programming
Speak (fluently) at least one foreign language
Understand different communication styles
*** In addition, I would add some essential « soft » skills for IPR pros:
Cultural awareness
Out-of-the-box thinking

3. What to expect from the job market?
**Competitive but always welcoming bright talents
** Foreign languages, international experience, industry experience (internships), volunteer work, social media scanning, etc.
** Worldwide Opportunities in :
PR, corporate communications, development & NGOs communications, public affairs, advertising, digital communications, strategy, research...
Intercultural induction training, executive coaching
**Jobs can be independent consulting, in agencies, in-house, Governments, NGOs, Academia, the spectrum is wide!
Alternative functions in HR, administrative roles

These initial reflections are merely an initial step towards the understanding of what could be expected within the large spectrum offered by the International Communication field.

In this scope, I would strongly recommend a new term to define PR professionals involved in international communication contexts. I do believe a good denomination for the area and its professionals would be: “Intercultural Public Relations”.

I will go through this new term proposal for PR across cultures in one of my next posts, wait for IT!


 « Hofstede’s Lecture November 2013 » refers to Professor Geert Hofstede Lecture at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen/NL, which took place on November 18th, 2013. Hofstede lecture was part of an event discussing global workplace.

  ~ and keep on smiling :)

1 comment:

  1. Nice and informative post you have shared, which is knowledgeable.
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