Learning About and Some Concerns Related to the PESO Model 2.0 Certification Program

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

One constant in a progressive communications practice like public relations is this: Nothing is constant anymore. Not in this digitally-driven integrated communications landscape.

The PESO 2.0 image is shown courtesy of Spin Sucks, which holds the copyright. If you use this image, please share the above. You don’t want Gini Dietrich or her colleague Laura Petrolino coming after you.

That’s why I was excited and enthused to participate in the PESO Model Masterclass webinar held Wednesday, hosted by the team that publishes the Spin Sucks blog, offers online education and has been an integral force in advancing the public relations profession.

First, let me present this disclosure: Spin Sucks is the digital communications entity founded by my friend Gini Dietrich.

So who’s Gini Dietrich? Read this PRDude post from 2015 for a profile. And, what’s the PESO model? Read this post from 2017 on participating in what then was called the Arment Dietrich Challenge.

Back to the Masterclass webinar, which you can download here.  The presentation included the unveiling of the updated PESO 2.0 model and an announcement of the PESO Model Certification, an online education program developed by Spin Sucks and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

In the conversation led by Gini, these two topics clearly resonated:

1. Effective PR is rooted in strategy. It was reinforced that effective modern public relations is based on sound strategies and measurable objectives.

2. Modern PR transcends media relations. Without question, there’s much more to the profession today than securing print, broadcast and digital placements.

The PESO Model 2.0 was unveiled (see image above), showing expanded definitions or examples of the four PESO categories — Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned.

So far, I was on board with what was being presented. But towards the end of the webinar, two elements of the segment on the PESO Certification struck me the wrong way.

It was stated that those who complete the education earn their “PESO Model PhD.” That’s more than a misnomer, that’s totally inaccurate, misleading and an affront to those who do pursue and receive what’s acknowledged as the high level of academic scholarship. Earning a doctoral degree is a very challenging, expensive and time consuming endeavor. For example, it takes six years of education and teaching to earn a PhD in English at the university where I work — plus you have to submit and defend a dissertation.

And, it was noted that the public relations profession is “notorious” for not offering certifications. Please note that the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential, which I have held since 2004 and have lauded in this space frequently, was established in 1964. Furthermore, the International Association of Business Communicators, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, offered the Accredited Business Communicator credential from 1973 to 2013. It continues to offer online certification and certificates.

Wishing Spin Sucks and Syracuse much success with the PESO Certification. Will I engage in the program? Well, I’m two months away from completing my Master’s degree in English, so perhaps in the fall.

But I have a final question for the team: Is it pronounced “Pea-so” or “Pay-so” model? Perhaps that will be answered during the next webinar.


Seeking Inspiration For The Future of The PRDude

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Okay, for clarification regarding the title of this post: I’m not referring to myself, but this blog — thoughts, observations and commentary I’ve published for more than a decade.

Over the years, I’ve addressed a lot of topics, public relations being the focus, of course. But this space also has tackled politics, Chicago, sports, the media, travel, holidays, the employment market, and what’s happening in the media.

Ideas for posts come from what I read or learn about in the world around me, from adventures in and around Chicago and abroad, from experiences and observations.

Looking north from a bridge in the Harms Woods Forest Preserve, I sought inspiration.

But lately, I’ve struggled. The passion and desire to dash out a provocative and compelling post remains, however, I’ve not been inspired as much as in the past.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve written mostly about public relations (misinterpretations of the profession and misrepresentation by the media), Chicago (the politics and the people), development in the media (the decline of print media) and the other categories noted above.

I need some new inspiration.

So, that’s why I pose this question to you, kind reader:

What subjects should the PRDude address in the months to come?

Yesterday, on a spectacularly sunny and mild mid-winter day, I sought inspiration through a morning hike in a local forest preserve. The image posted here, with the snow covered banks of the North Branch of the Chicago River, reminded me of a blues song I penned many years ago. So I felt it was fitting to share the lyrics below.

Back to my question: All suggestions are welcomed. Please reply to this post or send me an email: edwardmbury@yahoo.com.

Sun Shines on the River

Sun shines on the river
On a cold, cold winter morn
Sun shines on the river
On a cold, cold winter morn
I’ve been on this road for 13 miles
And I must keep travellin’ on

Me and my ole hound dog
We’re hungry and we’re tired
Me and my old hound dor
We’re hungry and we’re tired
I could use me a shot of whiskey
And, a warm, warm raging fire

Got thrown out by a woman
She really done me wrong
Got thrown out by a woman
She really done me wrong
So I guess I’ll just keep on keepin’
Keep on, keepin’ on.

Copyright Edward M. Bury, 2020