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.
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.
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.