– The purpose of this paper is to assess the leadership skills and competencies defined in the Pathways to the Profession and understand the value senior corporate communications managers place on those skills and competencies and how senior-level corporate communicators demonstration of those skills and competencies.
– Institutional review board approval was obtained for a qualitative research design based on focus groups conducted in four Canadian cities with 25 senior corporate communicators, human resources professionals, and general business managers.
– This research has validated the competencies and credentials for senior-level corporate communications and public relations executives as highlighted in the Pathways to the Profession framework. It has also provided the profession with an understanding of the value senior public relations and organizational managers place on professional association membership and professional and academic credentials. This research is an important contribution to the growing body of knowledge on competency frameworks as professional associations, such as the Canadian Public Relations Society, take leadership positions in providing educational institutions with sets of standards for public relations and corporate communications education in Canada.
– This research will help the public relations and corporate communications profession provide guidance to educational institutions programming for senior-level public relations and communications management education based on quantifiable data on the value executives place on a particular set of skills and competencies.
– This is the first study of its kind that examines the perceived competencies and skills of Canadian senior public relations/communications management leadership. Further this research sought to assess the value of academic and professional credentials necessary for participation in executive leadership roles.