The training, employment and job effectiveness description of public relations practitioners in Botswana
Public relations (PR) is still a generally unexplored terrain in Botswana and many public relations practitioners (PRPs) are therefore experiencing challenges to either obtain worthwhile training and valid and applicable job descriptions or support from management where they are working. This is due to a large misunderstanding of what the profession entails. This career and study discipline certainly seems to be misconceived, misunderstood and misappropriated in many organisations and even in individual managers’ minds. Some of these misconceptions reflect that public relations is not sufficiently separated and distinguished from the other study fields and career descriptions in the discipline of communication studies, such as marketing, journalism, integrated marketing communications, corporate communication, branding, propaganda, publicity and advertising. This is a residual effect of earlier appointments of so-called public relations practitioners as the wine-and-dine attendees on the social circuit of a company who need to make a favourable impression of the business and the people on other stakeholders. There is no formal and professional public relations body in Botswana. The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) is in the process of establishing a local chapter, which could be the beginning of an answer to the misconceptions about the country’s public relations industry. Qualitative and quantitative research approaches were used to collect data, the questionnaires were self-administered and the researcher carried out interviews. The triangulation method was used as one of the strategies to validate the research results. The total population of the study amounted to 110 participants. Unfortunately not all participants completed and returned the questionnaires, but 89 have completed and returned them, while seven interviewees participated. As for the collection of data, the pilot questionnaires were carried out with 18 participants and the pilot findings formed part of the research findings. For sampling of the population, the purposive or judgmental sample was used, based on the fact that the sample had knowledge on the researched title.
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