Thursday, November 10, 2011

Business Schools should focus more on communications.

In most universities, the communications department which trains students in Public Relations, Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs tend to be in a different department.

Business schools have courses which never cover much on public relations or any form of public engagement. Often, the mindsets of the people in Arts and Social Science (Communications School for many universities) and Business School is very different. The students and much of the lecturers alike have very different ideas on businesses. Generally, an Arts graduate would focus on activism, ethics and some may even believe that big corporations are evil. On the other hand, a business student would believe that one would need to create a lot of networth to be influential and create change. They are not wrong, but most of the time, they will both benefit when they understand their different fields.

Today, the biggest businesses are no longer the giant oil companies or property developers. Instead, the Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter are so valuable now, and they are essentially, communications company (or manufacture tools for communications). Creating, using and understand the new ways which corporations communicate or create awareness, crisis management and engage the media and the public are pretty much a very important skill any business person should have.

In fact, I feel that for a social entrepreneur, perhaps it would be more suitable for him to go to a communications school as gathering support, changing mindsets through soft power is something you probably will not learn in business school. When you have a social cause, attracting other supporters to help with the business planning will not be hard if you can communicate your ideas to them. And a good news pitch can create a lot of awareness and allow the social business to be noticed.

-- Robin Low

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