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From ad-man to digital manager. How strategic communication became a professional project

Rosén, Maria LU (2012) Euprera Annual Congress 2012
Abstract
n this paper I argue that strategic communication practitioners are set to form a monopoly over specific skills and competences, which separate them from other groups in order to gain professional status. This process has developed gradually; requirements for communication workers were not that high put a couple of decades ago. But in relation to demands on a societal level, strategic communication has become what we could call a professional project. In the traditional sense, the only professions that fully live up to the classical criteria’s of a professional occupation are doctors, dentists, vets and psychologists. However, in the knowledge society, several other occupational groups strive towards professional status. By studying nearly... (More)
n this paper I argue that strategic communication practitioners are set to form a monopoly over specific skills and competences, which separate them from other groups in order to gain professional status. This process has developed gradually; requirements for communication workers were not that high put a couple of decades ago. But in relation to demands on a societal level, strategic communication has become what we could call a professional project. In the traditional sense, the only professions that fully live up to the classical criteria’s of a professional occupation are doctors, dentists, vets and psychologists. However, in the knowledge society, several other occupational groups strive towards professional status. By studying nearly 200 job advertisements published between 1960-2010 in three Swedish newspapers, the aim of this study was to develop a historical understanding of Swedish strategic communication practice and the construction of the ideal practitioner reflected in job titles, required educational background and professional qualities and experiences. With both a descriptive presentation of the main findings and a more developed analysis on how changes of the job advertisements reflect contemporary norms and values in society, this study contributes to some critical historical insights. The ideal candidate has, as this study show, become someone that should be prepared to work on all levels, operational, tactical and strategic. Strategic qualifications have become increasingly required over the period, and so has previous experience of media-contacts. The most demanded education between 1960-1980 was within finance whereas communication increased in 1990 and thereafter. In 2010, a majority of the job advertisements require that the ideal applicant should have a degree within communication or journalism. The overall tendency is that the ideal strategic communication practitioner has moved from being a person (read: a man) with general knowledge, towards someone with specific experience and unique competence in order to match the expectations from hiring organizations. In order to become legitimized in society, strategic communication practice has become a field of specialists. As this develops further, the single communicator could have difficulties managing the growing distance between a realistic experience of work life and a grandiose illusion of becoming professional. (Less)
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author
organization
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Contribution to conference
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submitted
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keywords
professional project, professionalism, strategic communication, job advertisements, historical study
conference name
Euprera Annual Congress 2012
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
bc4a205e-9fbe-4def-853d-bdebc60b9a94 (old id 3732417)
date added to LUP
2013-04-30 12:06:38
date last changed
2016-04-16 11:43:50
@misc{bc4a205e-9fbe-4def-853d-bdebc60b9a94,
  abstract     = {n this paper I argue that strategic communication practitioners are set to form a monopoly over specific skills and competences, which separate them from other groups in order to gain professional status. This process has developed gradually; requirements for communication workers were not that high put a couple of decades ago. But in relation to demands on a societal level, strategic communication has become what we could call a professional project. In the traditional sense, the only professions that fully live up to the classical criteria’s of a professional occupation are doctors, dentists, vets and psychologists. However, in the knowledge society, several other occupational groups strive towards professional status. By studying nearly 200 job advertisements published between 1960-2010 in three Swedish newspapers, the aim of this study was to develop a historical understanding of Swedish strategic communication practice and the construction of the ideal practitioner reflected in job titles, required educational background and professional qualities and experiences. With both a descriptive presentation of the main findings and a more developed analysis on how changes of the job advertisements reflect contemporary norms and values in society, this study contributes to some critical historical insights. The ideal candidate has, as this study show, become someone that should be prepared to work on all levels, operational, tactical and strategic. Strategic qualifications have become increasingly required over the period, and so has previous experience of media-contacts. The most demanded education between 1960-1980 was within finance whereas communication increased in 1990 and thereafter. In 2010, a majority of the job advertisements require that the ideal applicant should have a degree within communication or journalism. The overall tendency is that the ideal strategic communication practitioner has moved from being a person (read: a man) with general knowledge, towards someone with specific experience and unique competence in order to match the expectations from hiring organizations. In order to become legitimized in society, strategic communication practice has become a field of specialists. As this develops further, the single communicator could have difficulties managing the growing distance between a realistic experience of work life and a grandiose illusion of becoming professional.},
  author       = {Rosén, Maria},
  keyword      = {professional project,professionalism,strategic communication,job advertisements,historical study},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {From ad-man to digital manager. How strategic communication became a professional project},
  year         = {2012},
}