Mentorship is important to the public relations field because it facilitates professional development and understanding. Often associated with positive behavioral, motivational, attitudinal, relational and career outcomes, much mentoring research has been conducted in disciplinary silos, and actual relationships between mentoring activities and outcomes aren’t always clear. The Plank Center’s goal is to improve our understanding of effective mentoring, enrich mentoring efforts in the field and drive best practices in public relations.

Mentoring Research and Best Practices White Paper

Because of the importance of mentoring in all fields, including public relations, this white paper draws from more than 100 sources, including scholarly research articles, books, magazines, media outlets, business organizations, educational institutions, professional development companies, non-profit organizations, blogs, websites and trade publications. The work’s ultimate goal is to help grow and diversify the public relations profession. To do so, the paper includes insights gleaned from the literature, educational takeaways, steps to create mentoring programs, evaluation processes, and mentoring research strengths and weaknesses. Drs. Diana Martinelli and Elina Erzikova found that “in both college and workplace mentoring, it is clear that the setting of goals, development of trust, and patience in and commitment to the process are fundamental to success.”

Download the Mentoring White Paper (PDF)

For young professionals, having a mentor is often encouraged and touted; however, knowing how to find and effectively engage in such relationships is not necessarily easy or intuitive. Learn more about how the research can be applied in this recorded presentation on “Becoming a PR Leader: The Art and Science of Mentorship.”
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Leaders exert significant influence on the success, future and image of their profession. Yet, only a few PR studies have explored this important topic.

One goal of the Plank Center is to build a research-based foundation of knowledge regarding the values, qualities and dimensions of excellent leadership, mentorship and diversity and inclusion in PR.