Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Public Relations Inquiry 6:3 (2017), pp. 293–312.

doi: 10.1177/2046147X17721944


Copyright © 2017 Michele E. Ewing and David L. Remund. Published by SAGE. Used by permission.


This qualitative study is the first known effort to define the differing perceptions of public relations leadership at three distinct career points and explore the leadership development gaps and needs from these varied perspectives. Semistructured interviews with senior public relations practitioners, young professionals, and current students in the United States bring needed depth and clarity to prior scholarship on leadership development, a growing concern within the public relations industry around the world. Additionally, the findings pinpoint leadership development best practices for better infusing leadership development into undergraduate public relations education and into training and development programs for young professionals.