For some time now Richard Bailey at Behind the Spin has run a leaue table of the UK's most social PR students, based on their Klout and Peer Index scores. Being able to build networks and maintain a strong online presence is increasingly important in the job market and #socialstudent has worked well for several Sunderland graduates.
Now Richard has put together a similar list for UK PR Educators... and it is rather disappointing.
Some good people rate well, though some of the higher ranking names are not full-time univeristy academics. What struck me was that even with casting his net quite widely, Richard only managed to include 34 names and there is not a very strong correlation between the most "social" educators and the most significant names in PR academia.
The metrics used to create Klout and Peer Index scores are certainly open question and scores shouldn't be taken too seriously but the Behind the Spin chart does highlight how reluctant acadmics are to use Twitter and even blogs (which I think should be part of the job description).
A lot of serious people who study communication regard Twitter as trivial and simply can't see that anything worthwhile can be said in 142 characters. They are missing the point.
Careers may be made by publishing articles in academic journals, but PR is a dynamic subject, with issues and controversies worthy of debate emerging all the time. Twitter is a really valuable tool staying abreast of new ideas, sharing online finds, and now and then getting into a healthy argument.
Most of the people on the PR educators list are worth following and the best do a splendid job of opening up PR issues to practitioners, students and fellow academics. There should be more of them ... and I hope the #social students will be checking if their tutors are on the list, and if not, asking why...
I am @mediations, by the way...