Competence, competencies and/or capabilities for public communication? A public sector study

Jim Macnamara


Knowledge, skills, and abilities, referred to as KSAs, as well as competencies, overall competency or competence and, most recently, capabilities, are major foci in human resource literature, particularly that related to recruitment and professional development. They also have increasingly become a focus of study in public relations and corporate, government, and organisational communication. A number of national and global studies have been undertaken to identify the KSAs, competencies, and capabilities required to effectively undertake PR and communication management roles today and in the future. Recently, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management completed an extensive review of professional qualifications and educational standards to produce a Global Body of Knowledge (GBOK), and in 2016 commenced a further stage of this research to develop a Global Capabilities Framework. This paper reports findings of a study undertaken to inform a capabilities framework for public sector communication professionals that supports and adds to the findings of the Global Alliance study and provides specific insights into the capabilities required in government communication today and into the future.


communication; capabilities; competencies; competency; knowledge; skills

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