These are the skills you need to be a comms pro

Today is an important day in the world of Comms and PR as an incredibly valuable piece of work has just been published.

The Global Alliance has launched the first ever Global Capabilities Framework (GCF) for Public Relations and Communication Management. It’s a blueprint of what an effective communicator looks like and I urge you to familiarise yourself with it.

The framework outlines the capabilities you need and it’s what we’ve been waiting for.

What is it?

The Framework is the result of a two-year research project led by the University of Huddersfield, with partners in eight countries across six continents. It was revealed today at the 10th edition of the WPRF – World Public Relations Forum in Oslo, Norway and is a potential game-changer for Comms teams.

The research partners agreed that the GCF represents a fair summary of the shared capabilities that emerged from the world-wide research. The language was revised several times to avoid confusion. The sub-capabilities were created from partners’ findings to clarify what is meant by the main headings.

This is what we have in common globally:

Action: Download the Global Capabilities Framework for PR.

How to use it

Within the world of internal communication, I regularly use resources like the Institute of Internal Communication’s Profession Map to help All Things IC’s clients map teams, make hiring decisions, spot skills gaps and create teams and comms cultures that are primed to help their organisations succeed.

This framework takes that thinking one step further as it not only identifies a global standard, it’s also examined country-specific guidance. It’s so helpful!

This new research asked practitioners, educators and employers in each country what they thought public relations is capable of, and how it can best fulfil its potential.

The combined outcome, today’s Global Capability Framework (GCF), represents those capabilities which are shared around the world.

Well done to Professor Anne Gregory, Dr Johanna Fawkes and the whole team for their hard work, your efforts will benefit us for many years to come. Thank you.

The Global Capabilities Framework is one of the most significant projects that we have ever initiated. It is literally a game-changer for the profession. We are grateful to Professor Gregory, Dr Fawkes and the global team for making such a seminal contribution to the profession. – José Manuel Velasco, Chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management


Let’s take a closer look

The framework takes a high-level view of what practitioners can deliver:

Communication Capabilities
1. To align communication strategies with organisational purpose and values
2. To identify and address communication problems proactively
3. To conduct formative and evaluative research to underpin communication strategies and tactics
4. To communicate effectively across a full range of platforms and technologies

Organisational Capabilities
5. To facilitate relationships and build trust with internal and external stakeholders and communities
6. To build and enhance organisational reputation
7. To provide contextual intelligence

Professional Capabilities (those expected of any professional)
8. To provide valued counsel and be a trusted advisor
9. To offer organisational leadership
10. To work within an ethical framework on behalf of the organization, in line with professional and societal expectations
11. To develop self and others, including continuing professional learning

How can you use it?

Individual practitioners can use the framework to assess their own capability and potential, and set their own goals.

Employers and team leaders can use the framework to understand their team’s existing strengths and identify where training resources need to be committed. Educators can use the framework as the basis for curriculum development and review.

I will be reviewing my own All Things IC Masterclasses to spot areas where I can align my offering against the framework to ensure I’m helping IC practitioners match up to the global standard.

I’m particularly interested to note practitioners in the UK identified planning strategic communication and acting as trusted advisor as their preferred capabilities. Those two topics are at the core of my Strategic Internal Communication Masterclass. Only a couple of days ago I was coaching a Comms Director about her role as a trusted advisor in her organisation. It’s a conversation I’m having regularly with my clients and the comms pros I mentor and work with 1-2-1.

Action: Download the Global Capabilities Framework for PR.

Here’s the whole team who’ve been involved:

About The Global Alliance

The Global Alliance is known for key milestone events, not least the adoption of a global code of ethics, a benchmarking of accreditation programs resulting in the agreement on seven global core competencies, research in curriculum guidelines and eight editions of the World Public Relations Forum (WPRF), the signature program of the Global Alliance where Public Relations and Communication professionals from around the world gather to examine major issues affecting the profession and affected by the profession.

You can find out more about the Global Alliance online including their website and via Twitter @Global_Alliance.

Find out more about the World Public Relations Forum via this video:

Well done to everyone involved in this important piece of work.

What do you think of what you’ve read? As ever, you’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Further reading on the All Things IC blog:


Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 24 April 2018.

Come and learn about internal communication with Rachel Miller


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