In an effort to increase the profession's understanding of itself, CIPR Scotland has commissioned research from Edinburgh's Queen Margaret University "to get a clearer understanding of current working practice in Scotland for the benefit of both academics and the wider PR profession".
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Reporting back later this year, the research will be an in-depth study into how the profession is structured in Scotland, and what professional pathways it offers to those in the sector.
Sutherland said: "There's no real research into how people got into the profession or how they approach their work.
"It is important, as a profession, that there are high standards set across the board, both in terms of employment and everyday work.
"This research will allow us to understand where people practising PR in Scotland came from, what their work involves and may demonstrate trends that we can use to further advance the profession."