Of course every PR job description is its own cocktail of different skills and types of experience, but I hear certain skills talked about far more than they once were. Some agencies that have historically organized their staff according to their client work are now making room for professionals who don’t necessarily fit into one account; a new kind of PR specialist who can work collaboratively across the company. The integrated communicator is highly sought after and you can build upon the skills you already have to position yourself in this light.
Generate and Curate Content
Bill Gates told us content was king in 1996, but we didn’t expect the kingdoms to include everything from ecommerce sites to utilities companies. Today every company, non-profit, foundation, brand, and thought leader feels the pressure to join the conversation. To tell their story. They are seeking communicators who can craft and convey original information in a compelling way. They also need editors who can sift through the user-generated content to curate the digital museum of their brand. Hone your writing abilities and get experience managing online platforms to beef up your content game.
Know How to Look at Data
“We’re getting asked more questions from CMOs about what role we’re playing. PR needs to have an answer to those questions and get better quantifying and qualifying the work we do,” says Jeremy Woolf, SVP, global and North American digital and social media lead for Text100. “We need to get better at demonstrating an outcome – whether by using marketing automation tools, lead qualification, or making sure content is tagged correctly.” Sharpen your analyatical skills so that you can learn what’s working and what isn’t, adjust your strategy accordingly, and communicate effectively to business-minded colleagues about the importance of your work.
In line with the integrated communications trend, companies hire agencies to take a project from inception all the way through to execution. They may expect your team to accomplish multimedia work that might have previously been shopped out to an ad agency or independent contractor. Whether or not you have the know-how to tell stories through video or design, you must recognize the power of visual content and learn to harness these communications, and platforms, effecitively.
Do Good Ole Fashioned Media Relations
Today’s PR pros still trade heavily in media connections. This will always be part and parcel of a public relations role. The best candidates I meet are news junkies. They know who’s distributing what kind of information and in what format. They know the audience of the different platforms. They know where the content is coming from and how to pitch the press. See here for a picture of a next generation publicist and consider which skills you need to build upon for your next role.
Chaloner, founded in 1979 as Chaloner Associates, is a national executive search firm that focuses on recruiting mid- to senior-level communications, public relations, marketing and investor relations professionals.