PR skills for the futureThe digital age has forever changed the PR world. The internet and social media have thrown traditional public relations practices for a loop and PR professionals are finding their roles are changing almost daily.

Communications professionals are taking on additional tasks and are expected to have a skill set comparable to that of an entrepreneur. Public relations professionals need to know how to write a blog post/press release in addition to coding it for online marketing and search engines. Their roles and responsibilities now include a bit of IT mixed with marketing, graphic design and other departments.

Deirdre Breakenridge analyzes what she calls “hybrid PR professionals” in her book, Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional. The new hybrid PR professional role entails working with marketing, design, advertising, PR/communication. The hybrid PR pro also works with other departments such as legal, IT and customer service. This new role is one of a collaborator as well as a curator and traditional communicator (and it’s a role we celebrate every day here at Creative Concepts while working on different PR and social media projects for our clients).

“I think that in a lean economy it is essential for professionals to be skilled in many different areas — and to essentially become a renaissance person. Important skills include writing, speaking, networking, research, and social media marketing and public relations. Being aware of what is happening in the community and globally is vital.” – Annette Pinder.

Arik Hanson writes in “10 Skills PR Professionals will need in 2020“, “I’m not going to tell you traditional PR skills are dead. On the contrary, they’re more important than ever. But these emerging skills are also critical. And in most cases, they’re simply a layer on top of those traditional skills.”

These skills include:

  1. Advertising copywriting
  2. Video editing/production
  3. Mobile
  4. Social content creation/curation
  5. Analytics
  6. Search Engine Optimization
  7. Speed to information
  8. Programming skills
  9. Managing virtual teams
  10. Blogger outreach

PR professionals are now writers, producers and publishers, spinning a web of storytelling to build brand and engage customers. How has your role changed? What skills have you learned that are crucial for PR professionals moving forward?

Image via PR Daily