I hadn’t, but you know what I did next.
(Plus I love Clay Shirky, who refers to himself as, “Bald. Unreliable. Easily distracted…”)
It’s an interesting piece on what’s going on with newspapers and I recommend the read.
It also will create a nice debate because people are passionate about the topic: Some believe newspapers aren’t dying and others believe they’re already dead.
He presents a good case for the end of the printed newspaper. But here’s what stuck with me, from a communications point-of-view. He details three pieces of advice to journalists who haven’t yet been fired, but are likely on their way there.
His advice works for the communicator, too. Here’s why.
1. Get good with numbers . We no longer have to rely on media impressions and advertising equivalencies to prove our worth. We’ve always been an expense—and typically one of the first to get cut in a down economy. Today we have the huge opportunity to become an investment…if we can get good with numbers.
I know, I know. You went into PR because you’re not good at math. Get over it. Figure it out. Take some classes. Learn how to use Google analytics. Figure out what data is available to you and use it to your advantage. Prove your worth and you’ll always climb up the corporate ladder or have clients pounding on your door.
2. Learn how to use social media for stories and sources . From the communicator perspective, learn how to use social media to connect and build relationships with the journalists, bloggers, and influencers who can help your organization grow. Also, learn how to use social media for business development.
Another thing the communicator is really bad at: selling. Use social media to connect with organizations you’d like to work with. Get a list of prospects from your sales team and start building relationships. If you can get a sales person in the door because of your efforts, you will always have a job. Always.
3. Integration, integration, integration . Shirky talks about it from the perspective of working with other journalists who have specialties different than the others, but I look at it from the perspective of moving beyond text. Andy Crestodina has a great piece on content hubs, which is how you should think about your efforts. Writing a blog post on a specific topic? Where else can you use it? A white paper, a speech, a video, a podcast? Have an interview with a major trade publication? How else can you use that content? Perhaps a behind-the-scenes video you took during the interview or a FAQ on the website of what landed on the cutting room floor. We have to think beyond one tactic and integrate the PESO model.
While it’s journalists who are fearful of their jobs right now, communicators should consider their skill sets so our industry doesn’t follow suit.
If you figure out how to prove your work drives revenue, you’ll have a seat at the table and become an asset instead of a liability.
What do you think of these three points and what else would you add?