3 skills the next generation of PR pros must cultivate

As PR roles incorporate more tasks—including video creation and data measurement—the industry will look for a wide range of skills from new hires. What tasks should PR pros develop?

This article originally appeared on PR Daily in March of 2018.

As the media landscape changes, PR pros must adapt.

Client’s communication desires are progressing meaning that agencies are starting to expand services for broader communication value.

The typical skills of a PR practitioner range from content creation and executive coaching to media relations and research. However, the days of relying on earned media relations are gone. While press releases and SEO are, of course, still relevant, incorporating creative images and video have proven to greatly increase engagement. It’s imperative for entry level candidates to develop these assets to see success with their clients.

This means the new PR employee needs to develop a new skill set to have a thriving career.

Here are three skills all PR hopefuls should develop:

1. Marketing skills

As PR and marketing align more (and many outlets start requiring payment for placements) it requires PR professionals to understand the media landscape beyond the traditional earned sector. This is especially true as the lines between paid, earned and owned continue to blur.

Paid media is important because it works in tandem with earned & owned media and opens doors to new audiences that would otherwise stay closed. For many users, a promoted post will be their first exposure to a company. The goal for every client is to increase brand awareness as much as possible and PR people must know how to operate in that world.


2. Graphic design/video editing.


Videos are among the most versatile and useful tactics a communications professional can use. In fact, studies have even found that just by including a video on an organization’s landing page, the conversion rate can go up by 80 percent, while adding a video to email marketing can increase click-through rate by a staggering 200-300 percent. Being able to create this content in-house will be essential for communication agencies moving forward and with tools available everywhere, even novices can learn to create compelling content including gifs and other short-form, engaging content.

Creating quality custom video content is something that many brands will pay a premium for, and PR pros should be ready to take that business.


3. Data analytics

A message’s impact can’t be truly understood without measurement. Measuring value must start at the beginning with an understanding of what your client’s business needs. From there, you think about the campaign and execution that is most likely to drive those results.

Once the campaign is running, clients want to understand how the campaign is working. How many people are seeing the article or post? Are they clicking through? How many sales leads came from your PR efforts?

The best way to analyze campaigns (and answer your client’s questions) is to learn how to collect and read the data. From TrendKite to Google Analytics, PR pros should excel at proving their work is worth the money spent. This is a must as AI begins to creep into communications fields.

What skills do you want to see in new PR pros, PR Daily readers?

Caroline Yodice, is a Senior Account Executive at SourceCode Communications.

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