Public relations has been a profession for more than 100 years. In that time, a lot has changed. Technology is starting to find it’s way into every industry, because now there’s an app for everything. To stay relevant into today’s technology-focused world, PR professionals must make sure clients know they, too, are evolving with the times. PR is no longer limited to media relations and garnering coverage for clients. It has evolved to include so much more.
Here are five areas where PR pros should ratchet up their skills so they’ll remain relevant in the future:
1. Increase social media skills.
This includes being an expert at managing client social media accounts and drafting engaging content, as well as using social media for media relations. The most social-savvy PR pros make use of social media for pitching reporters, thanking them for coverage and sharing coverage for clients to increase reach. Not only does communicating with reporters over social media increase your exposure, it also helps build relationships and shows the reporter that you’re engaged and interested in their writing.
2. Put yourself in a reporter’s shoes by doing your own brand journalism.
At NRPR Group, we host our own radio show and guest host others. If a radio show isn’t for you, agencies and individual PR practitioners can easily start their own blogs on topics of interest. This enables you to build your company and personal brand while showing the world you’re a great writer. It also helps with empathy. We certainly know how hard it is to book great guests for our radio show, therefore, we can empathize with our fellow show producers to be sure we pitch great and reliable guests for their shows.
3. Get away from phones and computers to make human connections.
In this technological age, PR pros who get lost in technology will get lost as a professional. Face and phone time is what makes pros really stand out. It’s important to build relationships with not only journalists, but also clients and other professionals. So step away from the computer and schedule a lunch, a nail appointment, a concert, or anything that will get you to connect with a reporter or client. They’ll really appreciate you taking the time to meet face to face.
4. Own your client’s messaging.
PR pros must own the client’s messaging so it works well with marketing materials, ads, social media, press outreach, website development, etc. Messaging should stay consistent across all areas of an organization. When there are too many people owning too many messages for an organization it creates confusion. Evolving as a PR pro means you know how to set the tone for an entire company, across the board. Not all pros can take on this task, but we should start.
5. Be nice.
This one is the most simple and has nothing to do with technology. It just has to do with being human. Gone are the days when stuck-up and entitled publicists were the “cool kids” in a class where you could be mean to people. No one wants to work with someone like that. If you have a bad attitude, you get no business. Remember, nice guys finish first. We are a service-oriented industry. If we’re not of service to clients and reporters, we have nothing.
Those are just a few ways to step up your game and become a PR pro of the future. There are many other ways to make sure you stay relevant, but always remember be smart, be nice and work hard.