As I mentioned in my post last week, Adapting to New Media, public relations professionals need to stay on top of new media trends to stay competitive and keep their clients competitive in their respective industries. PR agencies can no longer continue down a path where they’re pursuing tactics that don’t work for an audience or medium that no longer exists. In a world where every click increases readership and every reader can be a publisher, creativity needs to be expanded and leveraged to make the most of this changing landscape. New media requires a more inventive approach to go along with the incorporation of new skills and strategies.
In a recent article, 14 Key Skills & Attributes For New Public Relations Professionals, Dave Fleet comments that “Public relations has changed significantly over the last few years. Even if you don’t buy into the idea that online communities and relationships are part of the public relations function, it’s hard to deny the rising importance of blogs, the gradual decline of traditional media and the impact that online conversations can have on brands.”
Dave notes that good writing, communications skills, attention to detail, media relations, proactiveness, and work ethic are all traditional skills of a good PR professional, however, with the changing media scene, new skills need to be incorporated just to stay afloat! These include blogging, microblogging, social networking tools, SEO, coding, RSS and RSS readers, blogger relations, and social media ethics.
This provides a good start to the list, but, it’s important to reiterate that these are skills. They are not merely tools that need to be learned. Knowing what blogging is differs from knowing how to use blogging for best public relations practices. Likewise, knowing what SEO (search engine optimization) is or even how to apply it, is different from knowing how exactly to increase keyword relevance and break down barriers for indexing.
Knowing what these skills are is certainly important, but terminology and definitions simply won’t cut it. Really knowing how to use these skills is imperative to stay on the cutting edge of media and public relations. After all, reading about baseball doesn’t make you a great pitcher.