5 ways to sharpen your modern Public Relation (PR) skills

LexisNexis Newsdesk, Media Intelligence, LexisNexis BIS

Public relations operations have undergone quite a major transformation over the years. The success and the associated benefit of your agency or department lies not in just acknowledging the fact of the shift, but in aligning yourself accordingly. Significantly, skills that were highly relevant only a few years ago, could actually limit your growth and progress in this rapidly changing industry, causing a serious impediment to evolve. Improving upon your readiness to handle today's unique crises pre-requires a constant upgradation of skills to your repertoire.

people working on newsdesk media monitoring

Updation, Upgradation and Innovation is the Key

While the goals of PR haven't witnessed much of a change in the years, the much needed skill-sets and the mindset in dealing with the constant change and challenges have definitely been through multiple transformations. Ensuring constant visibility of your company while holding up its reputation still remains to be the primary goal of a PR exercise. Accomplishing these objectives in the fast, personality-driven world of modern media may prove to be complicated, though, holding the goals in view should help you focus your efforts.

Below are five unique ways that might prove to be essential tools in enhancing your skill-sets, and can more effectively establish your company or client's reputation:

  • Optimum usage of social media to your repertoire: In today's fast-paced media world, information vacuums are a complete no-no. If Press releases are your primary way of disseminating facts to the public, you may want to reconsider that. Press Releases are slow and impersonal, which may actually adversely affect the brand making it fade away from people's mind gradually. PR Daily contributor Arik Hanson noted that modern PR pros should be comfortable going directly to the public via social media, using evergreen content to create a constant dialogue with the world at large.
  • Discriminating real news from fake news: The consequences of a fake story targeting a company you represent can be downright frightening, which is why PRWeek editor Frank Washkuch called on PR teams to become effective fact verifiers. A brand getting caught up in a misinformation-driven news cycle can be harmful to everyone involved. A strong and decisive countermeasures with crisis response tactics ready for deployment are few of the tools and exercises that prove to be effective remedial measures.
  • The undebatable need of being a team player: Your role as a PR professional is more than just collecting and disseminating information but to work in close tandem with marketers for recent updated and genuine news at all times. Feeding information to consumers with consistent messages across all media is possible only when a cohesive sharing environment is maintained wherein each team member plays his part diligently and honestly. The Drum contributor Samuel Scott presented PR as one of the pillars of promotion alongside such priorities as direct marketing and search engine optimization.
  • Embrace multimedia: Whether you're pitching items to journalists or going directly to the public, pictures are worth the proverbial 1,000 words and video is even more valuable. Hanson noted that audio and video production skills are great abilities for modern PR pros to possess. Getting information out about your brand means considering the medium as well as the message, and multimedia makes a compelling case for your company.
  • Working on intuitions to read the signs: A culmination of impressive media intelligence and monitoring capabilities, combining tech and know-how, heightens your ability to cope with a chaotic and fast-paced information landscape. Enhancing intuitive capabilities to detect issues as they develop is a distinctly modern PR skill is utterly imperative. Stories can break anywhere today, at any time. From major news channels to social media, news that could help or hurt your brand may bubble up from any source. Read the signs to avoid unceremonious situations that may adversely impact the brand image.

Time to learn, change and adapt

The fast, modern world of PR with its recent avatars shouldn't be seen as an impending factor but a scope to bring in significant changes to your existing skills and abilities. Climbing back into a position of authority is just a matter of a few alterations, additions and upgradations. Newly developed technologies that bring the uncontrollable news cycle into clearer view can bring in the much required developments in your skill as you gradually gain proficiency in them helping you to excel.

Being a PR pro in today's fast paced highly competitive industry essentially means accepting the changes, working with them, aligning yourself to the modifications and moving ahead. Fighting against the tide isn't likely to work - audiences are highly unlikely to change their information consumption habits and hence learning and adapting are the sure shot ways to succeed.

SOURCES
http://www.prweek.com/article/1426134/its-time-everyone-behind-fight-against-fake-news

https://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/20293.aspx

http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2017/03/13/apples-are-not-oranges-and-content-marketing-means-nothing