At this point it is still uncertain as to the ultimate impact our floundering economy will have upon the public relations and marketing world. However, one thing is for certain. The PR/marketing industry has undergone a dynamic shift that requires a new set of skills and a deeper understanding of the power of the Web.

For those currently in the field, it’s critical that you at least develop a baseline understanding of the importance of social media and its overall role in bridging connections between online audiences. For those finishing up college, a proactive approach to developing some of the skills below will certainly help you battle the existing tough job market.

At the college level, it’s great to see various PRSSA chapters getting students involved with not only learning about the value of social media but also working with different clients to implement practical social media campaigns. Likewise, agencies are taking steps to make sure employees are up to speed on the changing digital landscape. But, gone are the PR 2.0 days of just talking about blogs and the Web as a valuable marketing platform. The Web is now a necessity for anyone in the communications field and PR 3.0 is upon us.

What are we talking about when we talk about PR 3.0?

Max Gladwell did an excellent analysis of the topic, noting that PR really breaks down into media relations, blogger relations and consumer relations. On a similar note, David Mullen did a great post on how “public relations” has really been redefined as “people relations” in today’s communications world.

The verdict on an accurate definition of PR 3.0 is still out, but more importantly, it’s crucial that we all adapt and learn the skills that will eventually be expected of any PR practitioner.

Here’s my recommendation on 10 skills that will help any PR/marketing person stand out amongst the pack in a PR 3.0 world:

1. Search Savvy

Two words – Research Guru. PR relies heavily on solid research and fact finding. Get savvy on how to dig quick and dig deep to get answers. Hint – Google should be your best Web friend.

2. Web Architecture

Many websites are now constructed from blog platforms such as WordPress.org. Search results are influenced through paid advertising, linking and search engine optimization (SEO). The content on your website makes a difference (Meta-Tags, Keywords, Links). Understand how all this works together to impact overall Web presence.

3. Social Media Savvy

Understand the definition of social media and get that it’s not just about the tools and technologies, but more importantly, the conversations, engagement, interaction and relationships these tools facilitate online.

4. Active Social Media Involvement

You’re not a head nodder that pretends to get social media. You’re not just a content pusher but an engager. You comment, you critique, you add value to existing conversations. You get the crucial importance of listening and monitoring on the Web. You’re actively involved on at least a few different social media sites and are willing to try a new, proven platform to see its role in facilitating online conversations.

5. Blogger Relations

You recognize that a blogger is a blogger and know the different nuances associated with connecting with bloggers. Learn blogger relations 101 and understand how bloggers connect and influence one another.

6. Media Relations

Not so quick, traditional media hasn’t gone away yet. Still at the core of any good PR pro, is an understanding of how to appropriately craft releases and pitch TV, radio and print outlets. It’s more important than ever to understand the need for short, relevant, personal, localized pitches. In addition, recognize how journalists are utilizing blogs as a fluent news publishing platform.

7. HTML 101

You don’t have to be a web programmer, but take an HTML 101 course so that you have the flexible skill base to manipulate web content. Learning the basics of Dreamweaver can’t hurt either.

8. Content Creator

Similarly, no need to be a professional photographer or videographer, but it doesn’t hurt to bolster these skills. Compelling Web content thrives around photos and video. It wouldn’t hurt to be familiar with how to effectively shoot both and what it takes to get that content on the Web in a shareable, searchable format (yes, tags and titles really do matter). Check out Photoshop or iPhoto as well as iMovie or Finalcut to get some basic photo/video editing skills under your belt.

9. Writing

Whether it’s a strategy document, client monthly report, press release, blog post, tweet, video description or website copy, writing skills will always be of the utmost importance for any strong communicator.

10. Measurement

Clients like results. It’s no longer just about quantity of hits or press clips. It’s about quality of conversation and social influence. Be able to recognize and justify to clients how key blog mentions and placements frequently hold more value and influence over traditional media placements. Companies such as Radian6 are helping refine online measurement and many tools have excellent embedded analytics tools (ex: YouTube Insight).

Bonus –  Client Relations!

You didn’t think I’d forget did you?! Above all, solid client relations should remain a primary focus for any PR practitioner. Clients look to PR pros to guide and direct, counsel and execute plans that help them achieve their PR and marketing goals. Be the trailblazer that can pave the path to success by conveying the importance of online PR/marketing tactics to clients in a clear, concise manner while remaining flexible and adapting to the changing demands of the Web.

What steps are you taking to align with PR 3.0? What other skill requirements would you add to the list?

-Scott

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Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Nice list although if #7 is really a requirement, I’m in trouble.

    I would also add increased business savvy (numbers crunching plus strategic analysis and counsel) to your list as it is becoming more important than ever.

    Reply
  2. I agree this is a solid list, and #7 is helpful for those cases in which comments can include some HTML. I don’t know about Dreamweaver; I haven’t had a need to code HTML myself, but snippets here and there can be useful.

    I think this fits with what journalists need to know, too, and that’s why #8 is so important. Versatility will be part of the basic price of admission. Just as print reporters are being asked to carry cameras, media relations pros need to be even more familiar…because the new tools let you get your message out in an unfiltered way. And of course it isn’t just about getting your message out, but also listening and connecting with stakeholders.

    Excellent post.

    Reply
  3. Lara, good point and I should emphasize that these are just recommended skills. Especially with the increasing popularity of CMS, HTML isn’t quite as important as it was a few years ago. Baseline knowledge does come in handy though for tweaking the formatting of a blog post, MySpace profile design or as Lee notes, linking out on a comment that doesn’t automatically do so. Dreamweaver very much operates in a CMS “designer view” fashion but also has the added benefit of allowing you to view and tweak HTML.

    Reply
  4. […] merged with client relations expertise to help deliver the whole package. Not a bad reminder of the new skills I would recommend for anyone just starting their PR career or for those adapting to the new digital […]

    Reply
  5. […] previously outlined what I believe to be important skills for PR/marketing folks looking to get an edge on the competition. In the same vein, I could see […]

    Reply
  6. […] of those that view photography as a personal hobby, I stand by my claim that content creation skills are going to continue to be crucial for aspiring PR pros. Especially […]

    Reply
  7. […] couple years ago, I wrote this post around skills needed to compete by young PR pros. With digital continuing to play a larger role in […]

    Reply
  8. […] couple of years ago, I wrote this post around skills needed to compete by young PR pros. With digital continuing to play a larger role in […]

    Reply
  9. […] Marketing Sessions, Marketing 3.0, a decorrer dia 29 de Outubro, sugere-se a leitura do artigo «PR 3.0 Do you have the skills to compete?».  Neste texto, de 2008, Scott Meis elabora uma proposta de 10 competências que um profissional de […]

    Reply
  10. […] Be nimble. This is the offshoot of the above. Get smart fast and get with smart people. You need to partner with people who “get it.” How do you know who they are, especially since a lot of people out there are claiming to be “experts” in social media? You may be best served to avoid anyone who says they are “experts,” because in the first inning, most hitters haven’t figured out how to hit the pitcher just yet. Scott Meis, a strategic social media professional with Carolyn Grisko & Associations in Chicago offers up great tips for hiring Web 3.0 personnel on his blog. Check it out: https://scottmeis.com/2008/12/01/pr-30-do-you-have-the-skills-to-compete/ […]

    Reply
  11. […] um profissional de RP deve possuir na era 3.0. Segue um apanhado do que foi escrito no artigo PR 3.0 – Do You Have the Skills to Compete? . Ver em baixo uma selecção de excertos. «For those currently in the field, it’s critical […]

    Reply
  12. […] Scott Meis поставя въпроса:  PR 3.0 – Do You Have the Skills to Compete? https://scottmeis.com/2008/12/01/pr-30-do-you-have-the-skills-to-compete/ […]

    Reply

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About Scott Meis

SVP, Digital Content Strategy @ Weber Shandwick Seattle. Outdoors. Adventure. Travel. I dig the Foto.

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Public Relations, Social Media

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