Are you a multi-faceted communicator? Is your team aware of the latest happenings in the field of Public Relations? Are you well-versed with the new-age PR tools that can drive brand engagement? How often do you encounter these questions? Although the PR domain is growing at a fast pace, old-school followers are constantly struggling to adapt to the ever-evolving digital alterations amidst new-age agencies expanding their skill sets to benefit customers and brands.
Varied forward-thinking business conglomerates are of the opinion that PR, when rightly measured and judged, creates a multitude of opportunities for lead generation, revenue-boosting and brand positioning.
Grabbing eyeballs is not a cakewalk. But thinking that you will be able to do it successfully via a display ad, television ad or in-store signage is next to impossible. Brands that realise the relevance of engaging in conversations with their clients are able to make a difference and get noticed at the same time. Hence, we would suggest taking a close look at how the PR industry functions. This assumes relevance in the long run as PR is something many businesses tend to overlook.
Going by the definition of PR, its foremost job is to build successful relationships between brands and audiences. In fact, we would say that PR professionals are experts at creating conversations and should be consulted in every marketing decision. PR professionals are multi-faceted – they are great listeners, efficient communicators, capable storytellers, brand advocates and much more.
In the next few years, PR is expected to grow stronger as the focus has shifted towards building ties rather than just pitching to the media. This is one of the reasons why many top PR agencies are fusing together the knowledge of experts, technology, data and design to present the perfect story.
Since over the years PR has undergone major changes, it makes sense to revisit the essential skills new-age PR folks should master in 2016.
Although PR practitioners really don’t require possessing any kind of mobile development skills (not even the basic ones), they should be open to the idea of exploring new media and tools with the aim to propel organisational growth, self-improvement and client profit.
Boost knowledge of analytics (conventional, digital and business)
Analytics and associated data technologies will be huge in 2016. It is crucial that PR agencies grasp knowledge about Facebook Insights, Google Analytics and the other relevant location-based marketing platforms. Since, there are opportunities all over the place, possessing the ability to transform data into actionable ideas will prove beneficial for PR enterprises to stand out amidst tough competition and benefit the consumers.
Efficient management of Social Media-focussed advertising campaigns
In today’s competitive atmosphere, many PR folks are expected to manage Social Media campaigns for their clients. Although the ability to create content for Social Media advertisements hasn’t changed significantly in the last few years, the skill set required to manage campaigns on Social Media platforms has evolved a lot. The ability to repurpose content for increasing visibility is important.
Moreover, mastering the skill to use Power Editor, LinkedIn’s ad platform and Twitter ad products is necessary. Manipulating the varied components of advertisement campaigns will help in tapping the target audiences successfully.
Acquire skills for video and audio production
With more businesses feeling the need of video and audio content to make their message heard, PR agencies should consider acquiring the skills for these in 2016. In fact, getting a basic understanding of video and audio production will help project the agency as a one-stop solution provider.
Creating reports for clients
Report creation with a focus on context, actionable intelligence and a well-etched action plan is what most clients demand these days. A good report makes it easy for the customers to decide on the next course of action.
Conceptualising visual styling for businesses online
Since a major part of Social Media content is driven by visuals, it is an absolute must that PR counsellors develop a deep understanding of photography so that visual brand positioning isn’t tough. In the last few months, many large organisations have recognised this need and hired internal creative departments to fill the gaps at the earliest.
Developing content for external and internal audiences
Inevitably, today PR folks in the world of location-based marketing are often expected to perform multiple tasks. The launch of employee Social Media advocacy programs has further accelerated this trend. Understanding what motivates the employees is crucial and demands good writing skills.
Virtual team management
Virtual work environments are expected to become the need of the hour soon. Hence, the ability to work virtually is expected to be an essential skill set PR practitioners should possess to beat the competition. Remote work environments support effective workflows, best usage of tools for the purpose of collaboration and communication and more.
Building fruitful relationships with the Social Media influencers and bloggers
Five years ago, blogger outreach was the focus area while 2016 is all about platforms like Instagram and Snapchat with influencers demanding considerable attention. In fact, many brand managers are working around the clock to get noticed on these Social Media platforms. Efficient communication skills are important to identify and approach the effective online voices to maximise profit from influencer outreach.
We believe a PR professional can always learn more and do better for the clients. As PR involves plenty of legwork, the need for creativity-driven, bright strategic ideas will help professionals stand out and get noticed. Absorb knowledge and new tactics whenever possible to widen your scope to become a seasoned PR professional. The time is ripe for PR professionals to openly embrace the innovative marketing techniques with the aim to help clients.
There are many other much-sought after qualities that every PR pro should consider acquiring this year. Did we miss out any particular skill? Please share your feedback in the comments section below.
Also Read: Future of Public Relations: bright or doomed