To succeed in PR it is no longer enough to write a good press release, create and maintain relationships with key media players or be a good communicator, advanced digital skills are now a must. However, have people become so focused on the importance of the digital era that they have put to one side the importance of basic PR skills?
Whilst studying for my PR degree it has been drummed into me from day one how PR is a fast changing world and how having advanced digital skills are becoming more and more important in the day-to-day role. However, in reality having advanced digital skills is not enough to succeed in the PR world. The need for PRO’s to be multi-talented with a broad range of skills is becoming more important then ever before.
An article I read in PR Week (August, 12 2011) discussed the five most important skills PRO’s in the future will need. Although digital skills were top of the list, well networked and strong media contacts, good strategies abilities, business and commercial acumen and being good at relationships/communication were all in the top five. The need to be a well-rounded individual is becoming more and more important. Organisations want PRO’s who can work to a high standard using a wide range of tools, not somebody who is only advanced in one topic and surely that’s a good thing? If somebody working in PR can adapt to a multitude of different situations and can achieve good results using a range of different tools surely that can only mean more successful campaigns with improved results?
Creating a campaign using only digital tools will not achieve results for some organisations, however for others may achieve the opinion change they were after. For other organisations traditional print media may not reach the majority of a target audience, yet for others this may be the only way of getting a message across. Integrated campaigns are what organisations want, a campaign that incorporates traditional media with online media and everything in between. To create a successful integrated campaign, a wide range of skills are needed, skills that can range from basic communication to advanced social knowledge. So yes, digital knowledge may be an essential skill for a PRO both now and in the future however, it is not the only one needed to gain a successful career in the industry and I think sometimes we need to remember that!