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Skills for the PR Professional in Today's Job Market

sms229 Skills for the PR Professional in Today's Job Market

Attention Public Relations Job Seekers: The Bridge of San Luis Rey the movie Social media knowledge and experience is almost as important as traditional media relations skills. Check out these statistics from IPressroom's Digital Readiness Report.

Some of the key findings I found interesting in this study about the current communications job market:

  • 82% of hiring managers said media relations expertise was either important or very important.
  • 80% said knowledge of social networks is either important or very important.
  • 72% said an understanding of micro-blogging services like Twitter are either important or very important.
  • Hiring managers also ranked SEO (62%), email outreach (56%), web content management (52%) and social bookmarking (51%) as important skills and knowledge for PR professionals in today's job market.
  • 18% of hiring managers have no interest in traditional PR skills.

More often our client companies are asking for candidates with social media knowledge and experience (outside of personal use), however, these employers are still expecting to hire a well-rounded communications professional - one who can demonstrate he or she has both the traditional and the digital skills.

The survey further notes that a majority of organizations employing communications professionals are considering hiring dedicated staff that specialize on the social media front.

I hear frequently from entry-level and junior level candidates who only want to focus on social media. What do you think? Good idea, bad idea, indifferent?

Cartoon credit: Hugh McLeod

Links:

IPressroom

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7 Comments - Add yours!

Rich Reader (WOM-buzz) (August 11th, 2009)

Of course the entry- and junior- level candidates want to focus on social media because the budgets in traditional media have been cut to a point that the barriers-to-entry are discouraging them.

Does “an understanding of micro-blogging services” include an awareness of:
* the strategic objective to which the services are being applied?
* why a particular service or combination of tools makes sense in the context of solving a particular problem?
* the danger that they’re being thrown down a bowling alley of the “let’s jump on the (fill in service name here) bandwagon” by clueless traditional media directors?

Social Media Specialists should be qualified on their ability to assess for their organizations the validity of a particular approach and to recommend a particular approach based upon experience, knowledge, relationships and metrics. Otherwise, they’re only being hired as sacrificial objects, and need to know that.

James S. Walker (August 12th, 2009)

Hi Linsday,

Funny cartoon! I’ve seen that one before and it is funny how many people are wanting to focus solely on that. I’m on the younger end of the spectrum with about 2.5 years agency experience and work in social media now.

I love it, BUT I worked on the more traditional side first and that balance of knowledge, knowing how social media can integrate with the greater campaign, has been invaluable.

For that reason, I have to say that you should focus solely there (in social media) until you have a good understanding of all the pieces that go into a good campaign.

James S. Walker (August 12th, 2009)

cor:
For that reason, I have to say that you should NOT focus solely there (in social media) until you have a good understanding of all the pieces that go into a good campaign.

Jamie Favreau (August 12th, 2009)

I am looking for an entry level position but I also know both traditional and New Media need to be learned. Not everyone is going to buy into the NEW stuff and not everyone is going to need the traditional.

If you can form a strategy and communicate your message clearly and the journalist can listen instead of tuning you out from a different channel. I think the new model should be a hybrid because not everything is broke the world is just changing.

Thomas McMillan (August 21st, 2009)

It’s the fun, sexy job of the moment…I think that’s why junior candidates want to focus on it….and oftentimes, they look at it as an extension of what they do in their personal time (so it is comfortable).

I went throught the same thing early in my marketing career…I was dead set on pursuing a lifelong career in sports marketing…then I came to a realization that marketing and upward career development would require a much larger base of experiences in various aspects of marketing.

I think the same thing exists in the public relations profession.

Jatinder Vijh (August 22nd, 2009)

We have been laying more stress on technology and media rather than the content and issues. Social Media , no doubt is impacting the way Public Relations is done these days but then it is not the only media. More important than the media, it is the quality of the contents and issues that PR professionals need to confront are imporatnt. At the entry level, I would be more bothered about the approach to issues and their understanding, rather than the experience and knowledge of a particular medium. Once the basics are right, switching from one medium to another can be easily tackled, given the user-friendly features of the modern media, especially the internet.

Skills for the PR Professional in Today’s Job Market - Lindsay Olson : Seth Resler (August 31st, 2009)

[...] via Lindsay Olson » Skills for the PR Professional in Today’s Job Market. [...]

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