Monday, April 30, 2012

PR Practitioners Need Broader Skill Set

On April 20, the Center for Global Public Relations held its second annual global public relations research conference. Former CGPR Intern Patricia Mills shares her takeaways from the conference for public relations practitioners and job seekers.
Today I want to explore a few ideas about the future in communication and necessity of broader ideas among my colleagues and future practitioners. In meeting with internationally respected industry leaders at the global research conference I kept hearing recurring themes in needed skills.
1) How do we get our profession more globally savvy?
Today’s global political climate and disappearing business borders require a professional communicator with global savvy and cultural sensitivity to new market entry. Programs designed in one culture can fail miserably in another. Professionals  from the host country are  the most knowledgeable about how a given program could be tweaked to be most effective. Offering them a seat at the implementation table is not a luxury - it is a must!

2) A need exists to integrate relationship building into social media campaigns. 
With the birth of social media use, practitioners have a valuable opportunity to directly reach our clients or constituents. Yet, the majority of entities are talking at and not with the consumer. Today our clients are challenged by competing products and services all around and the new professional consumer needs to feel heard and have issues addressed not just community service or sale information megaphoned to them.

3) PR professionals need to broaden the basis of thinking and education in new areas.
We as communicators can no longer just lean on the press release to standard media outlets to get our program message to the consumers. Knowledge of governmental constraints, cultural norms, and economic/ business environments are needed to create program initiatives with tactics that will reach out rather than repel. A much broader curriculum must be included in any new communication professional education. Analysis of all environmental and cultural factors internationally and even within country segmented areas is necessary to achieve strategic goals of any program.

As I sat with my distinguished colleagues at the conference, the themes of common needs kept being reappearing. We as a profession are expected to keep broadening our skills and spanning our boundaries with the growth of the industry. Don’t let yourself fall behind the curve. To keep global corporate business as healthy as it needs to be and giving clients quality campaign results these new ideas seem to be extremely high in importance for PR and the industries and customers or professional consumers they serve.

Full text of the blog available here


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