Even though the new form of public relations is emerging, you can’t forget about the traditional tactics. A survey done by Jennifer Leggio of ZDNet questioned company leaders on their public relations agencies. Her purpose of the survey was to find out if social media was really what the clients wanted. She also wanted to find out exactly which agencies are developing social media programs. One conclusion she came to was that traditional public relations should still be the main focus for clients. Her survey results stated that clients did not find it necessary to use social media. They prefered the traditional means of public relations to publicize their businesses. Another conclusion she made from her survey results was that clients wanted to be educated on social media. They are still skeptical on exactly what social media is and how it can be used for public relations purposes. 81 percent surveyed said they would attend a social media training workshop. For Leggio’s full report click here.
Aspects of public relations that will never go away: press releases, print ads, commercials and research.
Although many pubic relations agencies are sticking to the traditional form of PR, others are incorporating digital media. They are still creating press releases but are now sending them through e-mail and websites.
I think a combination of the two is useful for public relations purposes. You will always run across clients that prefer the traditional public relations and it will become important for you to be able to use that form. If you are planning to continue in the public relations field you will need to make sure you understand the social media aspects. It is going to be a tough trend to keep up with. Websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn add to the public relations sphere. They are websites aimed at forming relationships and connecting with people, which is essentially what public relations is for. The digital side of public relations will only help improve the traditional techniques. Digital cameras make photography instant, e-mail makes press releases easier to send to multiple people and social media makes connecting with people easier.
As crazy as it may seem, companies are looking to hire social media experts, however; don’t let this job title fool you. You won’t be playing on Facebook and Twitter all day. With the social media world booming and public relations clinging to the changes you can expect to find wanted ads for digital public relations consultants or social media specialist. What does a person have to do to land one of these jobs? In a story on Mashable by Stephanie Marcus called HOW TO: Land a Career in Digital Public Relations, she provides us with a list of tips to help public relations professionals land the job. She starts by explaining that today’s public relations is quickly conforming to the ways of social media. Many public relations programs do not include digital and social media, so it is a good idea to find classes that will incorporate those two things. She also suggests applying for as many internships as possible. Next, Marcus suggests that the job seeker know the industry inside and out. You may have a Facebook and a Twitter, but that does not mean you are experienced in the industry. Becoming an active reader on blogs that discuss the industry isn’t a bad idea. Just because you know what is going on with social media now does not mean that you should not look into its future. Next, Marcus suggests being creative. You are not the only one applying for the job. You want to stand out from the crowd. Create your own personal blog where you discuss the digital public relations trend. You can share this link with potential employers. Lastly, Marcus warns us to know where to draw the line. Do not add potential employers on LinkedIn or Facebook solely because you submitted your resume to their company. You want to come across as determined, not pushy. Do research on the company you are interested in. This should give you an idea of how relaxed the company may or may not be.
If you are interested in finding a job in the public relations field that is based around social media, here are a few skills employers are looking for:
- Communication skills
- Writing skills
- Top-notch social skills
For a brief explanation of these tips and more tips on landing a social media job click here.