10 skills the PR pro of 2022 MUST have

A few months ago the good folks with the Puget Sound PRSA chapter asked me to keynote their PRSA Pro Conference on June 12. The topic they wanted me to speak to? What skills does tomorrow’s PR pro need to be successful?

Perfect! A topic I’m both passionate about and know a thing or two about. After all, through my business and my HAPPO work, I talk to a ton of people about the skills required in the marketplace today.

Now, I’m not here to tell you the traditional PR skills are dead. On the contrary, they’re more important than ever. You don’t think superb writing skills still matter? I might argue they’re more important than ever with the myriad of content needs for today’s business. You don’t think media relations skills are still relevant? In today’s shrinking newsrooms they probably make a bigger difference than they did 10 years ago since it’s not as easy to get a reporter or editor’s attention, given the demands on them today.

But, these emerging skills are important. And, in most cases, they’re simply a layer on top of those traditional skills.

And keep in mind, this isn’t just me saying this. The list below is based on conversations I’ve had with actual recruiters, agency owners and colleagues over the last few years. These are skills some employers aren’t just looking for–they’re demanding. And, you’re going to see more employers jump on that bandwagon in the years ahead.

Just watch.

For now, let’s roll through the 10 skills tomorrow’s PR pro has to have to succeed:

1- Advertising copywriting

Quote: “Tactics I’ve seen include social media management, e-newsletters, Facebook advertising, Google Adwords, and more, and I expect that to increase.  Because online advertising is often rooted in messaging rather than creative, it makes sense for PR agencies to drive a lot of it.”–Rachel Kay, owner, RKPR

Examples:

Tip: Let the visuals do the heavy lifting.

Resources: Social Fresh Facebook Ad Report

 

2- Video editing/production

“I predict a large portion of our client budgets will be devoted to creating, editing and distributing unique company content (blog posts, video interviews, photo albums, etc.). PR professionals will be expected to be savvy with several tools, from social networks to editing software (like Final Cut Pro and PhotoShop) to monitoring and analytics tools (like SM2, Sysomos and Radian6).  .”–Anne Buchanan, owner, Buchanan PR

Tip: “iMovie should be a standard skill that PR pros should be familiar with. Apple offers some great easy tutorials and of course free workshops at their stores for Mac owners. Baseline knowledge of Finalcut and even sound editing using Garage Band, even better.”–Scott Meis, director, digital strategy, Weber Shandwick.

Resources: Tom Martin’s 28 ways to use an iPhone for blog content (http://www.slideshare.net/conversedigital/28-ways-to-use-i-phone-for-blog-content)

3- Mobile

Quote: “In the next few years, PR professionals will (hopefully) embrace and start leveraging mobile as part of recommended strategy and daily work. To-date, I see too many poor examples of leveraging the medium (lazy slapping on QR codes, for example), and our PR peers not understanding the important nuance that mobile can add to campaigns today. Mobile should be a business driver, not a one-off add-on or neutered experience. Unfortunately, much like social media years back, it’s my assumption the PR industry won’t place importance on this channel until our clients start specifically asking for it.”–Greg Swan, vice president of digital strategy, Weber Shandwick

Examples:

Tip: Always keep the customer experience in mind.

Resources: Follow @aaronstrout and @schneidermike–both great Location-Based Marketing experts. Or, if that’s too hard, just buy their book, Location Based Marketing for Dummies.

4-Social content creation/curation

Quote: “One trend in PR? I think we’ll begin to own the content piece of digital marketing. Right now, too many executives, marketers, and sales people own it, which creates more salesy content that doesn’t go anywhere. PR pros, by nature, are storytellers and the content will begin to shift to those who know how to write engaging and valuable content.”–Gini Dietrich, owner, Arment Dietrich

Examples:

Tip: Focus on relevance/value–not brand.

Resources: Check out Joe Pulizzi’s blog–full of great content ideas and strategies. I also think Shel Holtz has some interesting ideas around content curation–and he’s also a big fan of Storify (which I love as a tool for brands).

5-Analytics

Quote: “The PR professional of tomorrow is faced with an unlimited source of data about their key audiences. It will be critical for the PR pro to be able to analyze large amounts of data pertaining to search behaviors, engagement patterns on Facebook and other social platforms and, most importantly, understand how to measure their contribution to the impact of a communications program and business objective(s). The time has long since passed where the PR pro can claim ignorance on how to gather, analyze and develop insights from data. There isn’t an expectation that he/she will be a data analyst, but if he/she isn’t comfortable working WITH a data analyst then they will be left behind.”–Chuck Hemann, director of analytics, WCG

Examples:

Tip: Don’t let the tool run your campaign.

Resources: The Google Analytics blog and KD Paine’s Measurement blog are must-reads for those looking to learn more about analytics.

6- SEO

Quote: “Unless they’re trying to hide, PR pros must accelerate content discovery & distribution with social & SEO skills.”–Lee Odden, blogger, author, owner, TopRankMarketing

Examples:

Tip: Don’t let SEO take over your content.

Resources: Lee Odden’s Online Marketing blog and SEOMoz are great resources if you’re looking to learn more about SEO.

7-Speed to information

Quote: “It’s a lot easier to anticipate opportunities and challenges when you’re aware of them before your competition or detractors.”–Len Kendall, Golin Harris

Examples:

Tip: Develop a system–and practice!

Other tools: Diigo, Google Reader, Evernote, Instapaper

8-Programming skills

Quote: “The PR pro of the future (quite frankly, today) will definitely need to have a firm grasp of all the necessary tools to create, manage and analyze digital content. For example, the ability to manipulate code in a WordPress site or a content management system such as Buddy Media has quickly become a basic requirement.”–Alex Tan, director, digital, Golin Harris

Examples:

Tip: Don’t be an expert–be a translator.

Resources: CodeAcademy.com is a great resource for the average PR pro looking to learn more about coding. You can get a lesson a week send to you each week for a year to get you started!

9-Managing virtual teams

Tip: Focus on results–not time in the office

Bonus tip: Equip teams with the right tools

Resources: Check out Workshifting.org for some great posts and tools to help you better manage virtual teams.

10-Blogger outreach

Quote: “In PR, one of our core roles is to help brands deliver the right message to the right audience. Media relations is one effective tool. But, a number of bloggers are also building strong readership in niche subject areas. If you’re ignoring bloggers, I think you’re doing a disservice to your clients. Pitching bloggers isn’t the same as pitching other kinds of media; however, PR people need to understand how to innovate media-relations best practices and incorporate blogger outreach into their strategies. “–Heather Whaling, owner, Geben Communication

Examples:

Tip: Resist the urge to sell right away

Resources: Heather Whaling’s PRTini is one of the better and more forward-thinking blogs when it comes to blogger outreach strategies. Subscribe now.

That’s it. 10 tips for tomorrow’s PR pro. Did I miss anything?

Also, here’s the full Prezi I presented from at the Puget Sound PRSA chapter conference earlier today.

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

, , , ,
109 comments
Cision NA
Cision NA

Great list, Arik! Basic coding & programming skills are a very wise addition, and will make individuals more marketable across the board. This reminds me of a post @ginidietrich wrote on The PR Firm of the Future where she said she needed 2 full-time hybrid PR professionals, but they're impossible to find so she hired 5 part-time freelancers for now. 

 

Innovative firms are already looking for these skills and the faster novices and veterans alike can master them, the stronger our industry will become.

 

Thank you, Arik!Lisa 

remonty warszawa
remonty warszawa

Jostein Gaarder "To nie my przychodzi­my na świat, lecz świat przychodzi do nas. Urodzić się znaczy ty­le, co dos­tać cały świat w prezencie"

http://dsrem-bud.pl/

tressalynne
tressalynne

@dbreakenridge Thanks for the RT, Deirdre. Hope you have a great weekend! :)

CjSingh
CjSingh

Indeed. There was no better times for PR practitioners to have so many tools at their disposal, but that's the challenge today for them to keep pace with rapidly changing technology.

BrianneCarlon
BrianneCarlon

@slycaj Thank you for the RT, Sylvie, have a great weekend!

becks_the_king
becks_the_king

@NeuroVirtu @PublicityGuru Ni panike za odprte glave -:)

markopigac
markopigac

@NeuroVirtu preskoci. delaj po filingu. Slo je narobe svet! /cc @publicityguru

ReSoMe
ReSoMe

@PublicityGuru Those don't seem much different from what you'd expect out of a PR professional in 2012!

arikhanson
arikhanson

@lesleyhettinger @PRSSANational Need. Yes. Do people have them? That's a different story.

1212rtm
1212rtm

@BlondAmbitionTO :)---

rdempsey
rdempsey

@thinknewmedia yep. I'm learning R right now for statistical analysis. Have used Ruby on Rails for 6+ years.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

I really, really wish PR majors required some business and marketing classes. The old "I don't do numbers" argument doesn't work anymore. I think 2013 is the year PR firms are fired because they can't measure real business results. And it'll get worse beyond there.

JPeters1221
JPeters1221

@ginidietrich We're getting so diverse! Soon the list will include farming, construction, chemistry knowledge & astrology. lol

PamilVisions
PamilVisions

@PublicityGuru I guess most of these skills are already a must.

anveaz
anveaz

@chtigani gracias x la info! #PR bueno aplicarlo je

RobertDempsey
RobertDempsey

A lot of the skills in your list are things that marketers have been doing for a long time, at least direct response marketers.

 

It sounds like you're saying that the PR pro of the future is an entrepreneur that, rather than doing all the work for themselves, does it for clients.

arikhanson
arikhanson

@im_melissa @jaybaer all of them? Wow!

MyMarkerly
MyMarkerly

@vedo @arikhanson Awesome! This should be highlighted and shared on http://t.co/W8HTapE8 (social bookmarking that lets u highlight the web)

alextanPR
alextanPR

@JenieceGibbs as usual, I sounded smarter than @chuckhemann. just sayin @arikhanson #frenemy

Slycaj
Slycaj

@BrianneCarlon You too. May your weekend be as nice as the weather coming our way ;-)

CarrieRocha
CarrieRocha

@PatrickStrother you are welcome. It is good stuff.

ThinkNewMedia
ThinkNewMedia

@rdempsey I'm a little light in that department myself, I've never been a developer, can anyone say Code Academy :-)

SDPatten
SDPatten

@haylee_marie15 You have no shame don't you.

CourtV
CourtV

 @ginidietrich I agree! The industry has changed so much just within the last 3 years. If college programs don't change just as quickly, there is going to be a huge gap between what employers need in new graduates and what skills they've actually acquired and can bring to the table (yet another reason why internships are SO important!) Personally, most of what I learned in college isn't really useful to me in my profession anymore and I've definitely taken crash courses in a ton of things I think I should have had base knowledge of. It's a shame. 

 

Thanks for this article, Arik! It lays out some great points. 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@JPeters1221 Oh I hope astrology! Then I can read fortunes!

arikhanson
arikhanson

@MyMarkerly thanks for that non-Daley message ;)

arikhanson
arikhanson

@alextanPR @jeniecegibbs @chuckhemann but Chuck wrote more than you. Hence, he is smarter.

rdempsey
rdempsey

@thinknewmedia yeah mon. Most programmers I know are self-taught. O'Reilly books FTW!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

 @CourtV When I saw @martinwaxman earlier this week, we talked about how outdated textbooks are by the time they hit a classroom. Wouldn't it be great if there was online education (cough, Spin Sucks Pro, cough) that was updated and consistent with the here and the now so college students learn what's relevant today instead of 10 years ago?

alextanPR
alextanPR

@arikhanson @jeniecegibbs @chuckhemann you say smarter, I say inefficient :)

rdempsey
rdempsey

@thinknewmedia that is how you know who is really motivated and who is just looking for a job. Self-learning is a big deal for me.

ThinkNewMedia
ThinkNewMedia

@rdempsey Most of the top performers in all professions I know are self taught. Something about personal motivation makes people excel.

CourtV
CourtV

 @ginidietrich  @martinwaxman Yes! I think that's exactly what PR courses need to be - constantly integrating with the changes in the industry lead by people that are living it. I would have signed up!

alextanPR
alextanPR

@chuckhemann :) @arikhanson @jeniecegibbs

chuckhemann
chuckhemann

@alextanPR well, as you know I only speak. No real client work here @arikhanson @JenieceGibbs

alextanPR
alextanPR

@chuckhemann there are only so many podium's to pontificate from my friend @arikhanson @jeniecegibbs

chuckhemann
chuckhemann

@alextanPR @arikhanson @JenieceGibbs give in to the dark side, Alex

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Arik Hanson’s blog Communications Conversations to see his full presentation and more tips and examples. Arik Hanson is principal of ACH [...]

  2. [...] the full article here. AKPC_IDS += "2019,";Most Popular ArticlesMedia release templateAligning your brand with a [...]

  3. [...] love this article from Arik Hanson,  principal of ACH Communications who has addressed PRSA conferences [...]

  4. [...] 10 skills the PR pro of 2022 MUST have (arikhanson.com) [...]

  5. [...] and more skills that have yet to be formalized. The field of public relations is in flux and formal education is not enough to remain the most relevant and most valuable job applicant. Arik Hanson listed 10 skills PR pros must develop (by 2022, but I believe they will be valuable much earlier) in his post. [...]

  6. [...] “10 skills the PR pro of 2022 MUST have,” by Arik Hanson, published on Communications Co…: Traditional public relations skills, such as writing and media relations, aren’t dead by any stretch of the imagination. But changes in technology and the business environment mean that great PR professionals (including those of us who are responsible for PR as well as marketing within our firms), will also need these 10 skills. [...]

  7. [...] will be worthwhile) the PR curriculum here, and, arguably, no PR curriculum anywhere, teaches the skills that PR employers will require in the near future. I’ll hopefully be posting here more regularly on my progress here. Share this:DiggShare on [...]

  8. [...] demanding. And, you’re going to see more employers jump on that bandwagon in the years ahead. Read more… Share this:EmailFacebookPrintStumbleUponDiggReddit Tags: column2, [...]

  9. [...] found this article today, and it gave me some great ideas about how I can answer “my [...]

  10. [...] weeks ago, a colleague sent me the link to an article by Arik Hanson titled “10 skills the PR pro of 2022 MUST have.”  Not surprisingly, these skills primarily relate to digital technologies and social media. The [...]

  11. […] satu pembicara dalam konferensi tersebut, Arik Hanson, dan dimuat di websitenya dengan judul “10 skill the PR Pro of 2022 MUTS have” (10 skill Humas pro 2022 yang harus […]

  12. […] 皆さまこんにちは。 最近、スタートアップ企業の方々から優秀なPRパーソンを探しているという声をよく聞きます。 企業成長のためにはPRパーソンの力が必要不可欠!という機運が高まってきている気がします。 実は筆者も現在スタートアップ企業に勤めており(前職はPR会社)、マーケティングとPRを担当おり、まだ経験は少ないですが、スタートアップに向いているPRパーソンについて考えてみました。 ■PR会社にいたときは、パブリシティ獲得がゴール 筆者がPR会社にいたときは、1にメディア、2にメディア、3、4がなくて5にメディアというほど、パブリシティ獲得が最上位命題でした。もちろん、クライアントから求められている以上、結果(パブリシティ)を出さなくてはいけませんでした。また、「パブリシティが出ると、認知度があがり、ファンが増え、売上増に貢献します!」というフレーズを念仏のように唱えていたことを覚えています。 ■「どうやったらパブリシティを獲得できるか」ではなく、「どうやったら自社サービスの顧客・ファンを増やして、事業拡大できるか」を考える スタートアップに来て感じることは、パブリシティが出てもユーザー数、ファン数の増加に直結しないということ(全国ネットでゴールデンの時間帯で露出したらさすがに効果はあると思いますが)。もちろん、多くのメディアで取り上げられることは良いことですが、「どうやったらパブリシティを獲得できるか」ではなく、「どうやったら自社サービスの顧客・ファンを増やして、事業拡大できるか」という視点で考えるようになりました。 PR会社にいたときも上記のように考えていたつもりでしたが、スタートアップに身を置くとそれが自分ゴトになりました。リソース等の兼ね合い上、広報もマーケティングも担当しなくてはいけないということで、意識が変わってきたのだと思います。 ■メディアリレーション以外にもやるべきことは多い 「どうやったら自社サービスの顧客・ファンを増やして、事業拡大できるか」という視点で考えると、もちろんメディアリレーションも大事ですが、それ以外にもたくさんやるべきことはあります。 例えば、業界内の有識者とのリレーション、ユーザーイベントの開催、お墨つきを得るために国が主催するコンテストにエントリーしてみる、創業ストーリーを書籍化、潜在顧客が興味のありそうなキーワードでコンテンツを作る、ユーザー体験を向上させるためにサービス改善案を考える、などなど、キリがありません。 ですが、これらのような施策を考え、優先順位を付けて、トライアンドエラーしながら実施していけるタイプのPRパーソンはスタートアップに向いていると思います。 余談ですが、過去のイケダハヤト氏の記事「PR業界の識者が語る、2022年のPRパーソンが持つべき10のスキル」(「10 skills the PR pro of 2022 MUST have」の翻訳)で書いてありますが、これからのPRパーソンには以下のスキルが必要とのことです。 広告のコピーライティング、ビデオ編集・制作、モバイル、ソーシャルなコンテンツの作成/キュレーション、分析、SEO、高い情報感度、プログラミングスキル、バーチャルチームのマネジメント、ブロガーとのコネクション これ全部は無理でしょー、と思ってしまいますが、これらのスキルを持っている人は国内外問わずどこのスタートアップ企業も欲しい人材だと思います。 10年後にはPRパーソンのスタンダードスキルになっていても、不思議ではない気がしています。 […]

  13. […] In order to make it to the coveted interview stage and eventually land the perfect job, recruiters are looking for more than the average public relations course work and internships common to most college students. Excellent writing skills and social media savvy are certainly a plus, but even those skills have become more of an expectation than an advantage. In today’s world, technological literacy, specifically video editing and production skills, are items that public relations recruiters want to see. […]