The PR industry is in a state of flux thanks to the disruptive influence of the digital communications landscape. The relevance of media relationship skills is on the decline, especially in overseas markets.

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Locally, we’re finding that the consultancy environment still requires PR professionals who are exceptionally strong in media and influencer relations, but that there is a need for a new breed of consultants who are strong content creators and who possess a digital savviness.

PROs are traditionally viewed as wordsmiths and communication consultants. As advisors we usually take an outsider’s view of a company’s communication needs and therefore look through binoculars rather than a microscope when formulating a communications strategy. We craft the key messages, customise them for various stakeholders, consider how they’ll land at the different target audiences and what their impact will be.

Our role is to plan, craft, implement, manage and close the communications loop. This means that we’re well-poised to not only create digital content at the execution layer, but to consult strategically too.

A great number of PROs have successfully transitioned into a role where they’re now social media and online content creators as well as digital consultants at an executive layer, but do PROs really have the technical know-how and years of experience that is called for in the world of digital communications? Is it perhaps a good idea to leave the consultation element to the older generation of PR industry executives and have the Millennials implement the plans?

There is no clear answer as both generations are indispensable. The good news is that the industry has identified a need for staff with specialist capabilities to match the demands of a converged media environment and it’s responding by introducing new job roles and revenue models.

At DUO, we’re now not only looking at the traditional PR experience of a potential candidate, but at their digital capabilities as well. Their digital skill set has to be tangible as far too many PR agencies rely on their advertising arms to take the lead on digital campaigns.

Change is in the air and PR consultancies are responding by creating new career paths around areas such as insight, ideas, content and community. Are you ready for a fulfilling (digital) career in the PR agency of the future?

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