Whenever I thought about public relations, the first thing to come to my mind was the image of people writing press releases and organizing unique and interesting marketing strategies for companies. As I continue my college career I realize that today with all of the new technology that barely scratches the surface of what a public relations specialist does.
PR and technology
With so much information being passed around online these days, it makes sense that PR people should be a little tech savvy. To increase awareness about your brand or to sell to clients PR specialists need to be aware of how to navigate the internet and the endless technologies that go with it.
Today a press release or an infographic isn’t just something that you type out, print and send. You can do anything and everything online, you can tie your whole media kit into one online file and send it to anyone you could possibly want to have it. You can include blog posts, videos and podcasts, to name a few.
As I’ve learned (boy have I learned) in my strategic message design class, social media is THE thing for PR people to do right now. You need to know Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest inside and out. Know how to increase your brand recognition with interesting and timely posts, know how to catch the attention of clients and know how to make your company’s social media accounts stand out and send a message.
Do I really need to know THIS?
I know how to use the internet and social media, but I’ve never been super up to speed as far as web design and coding go. But recently I’ve taken a design class and I have to say, I think that ALL PR people should know the basics of web design and html coding. I now know how to design my own website and actually get it up and running. This would prove to be a valuable skill when being hired to a PR firm or any company for that matter. If your employer asked you to take over upkeep of the company website and to update it and make it looks it’s best, could you do it?
Being a front-runner in the PR industry today requires more extensive web knowledge than it used to. You need to be able to integrate the web aspect and the public relations aspect into one; if you can accomplish that then you have a huge advantage when it comes to staying competitive.