Today, creating and distributing content goes far beyond just sharing your own messages and company news. Your content must be relevant, meaningful and useful to capture your audience’s attention. According to a Marketwired survey in December 2015, PR and marketing professionals plan to increase their content marketing programs by 64% in 2016. According to the same survey, 79% of these professionals have a content marketing plan in place. Content marketing has become an important part of your communication program, and your storytelling requires a strategic and creative approach.
In PR, the trusted resource is an important part the of the communicator’s professional brand. For me, it’s one of the thirds in the brand pie, right up there with strategic communicator and relationship builder. However, becoming the trusted resource is a career long effort and it should not be taken for granted. Just like any part of your brand, if you don’t deliver a consistent experience, then you may jeopardize your trusted title.
It’s time to ring in the New Year with #PRStudChat! PR students, educators and professionals will gather on Tuesday, January 19th at 8:30 p.m. ET to kick off 2016 with a discussion on PR Strategy. If you’re in PR and communications, then strategy should be top of mind, helping you to be more effective with your PR activities and to make strategic decisions around the best ways to communicate with your audiences.
Early on in my career, I remember being asked if anyone can be a leader. I said, “Yes,” but you have to cultivate the right skills. Now that I’m 25+ years into my career, I’ve experienced leadership as both a part of an individual’s personality and natural ability, as well as what he or she learns through education, mentoring and training. You need both the nature and the nurture to be a true leader today.
With consumer behavior changing, technology advancing and it becoming increasingly more difficult to build a relationship with fragmented attention spans, organizations need employees who have a raised creative quotient. You have to be more creative and innovative in your communication to connect and engage with audiences today.
On Tuesday, November 17th at 8:30 p.m. ET, the #PRStudChat community will gather to discuss Creative PR and how smart PR today requires a combination of creative storytelling, powerful visual imagery and data-driven decision making. Special guests, Heather Whaling, President of Geben Communication and Jason Sprenger, President of Game Changer Communications will lead a discussion with PR students, professionals and educators on the importance of visual storytelling.
Remember what we discussed last time about a #PRStudChat that focused on public relations teaching and learning. Here are more of my takeaway insights. Just in case you are wondering if you have all the important traits to be an effective teacher, here they are: integrating real-world cases with teaching; hands-on projects; challenging students creatively; helping students make professional connections; sharing real life stories and lessons; setting high expectations; being tough but fair; being knowledgeable of and updated with the field; being passionate, inspirational, and confident; and offering service learning and client work. Whew! That seems to be a LONG list. I know I still have lots of work to do! How about you?
On Tuesday, October 13th at 8:30 p.m. ET, the #PRStudChat community will gather to discuss PR education and learning in the classroom. Ai Zhang, a professor at Stockton University in New Jersey, will host the Twitter chat. Professor Zhang has been instrumental in developing the PR courses at Stockton, and she is also the faculty advisor for the school’s PRSSA Chapter.