From Traditional to Hybrid
I spoke at the PRSA Leadership Rally over the weekend to discuss PR 2.0, social media communications and Putting the Public Back in Public Relations. It was a great conference with approximately 150 incoming PRSA leaders in attendance. I introduced to the group an exercise that I call “The Making of the Hybrid,” which focuses on individual, communications career development. The exercise gave examples of the differences between the traditional strategic PR communicator and the Hybrid professional. As I moved through my presentation, I asked the audience to rate themselves, with respect to their own roles, responsibilities and professional career development (traditional vs. hybrid).
For the past couple of years my presentations have focused on the PR professional moving from handler/facilitator of communication (who often found success in great media coverage) to the PR 2.0 Champion, who climbed the rungs of the Forrester’s Technographics Ladder, from the “Inactive” all the way up to the “Creator.”
Here’s the graphic that I used in my presentation, which takes the PR person’s professional development from traditional strategic communicator to the hybrid professional. The diagram not only illustrates the communicator who applies a blend of traditional and social media, but who also works more closely with other members of marketing and Web as well as other areas of the company (including sales, HR, IT, Legal, Customer Service, etc). As a result, the Hybrid is the strategic communicator who guides all communication and has secured a seat at the boardroom/strategy table.
The Making of the Hybrid
What do you think of these levels of development from traditional to hybrid? Are there any other levels that you would add into the diagram?
June 7, 2010 @ 4:48 pm
I think this is about right. I have been focused in the sports marketing category because it is what I am passionate about. I am currently seeking employment but the media contacts I have built just out of my passion are in the sports industry. Will I be able to leverage them in the future? I believe so and I think this is part of the hybrid approach. I also think sponsorship can be a more integrated approach but because two parties are involved I think there might be a challenge with moving it forward.
June 7, 2010 @ 6:21 pm
Hi Jamie! Yes, you should be able to leverage your media contacts and interact with them whether it’s through traditional communication or perhaps now through Facebook or even Twitter (depending on how they want to be contacted). The hybrid approach just teaches us to find the right people, where they are congregating, always respecting the best ways that they want to be reached.
Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR
June 7, 2010 @ 9:26 pm
Wow! I appreciate your chart it shows I’m a hybrid! You’ve made me smile!
June 7, 2010 @ 9:28 pm
Hi Anne Marie,
Congratulations! That’s awesome. Glad I could make you smile and being a hybrid today is quite an accomplishment 🙂 Great job!
June 8, 2010 @ 11:04 am
You forgot to mention that you also arranged for our attendees to get copies of your book, “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations.” You kept us all engaged, gave us a lot to take away and implement, and we were fortunate to land you as a speaker for our Leadership Rally. And if I recall correctly you actually had to rearrange your own plans for the weekend to be with us on a Saturday…thanks again!
June 8, 2010 @ 12:05 pm
Hi Bill! Thank you so much 🙂 Like I said, Leadership Rally was the only place I wanted to be (of course having my Mom & Dad sitting in on the session was also the highlight of my weekend). I really enjoyed presenting to the in coming Leadership. I could feel the energy in the room and I’m happy to hear that everyone was engaged. Thanks again for the wonderful opportunity!
June 8, 2010 @ 7:45 pm
Sounds like you rocked the house!! I think your chart is spot-on — I love how I can see my own progress as I have worked my way up and learned more about the power of using social media. And honestly, I can’t think of a step that is missing! I think the only thing that can hold us back sometimes is figuring out where our clients are on the chart! lol If they are still stuck on the bottom rung, it can be challenge!
June 8, 2010 @ 8:03 pm
Hi Tara! Thank you 🙂 I think you are spot on with the assessment about where clients are on this chart. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much we know or how our own career development has progressed if the client is stuck on the bottom rung. Excellent point! Thanks for sharing.