The PR Professional’s Changing Role
I’ve been talking about the changing role of the PR professionals for a while now. My book, PR 2.0 discusses how we are no longer publicists. And, my new book, coming out early in 2009 discusses the PR professional many different roles and responsibilities. The new roles of PR include:
- Web marketing
- Viral marketing
- Cultural Anthropology
- Customer Service and relationship management
However, I’d like to add a new one to the list. I had my real first taste of web content management these past couple of weeks working on a major launch of a client’s internal social networking portal. Years ago, I would never have dreamed that I would be working in Microsoft SharePoint to help build a website, program links, update content and stylize my client’s portal. I even remember thinking in the early days of the Web, when I had to wait for my programmers to update content that, “I wish I could just do this myself, rather than being at the mercy of the IT department.” They just didn’t work in “Deirdre time.”
Well my wish came true. Today’s PR person wears many hats and one of them is a content management hat that allows us to learn and understand what happens on the back end of a website, even though we are so much more familiar with the user interface. It’s great experience, tremendous knowledge and ultimately, I feel more valuable as a communications professional. It’s one more skill that makes PR a valuable resource in an organization.
I remember about a year ago, one of my sr. account executives on my PR team was asked to learn more about web marketing for one of his clients. He came to me the very same day and said that he was ready to retire. And, he did. If you don’t move with the technology and times to embrace the many changes of the profession, well then, it would be time to retire.
I would like to think I’m somewhat of an early adopter and I will continue to learn and drive the changes that come with the profession. It’s evident that PR is changing for the better as a result of social media and Web 2.0. I think we will all be learning a great deal more. Remember, each new role and responsibility makes you that much more important. A PR person is no longer just a publicist. PR is evolving into an indispensible function, and, once again, becoming a valuable resource of any organization.
Your willingness to embrace and participate in the new roles will get our industry recognized and where it needs to be a lot quicker!
Scott Tousignant - Unstoppable Fat Loss
September 30, 2008 @ 5:23 pm
Well, well, now you’ve got me excited for you book release in early ’09
I’ve never been much of a techie guy and always relied on programmers to get things done for me. This was always expensive and time consuming.
Now with the blogs, Ning and similar social networking communities, Facebook, and more, it has become easier and easier to create an attractive looking site that will get my message to the masses.
The user interface of many of the new media sites is very easy to use and in many cases free! You’ve got to love that.
Now when I want to make a simple change to my site I can do it on my own in just a matter of minutes.
Keep us posted on your new book!
October 3, 2008 @ 9:56 am
As a graduating student, I’m so glad i’m coming out prepared. Thanks for the update!
October 3, 2008 @ 11:15 am
Mark and Scott,
Thanks for commenting. There’s so much more we can do today with the knowledge and access to easier tools.
Mark good luck this year in school!
Scott, I will definitely keep you posted on the book. If you’re on Twitter, I talk a lot about my writing experience. You can follow me at dbreakenridge.
October 7, 2008 @ 7:11 pm
Deirdre — love this posting…I actually read a story about something similar by a guy who was researching investments into PR consultancies and this was one of the things that he mentioned.
He basicially split it into content generators, acc man/client service people and your technology enabling department.
I thought it was pretty interesting, especially given all that’s currently going on at the moment in our industry.
BTW — on the research chapter in the current PR2.0 book, but really need to get my teeth stuck into the rest. 🙂
Laslty — love this post.
October 7, 2008 @ 7:29 pm
I’m happy that you like this post. It’s so true and I see it more and more of this every day in our industry. Sounds like a very interesting article you came across. If you have a link, please forward it to me so I can review and share it 🙂
Hope you find the time to sink your teeth in to some of the other chapters. Thanks for commenting!
October 22, 2008 @ 5:10 pm
Deirdre — http://www.adrianjmoss.com/PermaLink,guid,516dadee-eca4-418d-8232-1e9d2b715240.aspx
BTW — PR Week UK also featured something called the Future of the Agency…17 Oct. Not read it yet tho.