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PR professionals need to become Media Agnostic

With the evolution of traditional media in India, where many newspapers have become adept to the digital revolution and have introduced their online editions, mobile applications etc. to cater to the new age consumers. The traditional media relations only model of PR consultancies will have to evolve and transform more into earned, owned and paid media generation.

Earned media according to Wikipedia, refers to publicity gained through editorial influence. The media may include any mass media outlets, such as newspapertelevisionradio, and the Internet, and may include a variety of formats, such as news articles or shows, letters to the editor, editorials, and polls on television and the Internet. Critically, earned media cannot be bought or owned, it can only be gained organically, hence the term ‘earned’. Earned media represents the legacy public relations value of “third party endorsement.”

Owned media includes platforms which are owned by the brand such as the website, newsletter, e-mailers, social media properties etc.

Paid media is exactly that, media you pay for. The primary format of paid media is advertising. Formerly the province of advertising and marketing departments, public relations advertising has emerged as a combination of advertising and editorial. Advertorials based on organizational strengths, issues, social responsibility and philanthropy are more prevalent today than ever before.

PR professionals will need to focus on the target audience and have a conversation with them across different forms of media. PR pros will need to expand their horizons and explore social media and mobile media channels, blogging, content marketing across earned, owned and paid media platforms, paid media campaigns – display advertising, search engine optimization etc.

Social Media Content Creation/Curation

PR pros will need to understand the type of content posted and shared across social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest. This will help them to craft and curate engaging, valuable and compelling content for its readers.

Blogger outreach

Engaging with Blogger community is increasingly becoming important considering their strong and large reader base. PR people need to understand how to inculcate media-relations best practices and incorporate blogger outreach into their strategies.

SEO

PR pros are increasingly being involved in digital content that gets created and promoted across media. Professionals should take a stab at optimization the content like press releases, blog posts, white papers, e-newsletters, media kits, interviews published digitally, media kit etc.

Here is a basic guide to SEO for PR professionals:

http://www.prnewsonline.com/topics/measurement/2013/09/05/pr-insider-7-seo-basics-every-pr-pro-should-know/

Designing Software
Increasingly marketing departments are involving PR consultants in marketing campaigns which include creatives for e-mailers, newsletters, ad designs etc. Hence, basic understanding of design will become a requirement. A basic course for tools such as Photoshop, Coral Draw, DreamWeaver will be a good start.

Basic Programming skills

To manage and analyze digital content, PR professionals will need to understand code in a WordPress site or website. One need not be an expert but should be able to guide the executor.

PRO Tip: CodeAcademy.com is a great resource for the average PR pro looking to learn more about coding.

The above is an indicative list; please add which other important skills a PR professional will be required to have in the future? Share your thoughts, inputs & feedback in the comments section below or Tweet to me on @richaseth30

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