13.10.15 / Posted by jirehconsult

The PR profession is one that is challenging to say the least. But in recent years, with the acceleration in technological advancements, rapid media development and other related elements, the PR profession is certainly evolving.

PR is indeed a maturing discipline, but there are ongoing gaps and deficiencies that require immediate attention. Formal qualification and life-long learning are the key aspects here – basically the need for further knowledge acquisition and skills development.

Being a good writer is definitely fundamental within the PR world. However, being able to think visually is a new skill that is needed. PR practitioners need to be able to think and represent our work as well as the brand or client visually. Thinking outside of the box when it comes to creating and distributing content is what gets your work noticed. As the world grows more visual daily with the influx use of Instagram and Pinterest, visualisation and storytelling through photos and videos or graphics are key to getting the message across.

Another crucial element in PR is the ability to listen. We listen to many different parties – our bosses, clients, media, customers, suppliers and many more. Listening means observing and learning from them so that we understand their needs better and can communicate better. Understanding your audiences helps build trust and in turn create better content.

With the evolvement of technology, the PR profession must also be in line with this to some degree. Ensuring the utilisation of technology to help disseminate information to the right target audience is a start. Knowing how to creatively use a variety of tech applications to gain the same result is evolvement.

Hence, PR practitioners are now daunted with the task of not only knowing how to use the right PR tools but to be able to use them creatively and innovatively to communicate more efficiently with the target audience.

In essence, PR practitioners should work hard to acquire, improve or nurture new skill sets. In doing so, each and every one of us will make a commitment not only to his or her own personal development, but also to that of the profession itself.

The questions we should always ask ourselves are – is there a better way to do this, how do we complete this in a more efficient manner and how do I find out what I don’t know. (the last is the hardest!)

Desiree Ann
October 2015