Posts Tagged 'careers in public relations'

Digital Advertising: The New Career Path in PR?

PR v Ads

Can developing expertise in digital advertising become a promising new specialty for growth and expansion in public relations? We are among others asking this question lately because of the unfavorable changes occurring in and prognostications about the decline of advertising agencies.

Several recent reports have detailed the negative changes affecting traditional advertising [due to its reliance on major revenue from print and broadcast industries, both of which are also experiencing unprecedented convergence and decline.]

Writer Tom Foremski’s January 14, post in ZDNet about PR’s “war with advertising” gives an insightful indication of what some of these changes could mean for PR. Quoting in his article no less an authority than Richard Edelman, of Edelman public relations, from Edelman’s blog “6 A.M.,” Formeski posits:

“We believe that the combination of public relations, digital and research will allow us to build a new kind of marketing communications firm that can help clients both promote and protect their brands. … [And] to challenge the status quo, which has placed advertising agencies as the first among equals.”

Challenges to the established advertising industry

Foremski goes on to make several well-taken points:

▶    The Internet is a publishing technology that now works in both directions

▶    Computer screens are no longer one-sided; they now work on both sides

▶    Our communications and computing technologies now represent a new kind of Gutenberg press—reconfigurable on all ends of the equation.

He closes his article by noting that there’s lots of money at stake, and how the PR industry responds to this phenomenon will be interesting to note throughout 2014.

Similarly, Adweek, published a story the same day noting “Survey Predicts a Bleak Future for Agencies.

Among writer Andrew McMain’s key points:

▶    There will be continued convergence among major [ad] agency players

▶    Ad agency “survival will hinge on digital capabilities”

▶    There will be a thriving market for smaller, more agile, digital shops and for specialists

Opportunities for Public Relations

Given this unarguable reality, how can PR pros prepare and capitalize on such an unprecedented opportunity for impact and growth? Here’s our view:Digital PR Prescription

1)  Get Onboard. Make sure you’re online: publishing; monitoring and adapting to analytics; joining the conversation.

2)  Dive Deeper. Get actively involved in creating and managing digital/mobile advertising campaigns, through Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., as well as on social media through Facebook, Twitter, etc. Utilize the customization and analytical tools that are available through each platform.

3)  Upgrade Production Skills. YouTube, Vimeo, and even smartphones, and a host of other technologies and platforms, now make it incredibly easy to produce and upload video content.

4)  Collaborate. Become, or team with other pros, who are certified digital specialists. There are many options—Google Partners (formerly Google Adwords); Yahoo!; Bing Ads (formerly MSN Ad Center; SEO certification; Facebook, etc.—although you needn’t specialize in them all. There’s lots of shared knowledge and overlap that can be applied across platforms.


We, at MediaWorks, owner and curator of PRDoctorChicago, are trained and have practical experience in publishing, online content development, and digital campaigns. Our founder, Muriel Jackson, is certified in public relations and search engine marketing. If you need help, we’re ready to help you solve your communications issue and work through the external changes occurring in the media industries.

We welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your next project. Feel free to start the dialogue by using the comment form below.

What Makes A Good PR Person?

As we discussed in our last blog, the world is abuzz regarding the practice of public relations. Since we last posted, PRSA has established its new definition of PR, and a raucous debate on standards of practice, lobbying, etc., has sprung forth in the UK– which could have implications industry wide.  Consequently PRSA officials felt the need to weigh in on the UK debate.  All of this self-examination, redefinition, and realignment of standards and practices, caused us to ponder the question: what makes a good PR person? You would probably get a different answer from every person to whom this question is posed, but for us, a few   common characteristics stand out. Here’s our take on what are the compelling characteristics of a good PR person:

  • Inquisitive, thinks expansively. Has a global and universal view of the world at the same time. Practically speaking, this means you’re a person open to ideas—whether ancient or new, within your realm of experience or beyond, and across  the usual boundaries of age, race, culture, geography or language. We like to say about PR practice:  You never know where your next good idea will come from. True enough, we are surprised each day about how much of our past experience—the things we’ve done, read, seen or been involved with, are somehow surprisingly relevant to the projects we’re working on now. It’s absolutely uncanny, and the good PR person never underestimates the value of his or her accumulated life experience to the job at hand.
  • A good writer. We think a good PR person is, by definition, a good writer; someone who writes well and is on their way to becoming an excellent writer. By this, we don’t simply mean grammar and execution: what we mean most profoundly is that they understand “the voice” of the subject they’re writing about. They understand perceptions, feelings, and nuances related to the subject in a way that’s otherwise hard to explain. A good PR person is a good writer, on the lifelong journey of becoming an ever better writer.
  • Honors the profession. A good PR person is self-regulating: He or she accepts that the profession, similar to journalism, is built around a bond of openness, mutuality and trust with the audience(s). They refuse to corrupt the process of communication. They accept the inherent responsibility of speaking truth to power, and vice versa.

A fundamental principle of practice at our firm is that [responsible] “PR does not seek negative outcomes.” We’re not about trying to tear something down; we’re about raising something up—creating room for an alternative voice.

So, these are some of our thoughts on what makes a good PR person (not exhaustive). We’d like to hear yours …Chime in.

By the way, as we tweeted about earlier, here’s the latest ad from Google (the coffee stains are ours!), presumably to offset concerns about privacy of information. Clever, but are they “winning”? You tell us.

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