Last month, M studio’s Public Relations Director, Shannon Furey, joined three of the industry’s top influencers, Rebekah Ilif, Shonali Burke, and Deirdre Breakenridge, to discuss PR trends as part of Nasdaq’s influencer series. The conversation ranged from the importance of skill diversification and technology to continued education and storytelling. Four key takeaways from Rebekah, Shonali and Shannon’s interview included:
Four key takeaways from Rebekah, Shonali, and Shannon’s interview include:
Don’t shy away from emerging technology: One of the greatest changes in PR over the last ten years has been the emergence and growing importance of technology and analytics. Although with more data comes more noise and distraction, this influx of new information is beneficial to professionals looking to make an impact on their audience. Communicators require technology to drive decision making and should invest time in learning how it works.
The communications landscape is expanding: The evolution of technology brings along with it more platforms for storytelling and a change in what it means to be an influencer. Social media has come to dictate the way we live, form relationships, and retain a sense of community, while instilling a desire for constant connection. Public relations is only one avenue in a city full of communicators, so professionals must have a good grasp on the social platforms and tools at their disposal in order to really connect with the community. The best way to know how to make your community tick is by immersing yourself in it.
Learn something new every year (or if you’re really ambitious, every week): In a world that is rapidly changing, staying sharp and keeping up with the latest trends is key. Skill diversification and continued education can come in many forms, whether it’s program certification, consumption of industry writing, or a community of peers with diverse opinions. It is important for PR professionals to upgrade their skills and expand their knowledge base to find success in their industry and field of study.
A liberal arts education has immense value: PR professionals are storytellers, and storytellers must possess superb communications, writing, and critical thinking abilities. Though knowledge of technology and analytical based subjects is of comparable importance, having that core experience with soft skills separates the good professionals from the great.
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