13 Skills of the PR Pro of the Future

When I started out in PR, the profession had a simple 2-prong focus–media relations and internal communications, mostly the former.  Although both remain important, the PR mind today should be divided into at least 10 sectors as depicted here by John Bell, head of the 360° Digital Influence team at Ogilvy PR.


John says the next generation of PR pros will need to be strong in the following 13 skills, and he provides additional insights on six of the points through expanded “how to” posts.  Just click on the underlined skills.  Check back with his blog or here since he intends to eventually expand on all 13. 


13 Skills of the PR Pro of the Future

  1. Create integrated marketing and communications strategy
  2. Deploy live ‘listening posts’ online and offline
  3. Design and deploy an advanced search engine optimization program
  4. Plan and run a new media relations program inclusive of head-of-the-tail and long tail “media”
  5. Identify & engage with influencers online and offline
  6. Manage communities
  7. Integrate new technologies into their own lives
  8. Model measurement and performance metrics including new “engagement” metrics
  9. Run quick pilot programs  and evaluate on-the-fly
  10. Train staff and clients continuously
  11. Participate in conversations, not just ‘messaging’
  12. Create and execute content strategy including video programming (hifi and lowfi)
  13. Use digital crisis management 

2 thoughts on “13 Skills of the PR Pro of the Future

  1. I’m not exactly sure if I completely agree with this mix of “new skills,” being that CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and Branding are at 3% and 5% respectively. Additionally, research is only 10% of this mix, as well.

    IMC is a great way to take away the focus and value of true public relations. Gathered under this umbrella Marketing term, public relations becomes less genuine and more focused on promotion and supporting of sales initiatives.

    In the past, public relations education wasn’t as strong or in-depth as it is now, and many senior-level professionals are operating under ideas and strategies are are obsolete, so it’s tempting to jump to this great-sounding IMC plan.

    There will ALWAYS be sales and there will ALWAYS be ways to promote the product. Business leaders outside of PR already look for ways to reach the bottom-line and beyond. PR is about being the ethical conscience, the liason with consumers & other publics, and fostering better relationships with all constituents. You can’t do this when you’re so focused on promoting products and brands all the time. It’s our job to help management and marketers see the value of GENUINE communication, not viewing people as dollar signs. Without research and a focus on CSR, you lose the strong value that PR has. You might as well tell us to hang up PR and go study marketing and advertising.

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