Public relations practitioners new and old have been challenged to adapt to the new PR landscape that includes the understanding of the concept of integrated marketing communications or IMC, as we continue in the digital age.
Imagine a job in a manufacturing factory where every person only knows their individual function. Each one of those factory workers are limited in their understanding of how the products are made. With today’s PR landscape, every factory worker (PR practitioner) must be cross-trained in marketing to truly understand how the PR machine must function.
As a new PR pro, learning how public relations is not an independent study, but encapsulates all of the sciences under the marketing umbrella, including advertising and communications is critical. In this day, the traditional PR department or agency employs various marketing techniques that contribute to a greater PR influence.
The biggest challenge that new professionals face is within the changing PR landscape is learning more about marketing and how marketing directly relates to public relations. Below are four things every new PR pro can do to be cross-trained and propel their PR understanding to new heights:
- Read PR and Marketing News – New sites like Forbes, Fortune, Mashable and PR Daily are great resources on up-to-the-minute PR news and trends. Subscribe to their RSS feeds on your personal blog site, or follow their respective Twitter pages to receive news as it breaks. What are some of your favorite industry news outlets?
- Seek an experienced mentor – Last week we posted about the importance of PR mentoring for new and experienced professionals as January was National Mentoring Month. Exchanging best practices and experiences with a mentor is a great way to learn and grow.
- Practice, practice, practice – Knowledge is useless without application. Anything that you are learning, take time to study it further and put it into action right away. Remember all of those concepts that you learned in college that you never used? Implement all of the knowledge that you find and make yourself sharp.
- Engage with your PRSA section – This may seem like a dead giveaway, however PRSA New Professionals host a plethora of events and resources from a quarterly newsletter, blog, Twitter page, teleconferences and more. Get involved and make the most out of your membership!
What are some other things new professionals can do to sharpen their PR skills?
Zaneta Chuniq Inpower is owner and president of Chuniq PR, an independent media and marketing management firm. Additionally, she is the digital communications coordinator for Douglas J Aveda Institutes and Salons, editor for Supreme Design Publishing and social media manager for COIN Handlers Management. Her personal interests include reading, international travel and culture and community revitalization. Inpower received her B.A. in advertising from Michigan State University.