Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: PR Pros Happily Put on Extra Hats

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that public relations professionals juggle many different responsibilities and wear a number of different hats every day. They must execute several strategic moves on behalf of their client, the agency they work for or their stakeholders. PR pros play multiple roles and have become experts in the area of rapid transition. These do-it-all professionals are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Think twice before accusing a PR person of not being able to handle a task at hand. Truth is they’ve probably dabbled in whatever it is you’re throwing at them and have discovered a more efficient way to accomplish the task.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary — we look at how public relations is evolving in the face of technology, social media and other traditional roles once thought to be out of PR’s realm.

Stop Calling Us ‘PR Practitioners’ (Ragan’s PR Daily)

PR Daily’s Parry Headrick works to dispel the inaccurate images that have been painted of public relations professionals and the industry itself. Headrick argues that PR people are just as strategic, brainy and laser-focused on results as marketers and advertisers. PR agencies find that there are ample reasons to support their right to sit at the boardroom table alongside marketing and advertising to make a case for larger PR budgets. While there will always be characters in the PR field that fits all the stereotypes, it certainly doesn’t justify classifying the whole profession or downgrading their level of intelligence by using the work “practitioner”.

Will PR Really ‘Rule Native and Social?’ (PRNewser)

PRNewser’s Patrick Coffee covered a recent AdWeek article written by CEO of PJA Advertising Phil Johnson, who argues that the recent theme of “moving into the creative” means that PR firms should steal social media and native advertising opportunities away from their marketing and advertising competitors. Johnson also advises that if advertising and marketing want to keep up, they will ultimately have to imitate PR’s model. While Johnson goes on to highlight some big agencies that seem to be keeping up in a “forward-thinking” atmosphere, he also suggest that it’s not too late for advertising firms to make moves that will “keep PR from nipping at its heels.”

Filling ‘The Hardest Job’ at Google Will Be a PR Challenge, Too (PRNews)

Google’s first director of privacy Alma Whitten plans to step down in June. While the company attests to the fact that security will still remain top priority, for Google’s PR team this means all hands on deck. Cnet describes Whitten’s position as the “hardest job at Google” and though Google has already found a successor, engineering director Lawrence You and the company’s PR team will have to keep an eye out for possible issues with privacy abuse and infringement to help the company avoid previous debacles that opened the door to Whitten’s position in the first place.

Mediaco Brings Newsroom Mindset to Weber Shandwick Customers (EverythingPR)

Need to create content and distribute it across various channels? Most PR pros have to perform this juggling act daily. Weber Shandwick is making this feat easier with its recently launched service Mediaco. Mediaco is described as a content distribution tool that “combines editorial planning and production, emerging technology and paid media dollars in support of distribution and delivery of content.” Brands using Mediaco will benefit from the experience of over Weber Shandwick specialists encompassing brand planners, editors, user experience designers, writers, SEO experts, media planners and producers.

Great PR Pros on Twitter from the Experts (Cision Blog)

We all know who the noteworthy PR pros are on Twitter. In fact, social media experts like @shonali, @prsarahevans and @peterhimler come to mind right away. Cision, however, asked these pros who they like to follow. Here are some of their answers:

  • Shonali Burke recommends: @3HatsComm. “Davina is a must-follow on Twitter. She’s smart, funny and actively engages in discussions. She also publishes a terrific blog which keeps it real (something we don’t have enough of in PR.) She is also the acronym queen, so that in and of itself is a reason to follow her. FWIW.”
  • Sarah Evans recommends: @dbreakenridge. Deirdre “is an educator, mentor, author and professional I can’t live without. Deirdre is a leader in the PR industry and she’s helping to shape the professionals of tomorrow.”
  • Peter Himler recommends: @aerocles. While David is “not a PR person per se, I think @aerocles is aces. He has an uncanny ability to curate the most interesting and relevant (to PR/ad peeps) tweets/links, and he does so in real-time.”

 Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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