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Dying skills in PR

12th December 2013


Oh for the days when PROs knew how to string sentences together to make up interesting features. Sentences with good grammar, correct spelling and compelling prose. These days it is more important to use slang, abbreviations and no punctuation in order to keep your tweet within the 140-character limit.

Skills that are dying out in our profession:

Having a good phone manner

Who talks on the phone these days? Let alone pitches to journalists? Unless they want to be told where to go in no uncertain terms.

Writing skills

In the old days you would write a first draft and revise it before you sent it out. In the very old days, a secretary would type up your first draft for you. Judging from some of the press releases I see nowadays, some people even give the spell-checker a miss. I also worry what they teach at colleges, as I am horrified at the number of job applications I receive containing spelling mistakes.

The ability to be communicate face-to-face

Lots of people would rather post dull updates on Facebook over actually meeting a contact personally.

Negotiation skills

The problem with so much of our work being online is that it is hard to practise the skills required for negotiation. How are you going to get a decent pay rise if you don’t know how to manipulate your boss with a silver tongue?

Shorthand

I know you won't believe me but I do actually know shorthand. It's very useful. My boss says Siri does everything short hand can do but he looks like a bit crazy (like those people who actually use the tablet as a phone!) talking into his phone v-e-r-y  c-l-e-a-r-l-y.

Appreciation of seniority

I used to respect the company leaders when I was starting out. Now junior staff feel superior because they think they understand the digital world better. Which they often don’t. When I tell them that App is complete shite and serves no purpose they look at me like I've lost all sense of reality – oh the irony!


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