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Think beyond content and marketing in PR, says corporate communications professional Nisha Ramchandani

Three days back, I ran a poll on LinkedIn and Twitter on “The Future of PR and Corporate Communications jobs” as part of my larger interest and passion to decipher the “Future of Jobs.”

 Here is a glimpse of what the results on Twitter look like ( see right). Does this seem obvious to you or do you see what I do?

Well, after you have thought about that question, let me tell you what I think. I think the results are VERY STRANGE. Why? Hey, we are communicators, we are PR folks, and we are the ones that bring creativity to the room. Then, why have not we thought of our roles and what we do differently? 

What am I getting at? Well, this. All of us know that in a year or so, media relations is changing rapidly.  Media relations as we know it could very well change beyond recognition with the changing paradigms of social and with newer content platforms being launched almost every day. 

This post is not to rant about what is already dead. It is to plan ahead. It is to for us to start thinking of how, where and what can we do with our creative selves and continue to bring value. Below are three areas and directions we can consider. 

I would love to hear more thoughts on what else can the “Future of PR Jobs” hold for us.

The Future of PR Jobs 

Customer- behaviour expert – with all the data organisations are now collecting, it is has become increasingly easy to map customer behaviour. What is now required is for organisations to implement that feedback into the day to day operations and customer delight. For example, let’s say you are a hospitality chain and data shows you that your new customer drinks a certain brand of coffee at a said hour. The role of the customer-behaviour expert will be to glean all this data and create simple steps to achieve impeccable personalisation and customisation. I call this “Human-AI”. You use technology to achieve something really simple – better human connect.

Culture-driver – If there is one thing that is hugely missing today, it is empathy. Even Harvard Business Review had spoken about this in 2017 (read: The Rise of AI Makes Emotional Intelligence More Important). With the rise of the Gig economy and increasing urbanisation, organisations and startups will have a diversified set of employees. A culture-driver will be someone who will work with the management and establish a culture that will bind an eclectic workforce. Again, data will play a huge role, but someone who understands it and make it human will succeed.

Alumni and Community builder – I’m sure, you will argue with me and say this already exists. But, hear me out. The future of communication is definitely not mass. Super-super-and super specialisation is what will drive organisations to be better-better-and better. Hence, the role on community and alumni building and engagement – these folks will include employees, customers and those your customers recommend you to. As an organisation, you will then have to give each one enough “talking points” – akin to the pitch note we use today, to recommend you. Trust me, it will involve customisation and more customisation.

So, what stays? Our experience in content, story-telling and our own personalities. Digital today, is only as good as the medium and who knows, 5 years from now Facebook could pivot to a payments platform. How will we be “Digital experts” then? So, it is better we think long-term and skill up short term. Good luck to us.

Nisha Ramchandani manages outreach for Axilor Ventures 

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