It occurs to me that I may be a little out of date. But frankly I need the money, so I'll be taking the pay for a while yet!
From this not very lofty and senior position, I've compiled a list of redundant PR skills and a few things that may help "tomorrow's PR leaders" thrive.
Skills that are redundant:
- Ability to write. As it‘s all digital these days good grammar is no longer required. You certainly don't need to know about apostrophes (or even how to spell 'apostrophe'). But you must learn latest cool acronyms, abbreviations and jargon. And I have been reliably informed that you should never write ’OK’ , it’s just ’K’. K then. ROFL. ROFL. LMAO!
- Planning. There is absolutely no point planning anything as Twitter changes minute to minute. Well that’s what they say, it always looks exactly the same to me, full of boring posts and self-promotion.
- Active listening. You would think that it is important to be a good communicator in PR. But not so. The ones that are vicious self-publicists, and achieve greater heights than one would think them capable of, drone on and on and never listen to a word that anyone else says.
Skills that are vital:
- SEO knowledge. Apparently it is imperative to know about search engine optimisation. Search me what that really means. (I actually had a go at understanding this but it was, I'm afraid, it’s just too dull.)
- Being a film director. Everything needs a video link these days. But judging from the quality of many films, you don’t have to be any good at art direction. And editing skills are definitely not required.
- Acting skills. Practise saying these key phrases with conviction: “That’s a brilliant idea of yours”, “This campaign strategy can’t fail”, “I think that journalist likes you”.
- Sales. The most important skill of all, the one than everyone cares about, is selling. You can be crap in every other way, but if you know how to bring in new business, your future is assured. But you'd be stupid to stay in PR, as you’d make a lot more money being a salesperson in another industry …