Ragan PR posted an interesting video on their PR Daily site recently. Mark Ragan spoke with three PR vice presidents about the highs and lows of the profession, what they look for in new hires and the impact of social media.
It’s LONG, over 14 minutes but a lot of what they said really resonated with me. All three were women, and Mark asked them directly why women make up an estimated 70% of the PR industry.
Here are my highlights:
Skills new hires need — They all talked about how Generation Y grads often don”t know how to write well. No matter how short communications become, clarity is critical. People skills are lacking — you’re going to act as the conduit between the media and the client — you need to know how to act.
And they all look for curiosity — I couldn’t agree more here. There’s no checklist or manual with all the PR secrets in it — all three wanted curious people who would seek out new skills, story angles, find a way to gain the information needed to succeed.
What’s changed about PR — There’s no off switch today, it’s often 24/7 with no time to disconnect. Deliverables require faster turnaround times, which connects back to being a good writer and to being intellectually curious. Common sense is more critical than ever — this point I found really interesting.
With the prevalence of social media and (for some clients) disclosure requirements, PR practitioners need to know when NOT to share certain information. This can be difficult for millennials who have grown up disclosing everything via their favorite socmed channels.
Why are women better at PR? — This was a great question, an evergreen issue and certainly one I’ve noticed about the industry. As a guy, trying to answer this question would have been dicey, opening myself up to accusations of stereotyping. But these are the theories of the panel, so don’t kill the messenger here.
They saw three main reasons:
- Women are better at multitasking
- Women are still steered towards the softer sciences in school, which funnel into PR
- Women are more detail oriented, and more organized in general
Debatable, but definitely thought provoking. Here’s the full interview.
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