Because PR and social media are so intertwined, whether you’re an entrepreneur doing your own PR, or you are a PR professional – you need more technical skills than ever before.
In fact, according to Information Week, more companies are “hiring marketing staffers who have focused tech skills.”
It won’t be long until this trend carries over to the PR field.
IT Is Invading PR
Consider some of the run-of-the-mill tech tasks you need to do PR right now:
- create social media profiles
- schedule posts to social media
- post to a number of social networks all at once
- monitor keywords via RSS feed
- publish blog posts with WordPress or other CMS
- upload a press release, with photo and video elements, to a site like PRWeb
- upload a video to YouTube
- embed a video from YouTube or other video sharing site
- shorten links or URLs
- use Google or other search engines to find a contact person within a specific media organization, complete with email address, telephone number, Twitter handle, and blog URL
- capture and edit a photo or video from your smart phone or tablet, and post it to Facebook and other social networks
- monitor and participate in a Twitter chat
- organize a video streaming event
- monitor and understand the implications of your site’s Google Analytics data
These activities may have been considered technical in nature years ago. But today, they’re ordinary tasks any person doing PR is expected to be able to do.
What About The IT Person?
You may be thinking, “Why can’t I just call Tim from IT to do the more complicated tech stuff for me?”
Of course, you could do that. But it would make everything take longer. IT consultants have other clients; in a company, the IT Department have their own priorities; either way you’ll have to get in line.
This means you could miss out on PR opportunities.
Furthermore, if you’re a PR professional looking for career opportunities in Fortune 500 companies, know that hiring decisions are already being made with these tech skills in mind.
What You Can Do
So folks, we have no choice but to embrace the social media revolution and evolution happening in our field. If you happen to be a technophobe, it’s time to face your fears. There are many things you can do to get your tech skills up to speed, such as:
- Find a mentor who will show you how to do things.
- Watch tutorial videos on YouTube.
- Buy or borrow books.
- Hire a VA to train you.
- Enroll in classes, both in-person and virtual.
Whichever path you choose, there’s nothing better than jumping right in and learning while doing.
The more you get familiar with technology, the less scary it will be. I promise.
Speak Your Mind
What technology task intimidates you from the list above? How do you think it’s holding you back from PR success?
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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