There was an interesting story we tweeted about a few days ago originally written by our friends at PR Newswire that suggested there is some disagreement about the skill set PR pros need to succeed in today’s environment, and there are three points of view emerging:

  • The traditionalist, who values the ability to write, build relationships, isolate and convey key messages and build publicity strategy above all else.
  • The digital enthusiast, who values social media acuity, digital content production and editing and coding skills highly.
  • The quant, which focuses on data, analytics and how PR integrates with business processes.

At NettResults we like to think of it as multiplying and dividing.

If you have a list of 1,000 subscribers or 5,000 fans or 10,000 supporters in a social media world, you have a choice to make. You can create stories and options and benefits that naturally spread from this group to their friends, and your core group can multiply, with 5,000 growing to 10,000 and then 100,000.

Or you can put the group through a sales funnel, weed out the free riders and monetize the rest. A 5% conversion rate means you just turned 5,000 interested people into 250 paying customers.

Multiplying scales. Dividing helps you make this quarter's numbers.

So it is with PR.  You want to ever increase your sphere of influence, or put another way, you want to increase the number of journalist you can call up.  At the same time you want to concentrate your time on the 5% (or is it another 80/20 rule?) that don’t just passively receive your news stories, but actively read into them, converse with you and find the story they can report on.

This is why an intellectual rivalry between traditional PR pros and digital enthusiast PR pros is a loose/loose battle.  To be good at PR in today’s rapidly evolving media market, you need to be both a traditionalist and a digital enthusiast.  Gone are the days when having one Millennial digital evangelist in your PR agency’s office was enough – today each of your teams need to be made up digi-traditionalists.

Oh, and they better be able to measure that success. Results are king.

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