Went to a CIPR ‘seminar’ on ‘the future of PR’ at UCLAN’s very funky Sandbox building (very impressive technology – a massive wall-screen that displayed what everyone was writing on about 20 wireless keyboards -anonymous answers to the same question).
Lots of discussion based on questions like ‘why is PR important’, ‘what are the challenges/opportunities’ etc, but also the odd random one like ‘if PR were a car, which car would it be’.
First thing I noticed was that it made me step out of my consumer PR bubble. So many different disciplines/organisations were represented, so it was interesting to see what other people saw as important/challenges/etc.
Anyway, not that many profound answers or any major problems solved, but here is a list of some of the ideal characteristics, skills and attitudes we came up with to describe the ‘ideal PR person of the future’:
- Digital-savvy (obv)
- Understands business
- Understands the marketing mix
- Honest, transparent – literally nowhere to hide anymore (for example, once it’s online, it could easily go anywhere)
- Strong writing skills
- Good news sense
- Forward thinking
- Embraces culture, society
- Integrated in networks (important one)
- Takes pride in the work of PR (alot of people feel that PR needs to be PR’d. I think org’s like the CIPR/PRCA/etc should take the lead on this…)
Another interesting point was ‘how can we take advantage of the opportunities in the PR industry?’ Digital is obviously the big one, but we started thinking about what the other opportunities in PR at the moment. Whoever can come up with the answer could become very rich …