I graduated from the Public Relations Skills certificate program in 2006. In eight years the basic fundamentals haven’t changed. You still need to know different writing styles -- from writing a news release to a flyer. Relationships and communication with the media remain critical and beneficial. The same basic principles still apply in ethics and crisis communications. However, the Internet and social media have changed how you do your work.
In the past when I distributed a news release it had to be faxed multiple times to different contacts. Now everything is emailed in one shot. Email and text messages are daily occurrences and part of the way of life at work. Plus, I don’t know how I ever worked with only one monitor!
Social media hardly merited a mention when I was in school; MySpace, Skype, YouTube, and Twitter were not mainstream mechanisms for getting your message out. Social media touches everything I do now, from event planning and eFlyers to writing/publishing a document. I also have accounts with all the major social media channels. At home I video chat at least twice a week, if not more.
In today’s public relations world, I find that most promotional materials, such as brochures, flyers, posters etc., are made with Adobe products. I have started taking InDesign and Photoshop classes as well. These classes are engaging public relations tools, enabling communicators to get their message across with a creative blend of content and design.
As I have followed the PR path, it’s been rewarding to see the field’s evolution and be involved with its integration with marketing and social media. If you’re interested in public relations, you may find it not only enhances your skills but also provides new creative energy.