The Future of PR: A Student’s Perspective

by Sarah Guenther on June 20, 2012

As a public communication major at Buffalo State College, I’ve taken several public relations courses. This knowledge, combined with my recent internship at Carr Marketing Communications, has given me great insight into the future of public relations.

The key to building a successful PR career will always be the same – you need to have sharp writing skills, and the ability to articulate a message clearly and effectively. Writing must demonstrate the three C’s: It must be clear, concise, and correct. Good writing is critical to every communicator’s success.

A major trend right now in PR is the web and digital revolution. Having a website that is user-friendly and interactive is an industry standard. The visual presence of a website attracts viewers, so PR practitioners are expected to have a sense of graphic design and how it can enhance the written word. Social media and blogs are evolving as additional PR tools in the digital communications world, along with search engine optimization.

PR practitioners must be prepared to think critically and understand the essentials of business dynamics. Analyzing data, recognizing trends and proving results with measurement will continue to be a big focus as well as demonstrating how communications affects the bottom line.

Another change on the horizon is more focus on integrated marketing communications. Organizations will continue to blend the disciplines of PR and advertising together for a more cohesive marketing approach.

Finally, with a changing media landscape, it will be crucial for PR professionals to adapt to the media’s new needs. Smaller news staffs and backpack journalists will require PR to package and pitch materials in different ways than before.

A public relations practitioner in the future will need to wear many hats. The fundamentals of the field will always stay the same, but changing times may call for new skills, and a few more hats.