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Posted on 01.25.2013

Economic Change Means Communication Transformation

The buzz on Capitol Hill is economic reform, but what impact does the economy have on the public relations sector?

As social media continues to gain legitimacy as a key platform to interact with customers and constituents, companies are experiencing the need for solid communications planning and those with the skills to implement the tactics. Public relations budgets are increasing at a rate outpacing the GDP growth. Despite the negative economic media coverage, many businesses are expanding at a fast pace, so building a brand that can sustain such rapid growth is of utmost importance.

The focus on economy and legislation aimed at producing company transparency means many C-level executives are leading their companies from the front lines. The need for solid communications management is critical externally but also internally. "Most business leaders aren't aware of the full scope of the PR/communications function and the breadth of skills their team should have" stated our very own Paula Lovell in a recent Q &A with Nashville Post. "It's not just about media relations. PR is a strategic business function that should coordinate with marketing and sales, and it can have significant impact on the bottom line."

As a result of this changing landscape, today's communications professionals need to know how to do more than write a press release and post on Facebook. Understanding business, the key components of a company and how it all fits together is crucial to producing solid communications strategies. Communications teams are growing as platforms for messaging increase, so working collaboratively as a team is critical for success as well. How do PR pros stay in the game during the economic adjustments and thereafter?

  • Watch, listen and read. It's important to stay current on trends. You also have to know the tools available and be able to manage messages/data using them.
  • Be on your guard. In a world that speaks 24/7 through social media, you can't let your guard down. This means communications professionals are on call 24 hours a day. Be proactive with messaging when appropriate, but also be ready at all times to react.
  • Don't discard the old skills. It might come as a great shock to some, but there is a world outside of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Traditional communication skills are still important.
  • Don't be afraid. The face of communications is changing worldwide as technology advances and cultures evolve. Embrace the change and allow your imagination to go a little crazy to keep fresh ideas coming!

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