THE SKILLS OF TODAY
Which are the most valuable skills for a PR expert against the backdrop of this transformation of the PR office?
This book has already emphasized my Rule Number One: that even the worst decision is better than no decision at all, a decision that hasn’t been made.
One of the most cherished skills and qualities of a PR expert today is a quick reaction, the ability to assume responsibility very quickly!
This is because everything has become a function of time; everything is connected with time. That goes for any kind of regular communication, not just for crisis management.
If you have to react on behalf of your client, to defend your client, or to promote your client, time is of the utmost essence.
If you take your time, or delay thinking or coordinating the response with your client, a lot more things might happen in the meantime.
This is why nowadays we bear a much greater responsibility; we are much more important decision-makers, than we were before the social media revolution.
You must react as quickly as you would if you were your own client. Cases when you actually have time to consult with your client are exceedingly rare today, because news and comment feeds keep rolling in the meantime.
This book never set out to paint too rosy a picture of the PR industry after the social media revolution. There are seemingly negative consequences of this revolutionary change. One, of course, is the incessant danger of getting fooled and tricked by fake news, of not having sufficient time to verify whether a news story is true, to fact-check its details.
However, I am certain that fake news is going to begin to die, because at the end of the day, social media is getting so personalized that nobody will dare produce fake news anymore because they might go to prison.
Fake news remains a major risk, though, which is why people need to be much more erudite, educated, and knowledgeable, which requires much better training and preparation.
Regardless of how good you are at googling things, or doing more sophisticated online research in the oceans of available information, as a PR expert of today’s reality, your head must be full of knowledge, thanks to which you would be able to make a very fast but adequate decision.
That is why I think that now is the time of the knowledgeable people in PR.
Now is not the time of the “searching” people or those who can google something, because today even a three-year-old kid could do that.
Now is the time of knowledgeable people who have received a good education, and have undergone proper training, and are mentally prepared to assume responsibility for making immediate decisions.
Excerpt from Maxim Behar's New book The Global PR Revolution, published by Allworth Press and distributed by Simon & Schuster.
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