Public relations is changing, for the better, in many interesting ways. Using today’s technology, we have better ways to plan campaigns and measure the results. We also have more channels to connect with customers. But these modern tools can’t help you if you don’t understand them or how to apply them.

Here are four modern PR skills you need to master in order to keep pace with the competition and be successful in today’s marketplace.

Understanding the Impact of Technology

Technology is not just making communication more convenient and audience response easier to track. It’s also shifting the ways people interact with information and the media through which they do that interacting.

The faster, 24-hour news cycle and the rise of a consumer-driven news culture is changing the way media chooses stories. SEO, search algorithms, real-time suggestive advertising — “smart” computer AI is changing everything about how people process information, especially online. But AI is shifting the way print media communication is measured as well.

Data is flowing faster, opinions are shifting faster, and trending topics can change with the hour. If you can’t keep up, you will end up left behind.

Views Matter

The days in which audience participation is measured in subscribers and letters is long gone. Today, online interaction, especially on social media, is a key communication success metric. If you can’t share the story, and if it doesn’t have a high connective “stickiness,” chances are modern media will pass and modern media consumers will ignore it.

You don’t necessarily have to know SEO to submit a winning story, but a basic understanding of the keywords media outlets are looking for will definitely help. And that’s just the beginning. You need rich content as well. And not just photos. Video is, increasingly, becoming expected. And, if the consumer can immediately interact with the story, especially in real time, even better.

Get Better at Multitasking

While the lines between public relations and advertising have always been somewhat hazy, in today’s marketplace, focused so heavily on interactive and experiential advertising, those lines are blurrier still. Celebrities are becoming product influencers, and brands are becoming entertainment sources for an increasingly connected consumer base. Your campaign strategies should take this into account.

Learn to Use Modern Metrics

Current data analytics allows PR teams to measure many different metrics a lot more accurately. This allows PR teams to better demonstrate campaign ROI across a wide range of data points. The more you understand the tools available today, the more valuable a product you can deliver to your clients.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations.

Ronn Torossian
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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.