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.

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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 & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.