Prepare now: PR job security in 2020 to require measurement savvy

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Irrelevant. Flash-in-the-pan. Replaceable. Don’t let this describe your PR career.

By Ragan Staff | Posted: January 26, 2015

You can boost your job security, impress execs and skyrocket your value now—and well into 2020—by knowing what’s next in PR research and measurement, assures change-management expert and measurement visionary Dr. David Rockland.

As creator of the Barcelona Principles—PR’s first consensus on measurement best practices—and CEO of Ketchum Change, he also leads Ketchum’s Global Research and Analytics services and manages 160 people across the two business units in 20 offices globally.

Wondering where you can see Rockland in action? At our upcoming PR Measurement Conference in Washington, D.C., on March 12.

He’ll share unlimited strategies with attendees, but here are a few of his tips for staying relevant as PR continues to evolve rapidly:

  • Bone up on Barcelona. The Barcelona Principles are part of the industry’s nomenclature. And just as they remain relevant four years after being introduced—with clients commonly referencing them in RFPs—so must communicators embrace them to stay relevant. “The principles continue to hold up amid increased integration of content creation and distribution channels,” explains Rockland.

That integration also includes the continued convergence of many digital marketing and communications skills, not to mention jobs. It all starts with the Barcelona Principles (click here for a primer). Make sure they guide every campaign or program you create.

  • Make new friends. In the future, you will no longer successful in communications and marketing just by being either creative or quantitative, warns Rockland. “You must instead augment the missing side of your brain by building that muscle—or by surrounding yourself with those who have it.” Translation: “Find a friend who isn’t afraid of numbers,” he suggests. “Make friends with quantitative agency partners or departments like IT and marketing.”
  • Avoid PR’s fatal flaw. What does Rockland see as the most common mistake in PR? “Failure to define a goal or objective up front in any given campaign,” he asserts without hesitation. His advice: “Don’t get further into 2015 without clearly knowing the goals of the program you are working on now. If you can’t answer the following four questions, hit the pause button and answer them before continuing,” he counsels:
  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • What about them are you trying to change?
  • What metrics will tell you that you’ve done this?
  • What is your timeline for achieving this?

“You will know exactly what to measure if you answer these questions,” he says. Similarly, “Don’t leap to creative,” warns Rockland. Instead, set goals first, plan the program, execute and then measure. “This will go a long way toward setting you up for success in your future campaigns—and careers.”

Want more? Make sure you join us at our PR Measurement Conference on March 12 in Washington, D.C. 

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