New avenues, same talents required

OK, we think it’s fair to say that there has now been an irreversible move towards on-line strategies within the world of PR, but we say, ‘Don’t panic!!’.

There’s still no need to start getting rid of every member of the workforce over the age of 25; those of us who fall outside of the Millennial category still have talents which can be put to very good use.

Admittedly, we write this post with our tongues placed somewhere close to the side of our cheek. The point we’re trying to make is that, whilst the traditional vs on-line mix has most definitely shifted towards the latter, many of the skills which were essential when words were printed are still VERY relevant in this new age where we are making a virtual impression. In fact, the ability to write good content is probably more important now than it ever has been in the past.

The reason for this? In an average day we are all now bombarded with so much information across a variety of platforms and there is a real risk of it all becoming a conglomerated mess of white noise. To stand out amongst the throng – and after all, that IS one of the main objectives when trying to convey a strong message – there is a greater requirement than ever to make sure that your content is different to and better than everything else out there.

When we speak of ‘good content’ we do not for one minute suggest that it needs to contain the longest words, the most complicated sentences, Victorian-style prose. Yes, the grammar needs to be good and yes, correct spelling / tenses / terminology is non-negotiable, but the single most important factor is that it must be INTERESTING. It may be difficult to gauge what will grab the interest of every person (and to try to please everybody we realise, with increasing certainty, is an impossible task) but the key to at least standing a chance of shining brightly is to write something which is thought-provoking.

Sadly we often see exactly the same content being regurgitated across the internet. If we are simply presented with the same facts, the same stats, the same obvious conclusions then we tend to switch off. The most effective pieces are those which make us reconsider our opinion, educate us on a topic we knew little about or perhaps even simply entertain us. The ability to write in this way, regardless of the word count or format, is a talent which has been put to good use for many, many years in printed media.

The suggestion we non-Millennials are trying to put forward here (whilst trying to secure a place for our brethren in the foreseeable future) is that a good PR campaign today continues to be a mix of on-line and traditional media and, whilst the proportions of each will inevitably continue to change, the need to generate ‘text with a purpose’ will not. In most organisations (as in most PR companies) there is a broad range of skills to call upon and effective utilisation of each and every one of these is undoubtedly the key to clear messaging and, ultimately, making the best impression.