Reader Question: How Is Social Media Changing PR Jobs?

Kendall Winstanley, a North Hastings High School student in Bancroft Ontario asks:

I am a student in grade 12 who is interested in a career in public relations.  I am planning on going to Durham College in the fall for PR.  Currently, I am doing a report on public relations professionals and how social media is affecting how their job is performed. I read your blog and was hoping that you could give me some more insight into the topic, so I can fully understand it and give the correct information.

First off, congratulations on choosing PR as your field of choice.  You couldn’t have picked a better industry.  Not only is it a rewarding and challenging field, there’s data which shows the industry is growing, a nice backup for your decision.  Employment of PR professionals is expected to increase 24% from 2008 to 2018, a much higher growth rate than the average occupation according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With that said, 18% of respondents to a recent Digital Readiness Report said they have no interest whatsoever in traditional PR.  And, for the vast majority of respondents, knowledge of social networks (80%), blogging, podcasting and RSS (87%), and micro-blogging (72%) is either important or very important when it comes to PR and marking hiring.

Further, last year’s PEW survey noted more people rely mostly on the internet for news than cite newspapers, and nearly six-in-ten Americans younger than 30 (59%) say they get most of their national and international news online (an identical percentage cites television).

Taken together it’s clear:  much (if not all) of the increasing demand of PR professionals will come from those fluent in digital skills.

To get to the question:  how is social media changing PR jobs? I’ve actually answered this in quite a few posts, such as:

But I’m just one person, and since many reading this are also active practitioners, I think the community can help Kendall even more.

So today I’m turning the blog over to readers here as many of you live and breathe PR.  If you have an insight to share, leave an answer sharing one way you see how social media is changing PR jobs.

image credit: Stephen Aaron Rees via Shutterstock