When I started out in public relations, I wasn’t the digital guy. In fact, I took a much more traditional route. In a way, I grew up digital. I started working with some tech clients who wanted the next big thing in digital outreach — email blasts, websites and getting clients on Digg (remember when that was important?). Then, I made the move to a social media company.
My digital skills grew alongside the developing technology. It was great to see a new medium unfold and to see talented people work to make connections online like never before. I was working in a space where we connected with journalists and companies via Twitter and Skype — not press releases and phone calls.
Lately I’ve noticed a shift. Entry level associates are expected to know digital, while many older executives tend to be well-versed in more traditional PR. There’s a gap in middle management. At universities, it’s normal for students to pick a track — traditional or digital — and become an expert in one or the other. The two aspects of media relations are no longer merged.
At Spectrum, we take a different approach. It’s true we have our traditional people and we have our digital team, but everyone is expected to know a little of both. My digital skills would fall flat without a base understanding of marketing and public relations. Those on the traditional side need to be familiar with digital strategies as well.