September 24, 2017

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

ICCO Summit Considers Future of PR Industry

ICCO Summit Considers Future of PR Industry

The following article is written by Victoria Arscott. Victoria is a Marketing & Communications Manager with CARMA.

The Global International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) Summit, held on 29-30 September in Oxford, England brought together inspiring speakers from PR consultancies around the world, to address the challenges affecting the PR industry today.

The theme of “Talent, Inspiration and Innovation – Creating the Consultancy of the Future,” addressed the ubiquity of technology and its impact on the traditional dynamics of PR, the way in which we converse with today’s millennials and the skills sets required to do so.

A common observation amongst PR professionals at the ICCO summit is that the traditional route into PR is changing because the role of a PR professional itself is changing. This is not confined to a certain region but rather a global issue. As the roles between traditional, digital, social and advertising are blurring, new skill sets are required to adapt to the changing needs of the industry and its audience. PR now demands a combination of digital, social and creative disciplines as well as carefully crafted storylines to master the art of emotional connections and create loyal stakeholders, driving consumer actionism. PR agencies admit to recruiting data and behavioral scientists to better understand and engage with audiences, as brand cultures move away from promotion and intrusive advertising to authentic content that promotes close relationships and continuous dialogues, based on shared ideologies.

This dynamic of a changing profession is apparent in how talent recruitment and retention were discussed: the variety in needed skill sets has generated challenges as PR employees are now being poached not just by other PR firms, but also by marketing, advertising, and digital agencies. Another key point made with regard to talent recruitment is that speaking more than one language is increasingly important as firms compete and develop programs for global clients. Learn more about the talent issues by listening to the ICCO Summit C-Suite Podcast found at this link.

The media landscape is changing and the power of the consumer is growing.  If you’re able to gain their loyalty it is quite staggering the impact they can have on your reputation as brand advocators and defenders. For more on brand relationships—and to hear a passionate argument for the elimination of timesheets—please check out part two of the C-Suite Podcast from the ICCO Summit.

As citizen journalism builds momentum, the need for appropriate content and strategies to manage communities becomes ever more apparent.

PR is about changing attitudes and mindsets. It’s based on a coalescence of data; intimate knowledge of business models, insights and foresights. Attention spans are dwindling, so impact is key, creating content that builds emotional connections, a sense of belonging and inclusion, and engages consumers to take real action.

To gain more insights on the future of PR from the ICCO summit visit the C-Suite Podcast for part three here.

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