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Career Advice

What the Changing Landscape in PR Means for Your Career

Mark Knight is a Director at Broadgate Mainland the London PR agency, specialists in financial services public relations amongst many other services.

The world of public relations has evolved substantially in recent years and logic dictates that this trend will only continue. Affected by such mediums as global communications, a shrinking marketplace, wider demographics and the inclination to develop niche sectors, the approaches taken in regards to this all-encompassing field likewise need to evolve. One way that this challenge has been addressed is through a new framework created by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). What are some of the basic tenets of such an approach and how can they directly (and indirectly) influence one’s success in this field?

Dominance Through Specialisation

Perhaps the most notable observation in recent times is the tendency for individuals and firms alike to seek more specialisation within their niche sector. While this may not necessarily be the case for multinational conglomerates, the truth of the matter is that public relations needs to be approached from a “scalpel” point of view as opposed to a “broadsword”. In simpler terms, PR firmsred-megaphone
which spread themselves too thin are not likely to be able to dominate multiple markets. The unenviable result could eventually be dilution and a lessened presence. Both of these are obviously dangerous within such a competitive landscape.

The CIPR Framework

Within such a malleable environment, it is clear that a framework which offers clarity, insight and competence is required. These are some of the primary features which are addressed within the new CIPR system. The four key areas addressed are:

  • Impact
  • Insight
  • Ideas
  • Implementation

After reading these four different concepts, it may already be clear that this is a hierarchical approach. In other words, one will build off of another. The goal here is to continue augmenting skill sets and turnkey approaches to deal with such an evolving marketplace. Also, a greater sense of communication can likewise take place between senior management and staff. This may result in more innovative approaches being espoused while levels of motivation and a “team” approach drastically increase motivation. As each element impacts (and builds upon) the others, a synergy can be achieved that would be unlikely with more traditional methods.

Enhancing Competence

The topic of competence was briefly mentioned earlier. This is another very important metric to be considered within the world of public relations. As several experts have noted (1), one of the challenges in regards to public relations is the fact that there are few initial barriers into this field and more importantly, no mandates for continuing professional development (CPD). Thus, it Career Changebecomes clear that a viable and clear framework should be implemented in order to help professionals and firms achieve greater levels of success.

Some of the benefits include the ability to benchmark skills, hire the right staff, provide career guidance, enhance professional development and provide guidelines in terms of definitions and best practices. Once again, it becomes clear that implementing a predefined approach will greatly benefit all of these areas.

Conceptualisation to Reality

Of course, highlighting different concepts and developing an industry-wide framework are two different things entirely. As excelling in this career is now heavily influenced by social media alongside traditional skills, it is likely that a rather proactive stance will need to be taken. Still, it is a fact that the aforementioned CIPR framework can be quite a valuable method to help you develop your career, avoid stagnation and excel in such a competitive environment. By offering you the insight and momentum, you will be able to stay ahead of the game and enjoy pronounced success.


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