Hey Google: How can PR pros evolve their careers?

I just finished What Would Google Do? and it got me thinking about how communications and public relations (PR) professionals can be more Google-y when it comes to evolving their careers.

Published in 2008, What Would Google Do? describes how author Jeff Jarvis observed Google as a paver of new roads by empowering people with information. It created new industries online, and led other companies and industries to go the way of the dinosaurs if they resisted change.

What can communications and PR pros do to ensure they remain leading-edge, competitive, marketable, and of course, to avoid going extinct in the job market too? Read on for two suggestions.

What learnings from Google can help communications and PR pros in their careers?

Learning 1: Evolve in your role

The communications and PR field is always changing. Being able to think about what’s next and how you can provide it will set you apart. For example, it’s good to secure media coverage, but using website software to post the coverage to your company’s or client’s website, and then tracking website visitors using Google Analytics, is excellent. Expanding your skillset outside of “traditional” communications and PR functions can make you stand out from the crowd in a job search, and also enable you to help your company or client more.

Strategic professional development, like virtual conferences and courses, can help you get these skills. For example, IABC Academy (which I just enrolled for!) has a wealth of educational content targeted at professional communicators. Or, sign up for the Google Analytics Academy to better understand a website’s back-end metrics.

Learning 2: The niche economy rules

Rather than communicating from one to many, the groundwork that Google laid enables two-way communication within communities that have formed based on niche interests. Communications and PR pros can target their campaigns at these micro audiences who could be interested in their stories or pitches. Think bloggers, Facebook groups, local news outlets, social media influencers with small followings (“micro influencers”) and community news.

Although top-tier publications, like The Globe and Mail or Good Morning America, will always be the gateway to mass exposure to messages, having genuine and engaging dialogues with the right niche communities can actually move the needle in terms of sales of products or services. Keep this in mind the next time you craft a media list or monitor for coverage.

Have you read What Would Google Do? Share your key takeaway(s) in the comments below.

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