What's the Ideal Profile for a Modern PR Person?

    by Brian Halligan

    Date

    October 14, 2009 at 8:29 AM

    I wrote an article last week entitled "Is PR Dead?" that seemed to touch a nerve.  In the article I said that I don't think PR is dead, but is in need of major re-invention .  There were over 40 comments and it seemed like the majority of them agreed that a re-invention is in order for many firms.

    Based on the re-invention I proposed in that article , I thought I'd follow-up with my thoughts on what the ideal profile is for a  modern PR professional  that I hope will be useful to those of you who are hiring a PR agency, looking to transform your own agency, looking to start a modern inbound marketing agency, or  looking to bring PR in house .

    I have come up with an acronym (DARCs) to describe the important characteristics required in an "inbound" PR agent.  These criteria are a derivative of the criteria we laid out in our recent ebook on how to hire " inbound " marketing staff.

    For more information on DARCs, downlad the free eBook: Are the Right People on Your Marketing Team? , an excerpt from my book Inbound Marketing .

    D -- Digital Natives:   Some people are good with hammers and wrenches while others are good with the web.  I think somehow we are either born with these particular genes or not, so make sure your modern PR agent is genetically predisposed to the internet.  Good sample questions:  How does Google decide organic ranking? What is RSS?

    A -- Analytical:   Your PR agent should be able to look at your analytics data and draw meaningful conclusions (or help you set it up so you can do so).  The PR agent should be able to look at your campaigns by funnel and figure out what is working and what is not and suggest where to double down.  Good sample questions:  Can you show me a spreadsheet you built with pivot tables and tell me the conclusions you drew from it?

    R -- Reach:  A traditional PR agent has tens or hundreds of contacts at traditional outlets.  A modern PR agent has thousands of followers between  Twitter Facebook , LinkedIn, and their own blog.  Good sample questions:  What is your  Facebook grade ?  What is your  Twitter grade ?  What is your  Blog grade ?

    C -- Content Creator:  A traditional PR agent connects with traditional media.  A modern PR agent helps  create content  that will attract new media (bloggers, Twitterers, etc.).  Good sample question:  Can you show me the piece of content you created that you are most proud of and why.

    S -- Strategic:   Ten years ago, you could buy your way to a successful launch with advertising and PR.  Today, the market is growing immune to those techniques, but if your idea/product is truly remarkable, it will spread on its own.  Therefore, it is more important than ever to have the right strategy because all the dollars in the world can't help you move an also-ran offering.  A modern PR agent should be very strategic and may have a background from a firm like Innocentive (Clayton Christiansen's strategy firm) or BCG.  Good sample questions:  Summarize  Blue Ocean Strategy  for me?  

    Do you like this acronym?  Do you have something better you could share with us?

    If you like this stuff, I wrote in a lot more detail about in the new Inbound Marketing book

    - @bhalligan

    Free eBook: Are the Right People on Your Marketing Team?

    DARC ebook HubSpot

    Download HubSpot's Free DARC eBook

    An excerpt fron Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah's new book, Inbound Marketing .


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