What does a modern-day PR professional do?

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    • 1st October 2018

    Leeds is a vibrant digital hub with creative skills across the sector. Public relations skills covering the digital needs of brands is a vital addition to any Leeds based creative agency.

    But what does a modern-day PR professional actually do?  And what career challenges do they face?

    If you’re curious about PR jobs in Leeds, read on for some tips on these roles in Leeds.

    The changing face of PR jobs in Leeds

    When people talk about PR, a busy newsroom immediately comes to mind. But a digitally minded PR role is now needed, especially in Leeds.

    A modern-day PR professional will be looking towards campaign ideas that also boost SEO or social followers.

    Campaigns are about the reach and overall impact on the brand.

    This includes tying PR campaigns into overall marketing and growing awareness through a combination of coverage and social reach, as well as finding influencers engaged with the right audience for a brand.

    Agencies across marketing and digital disciplines need team members with PR skills suitable for online publications and websites.

    Many agencies were previously looking for all-rounder digital pros, but jobs in PR are changing and the value of a digitally minded PR professional in the agency landscape is evidenced throughout successful case studies.

    What does a modern day PR professional do?

    man jumping in street
    Passion for PR

    In a nutshell, creative agencies are often looking for PR professionals who can handle the following tasks:

    • Planning and implementing creative campaigns to increase overall online brand awareness
    • Planning and implementing creative social media campaigns to increase overall awareness of a brand
    • Engaging with online influencers
    • Engaging with online magazines
    • Working with the design team to develop creative assets
    • Planning and analysing survey data

    These tasks are generally what a modern day PR professional will be doing on a day-to-day basis. But some agencies in Leeds will have specific tasks that vary from the ones mentioned above.

    The general core skills of a modern day PR professional are:

    • Strategic planning
    • Communication skills (to communicate with influencers and clients)
    • Presentation and pitching skills
    • Analytical skills (brand, audience and engagement analysing)
    • A creative mindset
    • Writing and editing skills
    • Leadership skills (for running ideation sessions)
    • Project management skills 

    Tools to help you

    To stay ahead of the curve, we encourage our candidates to stay up to date with handy online PR tools even for roles that are looking for digital all-rounders who have some PR insight.

    Having online PR skills is a great addition to CVs.

    The trend tools

    A strong PR campaign represents the brand, but also ties into the latest trending topics. Here are some tools to help you stay in the know.

    • Scan the web

    There’s a variety of trend tools like BuzzSumo and AlmightyPress that can be used to keep an eye on trends. Google Trends and RightRelevance need you to complete more research yourself, but they’re also free.

    • Scan the trending #s

    Speaking of free, scanning the general discussion around trending hashtags makes online PR research easier. Another tactic is knowing what days of the year are coming up (via Days of the Year) and learning to read the overall feeling within the public (healthier living, equality, housing crisis etc.) to identify suitable topics for PR campaigns.

    iPhone being held by a hand
    Your tech friend
    • Go local

    Local bloggers aren’t just people to speak to once you have a campaign. You should also stay in touch with them when developing a campaign. They have a link to your local area that’s been hard earned, so take a look at what topics are on their mind.

    Likewise, it’s good to be aware of what topics are being discussed and covered within the opinion section of your local news outlets.

    • Alternative news areas

    Just like going local, don’t underestimate the value of niche and specialised online resources. While one can easily lose hours browsing Bored Panda and Creative Bloq, these websites nevertheless offer an alternative and very creative view on what topics are currently most engaging to us as a general public.

    The tracking needs

    There isn’t just a growing need for online PR professionals in Leeds. There’s also a need for these candidates to understand how to track the engagement their work is bringing to brands. This is a key skill that differentiates the coverage viewed by traditional PR from PR online skills. Setting the campaign goals that includes overall reach, a variety of relevant audiences and the end result for the brand are vital.

    The following online tools are also useful for PR candidates looking to track engagement:

    • Hootsuite and SocialSprout

    These social media tools don’t just track follower numbers, but give good insight into overall engagement and brand sentiment.

    • Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insight

    Both Twitter’s and Facebook’s publishing tools give PR professionals a good idea of how a brand’s audience is currently responding to the creative output.

    • Google Analytics

    Driving traffic to the brand’s website, or increasing the overall time spent browsing content on the website, could well be a key performance indicator of a campaign. Modern day PR professionals need to be aware of using Google Analytics to highlight the engagement achieved in a PR campaign.

    online tracking tools
    Know what to track

    An overview of PR jobs in Leeds

    The large agency landscape of Leeds gives candidates the option to shop around, while creative agencies recruiting need to offer competitive propositions to ensure the top talent picks them.

    Luckily for candidates, agencies have a good understanding of the value a modern day PR professional brings to digital campaigns.

    However, not all in-house positions have the same insight into what engagement values the online PR approach actually brings to the table. Some in-house PR roles may even be a little stuck in the print-only PR mindset. While print PR has its benefits, it nevertheless requires different skills for success compared to online PR campaigns.

    At Gloss Recruitment we work very closely with the creative agencies of Leeds and have a great understanding of the team members these agencies are looking for.

    If you’re a modern-day PR professional looking for PR jobs in Leeds or a graduate looking to land your first role, then Gloss is the creative recruiter for you.

    We’re based in the heart of Leeds and have key relationships with the agencies across the city.

    Call us on 0113 209 5705 to discuss your career or submit your CV today.

    Alternatively, if you’re an agency looking for a cream of the crop candidate to join your team submit your vacancy with us.