Are you a Digital PR unicorn?

Digital PR skills are in high demand

I recently came across a startling figure about Comms/PR people and, while I have to admit I have seen it coming for years, it still shocked me. 

I was talking to a friend who is in Marketing and PR/Comms recruitment and she mentioned how tough the market is at the moment.

Naturally I thought it would be due to Covid and the increasing number of people looking for new roles or the lack of them. And while that was part of it, she said there are two bigger issues emerging. 

The first one is the disconnect between what employers want and the current skill sets available in the market.

She estimated that out of all the great Comms people she has on her books, less than 20% actually fit the brief for what employers are now looking for in a Comms/PR pro…20%!

The big disconnect – DIGITAL SKILLS!

Covid-19 has fast-tracked the need for Digital PR skills

 This year has seen many things change and put under scrutiny – including the way we communicate to our audiences. Digital has become pivotal to our work given our audiences are more reliant on digital than ever before.

 Covid seems to have also been the catalyst for employers pushing the fast forward button on that. Not only do they want new employs to have solid traditional PR skills, they also want that ‘unicorn’ who has a comprehensive understanding of Digital PR and how it all works together. 

But it seems our industry hasn’t been fast enough at evolving those skills yet (despite little old me trying!!).

And when I say digital skills – I don’t just mean understanding how to run social media campaigns.

It’s bigger than that.  

Digital requires Comms people to now understand and design our work to impact a brand’s overall online authority, visibility, reputation and trust – not just raise awareness in the moment on social or media channels. 

The second issue is that of the 20% of people on her books that fit employer requirements, most of those were expats who had recently returned home.

So what about the other 80% of Comms/PR pros currently looking for roles? Why have they not upskilled to Digital PR yet?

I don’t want to bang my own drum here but I have been saying for several years already that our industry needs to evolve our skills and I couldn’t think of a better time than now – regardless of whether you are currently in employment or not.

So today I thought I would leave you with seven key Digital PR questions to ponder. If you answer no to more than two, then maybe you should think about evolving your Digital PR skills this year too. I promise it will change the way you see and do PR/Comms forever!

Key Digital PR questions to ask yourself:

1. Does your PR campaigns and content go wider than just press releases and being solely reliant on media? 

2. Do you measure your success beyond column inches, likes, followers and sentiment?

3. Do you understand the value of online engagement such as shares and backlinks for a brand’s overall online authority? 

4. Do you understand the fundamentals of Search and how it can help grow your brand/client’s online visibility and authority in the short and long-term?

5. Are you using data to understand what your audience wants (rather than just what your brand thinks or wants to say) and building campaigns around that data?

6. Are you using an integrated mix of channels – owned, earned, shared and amplified (paid) to ensure you reach your audiences…or are you still relying on just media and organic social?

7. Do you gear your content properly with SEO to ensure it can compete and be found online? 

Digital PR unicorn


Check out my Digital PR online course or the next date for my live Digital PR online workshop in October.