PR professionals are taking the lead over marketing and other departments in managing an organization’s use of social media communications channels. And when searching for and hiring PR practitioners, social media skills are nearly as important as traditional media relations skills, according to a new study of U.S. organizational communicators regarding their hiring activity.
The 2009 Digital Readiness Report, conducted by online newsroom provider iPressroom with support from PRSA, Trendstream and Korn/Ferry International, also identifies which new media and social media communications skills are most valuable to today’s hiring decision makers and recruiters.
The most commonly asked question during iPressroom founder Eric Schwartzman’s social media classes is: “Which new media or social media communications channels are most important?” he says in a release. “With more organizations realizing that there are tangible benefits to be gained from this type of engagement with their audiences, the importance of hiring individuals with advanced new media and social communications skills is increasing.”
Among the key insights from the study are:
o Public relations leads marketing in the management and oversight of all social media communications channels within organizations.
o Marketing leads public relations in the management and oversight of bulk e-mail communications and search engine optimization.
o Social networking, blogging and microblogging skills are the three most important social media communications skills for job candidates to have, according to marketing and PR hiring decision-makers.
o Most organizations are currently considering hiring social media specialists.
The results of the survey also show that there is a persistent degree of hiring activity among organizational communicators despite the recession:
o 48 percent had hired a PR/marketing professional in the last 12 months.
o 36 percent plan to hire a PR/marketing professional in the next 12 months.
o 17 percent had no plans to hire, or had made no hires.
o 14 percent are in the process of hiring now.