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The Ever Changing Structure Of Public Relations
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The Ever Changing Structure Of Public Relations


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  • 1. “ The Ever Changing Structure of Public Relations” PRSSA Julie Jarrett
  • 2. Top Trends
    • Digital and Interactive Communications (blogging, podcasts, digital presence)
    • Financial Communications (for public companies)
    • Reputation Management
    • Corporate Internal Communications
    • Brand Communication
  • 3. Technology has influenced all of these…
  • 4. Three functions technology has changed
    • Media Relations
      • How we communicate with journalists, media
      • 24/7 mentality with the media
    • Internal Communications
    • Speechwriting
      • How we communicate, sound bites, speeches have taken on a new format, are online immediately
  • 5. Influence of technology
    • New Media increases the need for quick responses
    • More focus on reputation and crisis management
      • Larger reputation management teams
  • 6. Examples of New Technology Impacting PR
    • Second Life, Avatars and Online Worlds 
    • Blogs
    • Podcasts
    • RSS Feeds
    • MySpace and Social Networking Websites  
    • YouTube and Video Sharing Sites
  • 7. Digital Communications
    • Be cautious with learning the nuances
      • Specifically what is considered new digital media
    • Need to have a merger of old line company experience with new media
      • Ex: Y2K, Bloggers
    • Digital communications agencies
      • - Quicker to be cutting edge
  • 8. Importance of merging experience
    • Traditional corporations embracing digital media
    • Need to maintain writing skills and other traditional communications skills in this space
    • Have a holistic view of communications
  • 9. Case Study: Coca-Cola
    • Evidence of the impact of technology on traditional, Fortune 500 companies
    • Coke had fallen steadily behind on Fortune’s Global list
    • Activist groups created websites against the brand, company could not ignore messages
    • Needed to position Coke externally within the digital community
    • Role required ability to maintain and launch “dark” sites, someone familiar w/ blogoshere
    • Balance new media audience with traditional audience
  • 10. Profile of Placed Candidate
    • BS in communications, U of Tennessee – 1994
    • Started – a dotcom he formed with his brother.  Business based in San Francisco.  Offered a lucrative deal to sell business and took it in 1995.
    • Joined – a dot-com based “agency” to serve other web based companies to meet needs of audiences. 
    • Joined Ketchum PR in 1998.  Helped to start eKetchum, worked for Fortune 100 to help position companies using blogs, podcasts, mobile phone marketing, RSS and social networking. 
    • Recruited to The Coca-Cola Company in 2006 as Director, Digital Communications. 
  • 11. Merger of Experience
    • Traditional and non traditional experience
    • How new hires within agency and corporate settings can make a difference
  • 12. Diverse experiences
    • Even if you have a specific passion (i.e. fashion, sports) gain diverse experiences through the agency side
    • Work on a variety of accounts to avoid being branded as “fashion PR” etc. too early in your career
  • 13. Hottest of Hot
    • Pharmaceutical product communications (agency or corporate)
    • Digital communications experts
    • Corporate financial communicators
    • Corporate writers and/or those new grads who make up the internal communications functions
  • 14. Investor Relations
    • Can fall under:
      • Communications
      • Finance, reporting to the CFO
    • How to break in:
      • NIRI
      • MBAs
    • Potential Career Track:
      • M&A
      • New Biz development and/or strategic planning
      • Treasury
  • 15. Post Enron
    • Companies are looking at inside employees to rotate
    • Caused a change in reporting earnings – more transparency and scrutiny
    • Want someone with tenure, trust, loyalty
    • Ability to speak to shareholders w/ historical view of the company
  • 16. Rotating IR
    • Used to groom those who are seen as future CEOs or heads of company
    • Educates them on the financial piece
    • Insiders know the financial history of the company, loyalty
  • 17. IR audience
    • Shareholders
    • Analysts
    • Wall Street
  • 18. Shareholder / financial comms
    • Shareholder communications getting puller out of IR, now referred to as financial communications
    • IR: speaks to analysts, Wall Street
    • FC: takes info from IR and communicates it in laymen’s terms for the shareholders, the media and general public
  • 19. Compensation Expectations
    • Entry-level corporate opportunities will pay more and are more challenging to land. Expect a base salary of $35,000.
    • Agency positions, starting at either the Account Coordinator or Assistant Account Executive level will begin at $28,000 - $32,000. Expect perks and rapid growth opportunities.
    • The sports, fashion and other “sexy” industries will begin anywhere between $25,000 to $30,000 with long-hours, but plenty of interesting incentives (free tickets, handbags etc).