Nice article on the skills/attributes of new public relations professionals. I have to highlight this blog entry because it reminds me of what is often missing in school district communications. Dave Fleet divides up his blog entry into traditional vs new attributes.

As I review Dave Fleet’s list, the one that jumps out at me is the difference between microblogging and social networking/media. I have a better understanding now between what FriendFeed and services like Ping.fm can do, which is essentially, to share your updates about whatever to a variety of services. This is important because you may be developing an audience in multiple spaces…for example, although I usually share ideas via Twitter, it’s my Facebook audience that is more likely to respond. I could share updates via Plurk, and they would go to Twitter and Facebook. If I share via Ping.fm, they go to Twitter, Plurk, Facebook…and that includes blog entries, etc.

It’s a lot of fun figuring out what goes where and finding the right tool that will disseminate information to all my networks. Right now, it’s a contest between Friendfeed (just acquired by Facebook) and Ping.fm. I’m leaning towards Ping.fm but FriendFeed has TONS of services it interacts with…but no toolbar or anything to post to it. Ping.fm does.

Here is what my FriendFeed services window looks like:

    • Try launching something using social media alone and you’ll appreciate the gap that traditional media can leave if it’s lacking
    • Writing
    • Communications skills
    • Attention to detail – nothing will drive your colleagues…mad like poorly-edited work. Proofread everything.
    • Media relations – you’ll probably be doing media relations throughout the majority of your career.
    • Proactiveness – if you don’t know an answer to a question, first try to research the answer. If you can’t find the answer, ask. Whatever you do, don’t just sit there until you approach the deadline for your work.
    • Work ethic – public relations isn’t a 9-to-5 job.
    • Alongside the regular attributes that I think new PR pros should have, I would add a whole new list of attributes related to the online work
    • Blogging
    • Microblogging
    • Social networking tools
    • SEO – some parts of search engine optimization
    • Coding – basic HTML, PHP, VBScript
    • RSS, RSS Readers – I consider an understanding of RSS to be central to people doing any work in social media.
    • Blogger relations
    • Social media ethics – everyone has their own lines when it comes to ethics. Know where yours lie and how you feel about topics like astroturfing, ghost blogging, sock puppets and other common ethical issues

So microblogging/socialnetworking/social media–which are catch-all terms that get used interchangeably–really involve, for me, finding ways to have them work together to minimize the time/effort to get the word out (and in). Right now, Friendfeed and Ping.fm seem the best ways to accomplish that and I’d be showing “PR Professionals” that those are tools to use.

I’d show educators, but we don’t want to allow them access to social networking/media because they might say something during the work day–even though they are accountable for anything they say, on or off work–that the organization wouldn’t like. We need a more enlightened perspective but that can only come after conversations with stakeholders.

My Ping.fm services:

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