Typically, “know it alls” aren’t crowd favorites, especially if they’re less-than-humble about hiding their in-the-know status. But, I think PR people have a responsibility to their bosses/clients to aim for being a know-it-all. (Just don’t obnoxiously flaunt your smarts.)
What am I talking about? Look at the role of the PR pro and how it’s evolving. Arik Hanson recently wrote a blog post outlining skills of tomorrow’s PR pro — everything from blogger outreach and social content creation … to basic programming skills and web analytics. Not to mention our more “traditional” roles of media relations, crisis communication, analyst relations, public affairs, event planning, and so on.
In addition to the various roles we play, even if you specialize in a specific function — such as social media or public affairs — technology is forcing you to know (and do!) more than ever before. It’s also your job to act as a filter, counselor, resource, trend-monitorer, quasi-beta tester, and general expert resource. Plus, it’s your responsibility to know the trends impacting your industries, what competitors are up to … the list goes on and on.
And, that’s why some of the best PR people I know are, in fact, know-it-alls. But, in a very good way.
Thanks to Jeana Harrington for inspiring this post.