The Surprising Ways PR Compensation Is Not Keeping Up With Emerging Skillsets

PR pros now spend a lot of their time navigating the social media terrain. They post tweets, distribute pictures on Instagram and create six-second video clips for Vine. Whew. While those skills certainly hold value for communicators, they may not be the essential element for career advancement.

Either that, or compensation trends aren’t keeping up with emerging business skillsets.

It turns out, according to the PR News 2013 Salary Survey, that PR disciplines that were around well before the rise of social media are still the most important skills to master for career advancement.

Indeed, 57% of PR executives cited relations as the most important skill to have for advancement. Written communications was a close second, at 56%. True, those skills are now applied to social and digital media, but the survey indicates that the underlying skill, not the channel within which it’s used, is critical.

The survey, which was conducted late last year, took the pulse of 1,586 respondents. The respondents represented a wide variety of PR disciplines, including associate, director and CCO.

The survey held some other surprises. Measurement, for example—which PR execs are constantly reminded to make a central element of their campaigns—was cited by only 15% of the respondents as an important skill for career advancement.

So it’s little wonder that only 10% of the respondents cited financial acumen as a skill that’s important for career advancement, as measurement and financial acumen are the two sides of the same coin.

We’re more encouraged that 43% of respondents cited content creation as an important skill for advancement, what with every brand considering itself to be a media company and looking to PR to generate the lion’s share of the content.

Here is the full chart regarding the PR skills that are most important for career advancement:   Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 11.36.51 AMFor more on PR News' 2013 Salary Survey, click here.

Follow Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1