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

Tags: , , , | 1 Comment


About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Measurement Conference 

Media Relations ConferenceJoin PR News at the National Press Club on Dec. 11 for the Media Relations Conference, where you'll learn how to tie your media relations initiatives to business goals, use the right metrics to prove the success of your efforts, incorporate social media in a brand crisis and more.

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Crisis Management Guidebook


Crisis management is an art, not a science. In this edition of PR News’ Book of Crisis Management Strategies & Tactics, you will discover many different views on this art, and you are certain to find takeaways that will transform the way your organization handles crises. 

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.