PR Leaders Share What Skills Incoming Pros Need to Succeed in Era of Uncertainty

[Editor's Note: Recently, we celebrated the PRNEWS Platinum Awards in New York. Afterward, we held a virtual roundtable with three honorees: Amity Paye, senior director of communications, Color of Change (PR Professional of the Year/nonprofit); Cameron Potts, CCO, Deluxe Corporation (PR Professional of the Year/corporation); and Jee Nah Walker, EVP, Kaplow (PR Professional of the Year/agency).

The discussion highlights:

why young PR pros should work on patience and interpersonal skills
that PR counsels perspective when companies want to take stands on myriad issues and
how media relations has changed owing to a lack of trust in the press

The conversation was edited for length and clarity.]

PRNEWS: What changes have you seen in PR during the last several years?

Amity Paye, Senior Director of Communications,  Color of Change

Amity Paye: There's a lot more deep narrative work that goes into PR. [For example, you] name bad actors more explicitly, [use] active versus passive tense…[and] are more concise, but also use language that audiences really want to hear….

Cameron Potts: PR and communication is setting policy for companies now...especially during the pandemic, when things shut down. [Since PR] has the pulse of...the employee and client bases...we were asked about responding to situations, not just from a communication standpoint, but what policies mean for the company….

Jee Nah Walker: The biggest shift is industry values....

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