Gini Dietrich

Eight Practices for Developing a PR Hybrid Professional

By: Gini Dietrich | February 21, 2012 | 

We’re trying something new with the Spin Sucks Pro webinars.

We’re recording ahead of time so, while you’re watching the video, the expert is available to answer questions, via chat, during the full hour.

We think this will drive more engagement and learning because, as an attendee, you’ll be fully focused as your questions are answered immediately.

Because of this new practice, I get to see the videos ahead of time (there are some advantages to founding a company) and I watched Thursday’s webinar last night.

I have to admit, I’m so excited about what Deirdre Breakenridge is presenting, I couldn’t wait until after it airs to tell you about it.

She has a new book coming out called Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional. It doesn’t come out until April (you can pre-order), but we’re lucky to have her talk about it ahead of time.

Throughout the webinar, she discusses what she calls the hybrid PR professional. This is the person who works with marketing, advertising, digital creation, PR/communication, and brand building.

But it doesn’t stop there. The hybrid professional reaches out to other departments, including legal, IT, customer service, and R&D.

She even goes so far as to show the career path for the hybrid professional, which you can use during your reviews to show your bosses where you’d like to go in this new position and what they can expect you’ll deliver, in terms of responsibilities.

But where you’ll find the most value is in her discussion about the eight new strategic practices for the hybrid professional.

I’ll give you a little sneak peak.

1. PR Policymaker

The PR policymaker is just that; the person creates the policies that are needed for not just social media use, but for the integration of traditional and news. Deirdre teaches you how to create an audit in order to begin to develop a policy. Then she shows you how to develop a matrix that lists all of the weaknesses or liabilities your company or client has. Then how to find best policy practices in your industry. Finally she shows you how to take all of that information to create the policy that includes every discipline, not just “here is what we want you to do on social media.”

2. Internal Collaboration Generator

The internal collaboration generator starts with good internal communication to figure out what kinds of tools are needed or taps into the platforms already available. Deirdre talks about three different phases (which fits every size company) and includes tools such as Google docs and Basecamp, Vyew and Skype, and enterprise solutions such as Sharepoint. The internal collaboration generator is focused on breaking down the silos and getting everyone to work together (a concept Geoff Livingston and I discuss at great length in Marketing in the Round).

3. PR Technology Tester

The PR technology tester does just that – tests the new technologies. Deirdre shows you what it means to become a technology tester and how to leave IT to do what they should be doing instead of uploading to the newsroom or inserting the proper links or making sure the photos are where they need to be. The PR technology tester works with content management systems and learns new technologies that allow everyone to be more efficient.

4. The Communication Organizer

The communication organizer listens, creates a content development approach, and develops a playbook for the entire organization to use. Deirdre teaches you how to listen first in order to understand how to develop the relevant content. She shows you a two-prong approach for content development: Using existing content and changing it to make it social and how to identify community interests that can be addressed through content. Then she shows you how to create a playbook.

5. The Pre-Crisis Doctor

The pre-crisis doctor creates a plan that brings in legal and communication before a crisis occurs. Deirdre discusses the different types of comments that could create crisis such as general company questions, customer service complaints, spam, personal service, bad experience, and misguided information. She shows you how to listen for those types of comments, but also how to create a comment response chart that helps mitigate issues before they become fires.

6. The Relationship Analyzer

It won’t come as a surprise to you that one of the new practices of the hybrid PR professional is the relationship analyzer. Deirdre shows you how to leverage your influencers to help you grow relationships. She also gives you some tools that make you more efficient, such as Traackr and Twiangulate. I was kind of bummed to see I’m not in the screen grab of her own network of influencers. I need to do more work there!

7. The Reputation Task Force Member

The reputation task force member compares sentiment on platforms, reviews emotion and tone, looks at competitors, analyzes influencers, and ties it all to customer confidence. Deirdre shows you how strong ethics, brand police, and social voice make up the member and what it means to manage the reputation of your company or your client’s brands.

8. Master of the Metrics

From where I sit, this is the most important one. The master of the metrics learns how to build the strategy. Deirdre shows you have to create the objectives and how to get the entire organization moving toward those goals. She has a fantastic chart that shows you what different people want to see, in terms of results, and the specific data to give them. So, if you report directly to the executive team, she gives you a list of metrics to give them every week. She also shows you how to develop the goals and provides an example of a dashboard report.

Join the Webinar

If you aren’t sold yet, you can view Deirdre’s intro video, which is right over there. Look right. In the sidebar. At the top. Yep. Right there. Click play.

Or, if you’re reading this in your email or on your Reader, you can click here and it will magically appear.

The best part of the entire webinar, though? There are really, really good charts and graphs you can shamelessly steal for your programs.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a one person band or on a large team…she has a solution for you.

The webinar is $50, which is more expensive than her book. But I think it’s worth it. And not just so I can buy more shoes.

Even if you don’t take away something from every practice she outlines, I guarantee you’ll have at least three actionable items.

It’s Thursday (Feb. 23) at 11 a.m. CT. You can register by clicking here.

If you miss it live, we’ll have the video available, on-demand, tomorrow afternoon.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • This will be perfect for your special appearance tonight! Going to assign my students to read this today…

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller Really? I can do that.

      • @ginidietrich no. i expect a song and dance.

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller Um, too bad.

        • @ginidietrich @KenMueller (me chanting…fists and all…) “SONG AND DANCE SONG AND DANCE”

        • ginidietrich

          @rachaelseda You! Zip it!

  • Looks like it should be a great conversation between @ginidietrich and deirdre breakenridge the book also looks like a good read for those coming to the position and thinking they can spin, spray and pray.

    • ginidietrich

      @jeffespo It’s really good timing, in the middle of the PR definition discussion. We no longer have just one job. And Deirdre does a fantastic job of detailing what that means and where you fit, no matter your level.

      • @ginidietrich I think it will be more eventful and smarter than the paper tiger “redefining” of PR. Am I jaded and cynical, yes but hey when you got folks making up fake blogs and comment handles, the industry has some better things to clean up than a definition. But then again someone paid the worst offender of those actions to pen a PR book…

        • ginidietrich

          @jeffespo Sigh…I get there are dishonest professionals in every industry, but it certainly seems to hit PR more often.

        • ginidietrich

          @jeffespo Awesome. Not.

        • @ginidietrich I am sorry for passing that to you. It was unfair and mean. But shows the root of why I had no problem switching career paths to focus more on social, at the end of the day it is all about relationship building and making good things happen for your company or client and not being the story. I have friends in the PRSA and respect the organization, I just see the whole redefinition as a publicity stunt (that worked BTW) unless they can police the industry of sorts like the IOC or the bar association.

        • ginidietrich

          @jeffespo I don’t think it was a publicity stunt. I think they truly are committed to redefining the industry and creating standards around measurement. But they didn’t go about it the right way and they’re sticking their heads in the sand with the criticism.

        • @ginidietrich question is can they police said standards? I believe them when they say they want to create the standards but just wonder about getting the scumbags in line.

        • ginidietrich

          @jeffespo I don’t think they can or will. I pushed them pretty hard on this last year, when the whole Burson/Facebook thing came out. But they said they’re a membership organization so they don’t have the authority to police the standards. I guess we’ll have to create it.

        • @ginidietrich Sweet so do we get badges?

          I remember that post/discussion well but I guess we have to grin and say it is what it is.

        • ginidietrich

          @jeffespo If we create it, we can have badges!

  • John_Trader1

    I have no idea how you will be able to cram all of this super useful and relevant info into one hour but it looks like a fantastic webinar @ginidietrich — looking forward to the new book from Deidre too. Anyone who thinks that the modern PR pro only does a few things these days is seriously kidding themselves.

    • ginidietrich

      @John_Trader1 This goes back to the discussion about redefining PR and moving the industry forward. As an industry, we’re still stuck in the stone age. I love how Deirdre is doing her part to get PR pros to discover there is so much more to what they can be doing.

    • dbreakenridge

      @John_Trader1 @ginidietrich Hi John! Yes, the modern PR pro knows that PR has expanded with great opportunities. The eight new practices showcase how we can raise our strategic profiles within our organizations and/or with clients. We are definitely busier as a result of social media, but it’s worth it! Thanks 🙂

    • @John_Trader1@ginidietrich EXACTLY! When Deirdre and I did the recording, wondered the same. It’s packed with information. The beauty of it is, you can always get the book if you want to dig deeper into any of the eight.

  • dbreakenridge

    Hi @ginidietrich! Thank you so much for giving everyone a sneak peak at the Webinar and the contents of my new book. The eight practices are probably just the beginning as we continue to redefine PR for the industry. As for the Relationship Analyzer tools …. the screen grabs are a slghtly older snap shot in time. I bet if I used the MentionMapp right now or the FB Touch Graph, you’d be there!! Thanks again for hosting my session and I look forward to Thursday’s program.

    • ginidietrich

      @dbreakenridge LOL!! You are too funny.

      I, too, think this is the beginning as we redefine PR for the industry. It’s really important for everyone to understand the roles are completely changing and we all have new skills to learn.

      • @ginidietrich@dbreakenridge Yes and learning from professionals who not only have valuable experience and expertise to share…but who are most importantly passionate mentors, is something I find priceless for myself and other professionals just getting started in the field. So thank you both and @Lisa Gerber for making it happen!

  • I’ve seen it three times. I told @dbreakenridge it’s like a cult film – you have to watch it several times because each time, you find something new. 🙂

    This is one of those sessions that will help PR/marketing professionals make themselves indispensable. I’m excited about it too.

    • ginidietrich

      @Lisa Gerber I’m excited to see it again on Thursday. It’s super valuable.

      • @ginidietrich @Lisa Gerber Yes and I’m looking forward to seeing how the chat works out. Will everyone be able to see what others are asking or is just the presenter able to see this?

        • @rachaelseda @ginidietrich In the chat, everyone can see what everyone is saying. If you want to ask a question without everyone seeing, you can do that in the questions pane, and address it to “presenters” or “all.”

        • @Lisa Gerber @ginidietrich That’s awesome! I used to use Elluminate for webinars and I love that it let everyone participate in the chat function. I always learn so much from the questions and comments of other participants so I’m glad to hear that!

  • Staci Harvatin

    Is the hybrid professional something new or something that has just received a name? I think it is entirely relevant. I have been working in this manner for the last 3 1/2 years. I just thought it was par for the course.

    • ginidietrich

      @Staci Harvatin I agree, Staci. Us too. But we’re in the minority.

      • dbreakenridge

        @ginidietrich @Staci Harvatin Staci, yes, there are hybrids out there and definitely not a new concept. It’s just more prominent as a result of social media and many PR pros still need to embrace the concept. Thanks!

  • I was already excited to attend this webinar and now I am just way too jazzed I can barely sit still!! Thank you for this great synopsis and I am very much looking forward to learning with @dbreakenridge and all of you on Thursday!

    • ginidietrich

      @rachaelseda I was typing as fast as I could last night and you see I ended up with a 1,000 word blog post. I’m excited to see it again on Thursday…where I’m not tying and can just absorb.

  • I”m a huge fan of @dbreakenridge ‘s vision of a hybrid professional. She’s been saying that for years and it’s nice to see her idea is starting to catch on!

    • ginidietrich

      @Frank_Strong Hopefully her book will help get it implemented, too!

    • dbreakenridge

      @Frank_Strong Thank you Frank! I love sharing the ideas, and I’m seeing more hybrid champions among us 🙂

  • Sounds like this ought to be degree program taught at business universities. I’m sure it would be more than $50 to enroll in classes, but a masters degree in Hybrid PRology would be pretty useful these days!

    • ginidietrich

      @SociallyGenius I’ll bet she is beginning to teach it…maybe we can get it in major universities, too!

  • DecalGirl

    @ginidietrich Excellent.

  • iyadb

    @ginidietrich the future belongs to the hybrid kid

    • ginidietrich

      @iyadb I think so too

  • alyssaLvan

    @ginidietrich so great. As a young PR pro, I’ve been thinking about a lot of these ideas as I shape my career. We def do need to hybridze.

  • CVilleKim

    @ginidietrich Nonprofit Mar-Comm folks have been wearing all these hats for years!

  • ForthMetrics

    @ginidietrich We agree – Master of Metrics is the most important one . . . but then we would say that!

  • TylerOrchard

    @dbreakenridge Looks incredible! @ginidietrich did a remarkable job at highlighting its usefulness. I’m captivated by the policy element.

    • ginidietrich

      @TylerOrchard I am super stoked about that webinar!

      • TylerOrchard

        @ginidietrich Envious you got the sneak peak!

        • ginidietrich

          @TylerOrchard There is an advantage to owning the joint. AN advantage.

        • TylerOrchard

          @ginidietrich Oh, I’m sure there’s a few more!

    • dbreakenridge

      @TylerOrchard Thank you & yes, @ginidietrich’s post was excellent. I love the PR Policymaker practice. I try to provide good action steps.

  • dbreakenridge

    @Frank_Strong Thanks for the RT Frank! How’s everything by you?

    • Frank_Strong

      @dbreakenridge Going! Getting short!

  • TylerOrchard

    @Frank_Strong What a great read. Not to mention, the webinar sounds incredible. Love the PR policy-maker element.

  • Unfortunately can’t be there for the webinar, but I’m psyched you’re trying this format. This is how we do webinars for the Think Tank and it works really really well!

    • ginidietrich

      @maddiegrant The next thing we’d like to try is to have everyone watch the video beforehand and then spend an hour with the expert asking questions and learning how to execute.

      • @ginidietrich Ooh that’s an awesome idea. Might steal it 🙂

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