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.


  1. […] Eight Practices for Developing a PR Hybrid Professional ( […]

  2. […] covered her book here, and hosted her for an excellent webinar on the topic which you can still catch on-demand […]