Sally Falkow, APR, Meritus Media, Author of SmartNews
It’s that time of year when predictions and suggestions are made for the new year. Forbes made a list of the digital skills they see as the most important and TEKsystems polled 250 CMOs to find out what skills they’re looking for in 2018. Distilling all this data down into one list, here are my picks:
- Analytics: This one wins hands-down, no contest. If you are not already using analytics to measure your PR and content activities, it must be top of your list for 2018. Download the Google Analytics custom PR Dashboard we developed and get started. It’s free. If you dont know what to measure read this transcript of the #MeasurePR chat
- Content Strategy: CMOs are looking for people who can figure out what the audience needs and how to reach them at the right moment. Devising a content strategy that cuts through the noise and gets results requires quite a few skills: monitoring conversations, analyzing data and tracking results.
- Design: An awful lot of content today is visual – photography, original images, social media images and infographics. And video is growing at breakneck speed. The roles of writers, designers and videographers used to be separate, but those lines are blurring. Design skills are highly valued and likely to be more so in 2018.
- SEO: No matter how good your content is, if it’s not found and read it’s of no use at all. It’s been estimated that nearly 40% of customers find a company through search. Too much content that is well-conceived and written, has great visuals and is mobile friendly, falls short on SEO. And as the search algorithms are constantly updated, this is a skill that has to be updated too – it’s not a one-and- done training.
- Basic HTML/CSS: You don’t have to learn to build websites or program software, but it is highly desirable to know the basics. You should be able to make a link, or insert an image into an article or press release using the HTML editor of a platform. Learn how WordPress operates and be able to make small adjustments yourself. At the very least, be able to talk intelligently to IT, developers and webmasters.