Seven Truths: Trends That Will Affect Your Work as Students and Professionals [Leadership Rally Recap]

Courtesy of Skye Clayton, Dixie State University

Saturday’s Keynote and case study speaker was Keith Burton of Grayson Emmett Partners. His presentation covered seven truths that he believes are affecting students and professionals in the industry.

The seven truths, according to Mr. Burton are:

1) Average is officially dead.

The field of public relations is moving and changing quickly. If older models are being used and produced in this new age, the product won’t be effective.

2) The speed of disruption is unique and differentiating from the past.

Because changes are coming at us at a pace never experienced before, it’s crucial to keep up with the trends and even stay ahead of them. Clients want to be kept up to date and up to speed on the current trends, as well as remain revolutionaries in the minds of their stakeholders.

3) Corporate and agency models are broken.

Clients want diverse workforces but often aren’t able to financially support their employees. As a result, starting salaries are less than ideal. Therefore, having a specialized skill set will not be as beneficial as it once was. Agencies desire employees that are well rounded and can grow with the company’s brand.

4) The space between creative firms and consultancies has converged.

Because the profession is changing, other jobs are reacting to those changes. Marketing or accounting agencies, for example, are becoming more integrated businesses by incorporating public relations into their work. This means that new professionals will likely go up against seasoned professionals. Thus, newcomers will also have a wider variety of directions they can progress in as long as those directions are from an integrated, not a specialized, viewpoint.

5) Accountability is critical to our credibility and success.

Be honest and open with accountability. If it’s unclear where shortcomings are, the competitors will know. Also keep in mind that it is essential to remain strategic in planning and execution. Thoughtful deliverance of new models will be appreciated, as will an informed point of view on implications of an event that no one expected could occur.

6) Data is at the core of everything we do.

What stakeholders are experiencing moment-to-moment is more important than ever. Opinions, while still valuable, aren’t the only source of information anymore. Professionals are now able to see what their stakeholders are doing, what they like, want and feel in real time. This data is underused but far more critical for the future.

7) Convergence is the new return on investment.

Public relation professionals are now being challenged to create content on a variety of different platforms. If professionals remain in the silos that have been built they will never be exposed to changes and advancements in the field.

Mr. Burton’s presentation concluded with advice to the students. He emphasized the importance of staying engaged with different news outlets and remaining up-to-date on current events. New and basic skills should be viewed equally as they are both crucial to personal and professional success. When a conflict arises, it can be helpful to change the focus. Seeing the bigger picture in collaborations with clients and outside communities can bring together a different perspective.

The information above will undoubtedly continue to impact young professionals as they begin their careers. What additional advice do you have for students? Leave your comments down below.

Courtesy of Skye Clayton, Dixie State University


Lauren Palazola is a senior Communications major at Salem State University in Massachusetts. She currently serves as President for the SSU PRSSA chapter. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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