29 not-very-technical things that every PR person should know

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Unashamedly inspired by 25 Not Very Technical Things Journalists Should Know, I thought about the not very technical things that PROs should know. When I first started thinking about this piece, it was more to do with the gaining momentum of digital techniques, but given a recent PR Week article citing a report that claimed PR agencies cut cut staff by 40 per cent it took on a new tone as recommendations for PR people to include in their personal career survival strategies.

If you don’t know these things, acquire the knowledge by reading around; if you are agency-side and no one in your business know these things, start looking for another job – because you will need one soon.

In this time of financial constraints your clients will look for you to maximise the impact of campaigns with little or no additional cost to them. In order to do this, you need to embrace the following skills.

  1. How to manage your email inbox: this article from The Times is a good place to start
  2. How to touch type – if you can’t manage your email box or have to do hunt-and-peck typing how are you going to find the time to think about working smarter?
  3. How to create a link. Look at the source code of this blog post or Google it if you don’t know how.
  4. How to embed photos and videos
  5. How to buy a domain name
  6. How to set up a flickr account
  7. How to buy an ad on Google AdWords
  8. How to use an RSS reader
  9. How to set up Google Alerts
  10. How to do some advanced searches such as phrase matches, Boolean search terms, and site-specific searches
  11. How to conduct research efficiently and effectively using online tools
  12. How to understand the nature of a community and assess a blogs authority
  13. How Wikipedia works and how to get involved in the process for having a post changed
  14. Understand the nature of conversations and their appropriateness for your client
  15. How to upload photos and video to the web
  16. Understand the basics of how to record audio
  17. How to take interesting photos and the basic operation of a digital SLR
  18. Understand the basics of shooting video
  19. Understand the simple data of web analytics tools
  20. How to use social networks, beyond Facebook and LinkedIn
  21. How to use Twitter
  22. Understand the basics of community management.
  23. How to use free online survey tools
  24. How to use tags
  25. How to use social bookmarking tools and have a collection of useful and interesting resources
  26. How to share a presentation online
  27. How to use FTP software to move large files about (I can’t believe that PR people often don’t know this, especially when many picture desks have made use of FTP servers for a good while)
  28. How to use online calendar services
  29. How to use event registration management systems

This list is a work-in-progress, I will tag Jonathan Hopkins, Becky McMichael, Jonny Rosemont and Stephen Davies to see if they have any additional pearls of wisdom to share with you. Also  feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments box.

Posts in this series

29 things: the basics of how to record audio

29 things: how Wikipedia works and how to get involved in the process of having a post changed

29 things: how to tweet

29 Things: Understand the nature of conversations and their appropriateness for your client

29 things: how to use Google for fun and profit

29 things: how to use an RSS reader

29 things: how to organise a PR account

29 things: how to embed pictures and video

29 things: how to create a link

29 things: how to touch-type

29 things: how to manage your communications platform

29 things for PR people

This was the post that started it all: 29 not-very-technical things that every PR person should know