I recently read two interesting blog posts about the chameleon that is modern mass communications. Dave Fleet’s post, 14 Key Attributes for New Public Relations Professionals, and Vadim Lavrusek’s post, 8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist, on Mashable.com, explore the skill sets aspiring journalist or public relations agent will need to succeed in an industry that is changing at a break-neck pace.
After reading these two posts, one thing is clear—new forms of media and the ability to use them effectively are going to be essential in the future of both these industries. Although, According to Fleet and Lavrusek, being able to create a thoughtful, well-written piece is still the most important quality media writers can have, a concept I found refreshing to read after spending my college career honing that particular skill, both writers seem to agree that the value of using social media like twitter, being able to maintain a blog and being proficient in the use of video and audio presentation cannot be stressed enough.
It is important to have an understanding of how to use different forms of media, because audiences are consuming online video stories more and more, while fewer people receive their news solely in a text format, according to Lavrusek.
The fact is that different media can tell stories in a different way. Audio and video formats can give a perspective to their audience that text simply can capture. For example, the tone and emotion behind a person’s words are tangible when the reader can actually hear them for themselves, while text can only try to describe the mood behind the words.
Dave Fleet’s post covered the importance of being proactive. In any field being proactive and going the extra mile, is important, but for a media worker, whose best friend is information, taking the time and putting in the effort to answer a question a writer may have is essential. Having a strong work ethic and putting in extra hours now and then is something that will get you noticed in the office, according to Fleet.
Along with reading these posts, I also had the oppurtunity to listen to former Star Tribune writer,Tim O’Brien, speak about his experiences in the industry. He also explained how new media and social networking are becoming unavoidable aspects of working in journalism or public relations.