By Precious Little
I gained so much from PRSSA National this year, but the most enriching session I attended was the Living Legends of PR session. I had been struggling with how to position myself in this really competitive job market and this session really helped me realize a lot about this new generation of PR professionals.
The professionals spoke about new company structures, particularly in the PR agency setting. They talked about how the channels we use to communicate have changed, and will continue to change. We have to be willing to transform and be innovative in the way we use these channels to deliver messages. I really enjoyed learning about the G4 model, a PR agency internal structure that abandons rankings and instead focuses on communities (strategists, creators, connectors and catalysts). This brought up an interesting concept that calls for PR people to either be specialists or generalists.
I had to decide where I fit into this new age of PR professionals. Am I a generalist? Or am I someone that has a specific niche that should be the focus of my career ambitions. These professionals believed that we have to specialize because our jobs have become way too complicated for everyone to remain generalists.
I personally believe that the more seasoned of a professional you become the more knowledge and expertise you acquire in several areas of PR and thus you are a generalist. The most important thing that I took away from this session was the fact that people are looking for PR professionals with unique perspectives. I reflected on my life experiences, who I am, where I want to be professionally and personally in ten years and how that impacts my work ethic and the things that I have been involved in throughout my collegiate career.
All of these things are important in branding yourself (see below). All of these things are important when you are preparing for an interview and you need to explain to them who you are and why you are the best fit for the position.
This session was by far the most inspirational. It made me feel like I was actually ahead when I have felt so far behind for so long.