Guest post by Susan Daniels

Being in public relations today is by no means an easy task. With the internet becoming an increasingly popular avenue for spreading the word about a business, event, or product, PR specialists have to be more on the ball than ever before. In fact, the position now practically requires a PR specialist to also be a novice web developer.

Unfortunately, very few PR specialists received training which included social media and web development, and now may need to seek additional training through an online college class or two. The way in which the public interacts with businesses and organizations has changed dramatically. The common public has greater connectivity than ever before, and no longer does it look to the newspapers or TV news anchors for the latest information. Instead, individuals get online and find the information they want and need themselves without having to wait until the next day or the 5 o’clock new for the latest events.

The way an organization looks on Facebook is just as important as their in-person reputation with the local community, and PR specialists need to be well aware of the various types of technologies they will be dealing with on a day-to-day basis. But who has time to sit down in a web development course when there are meetings to be had, appearances to be made, and press releases to be written all throughout the day?

Very few PR specialists do, and that’s why taking an online college class may be the most ideal.

An online college class affords current professionals the opportunity to enhance their skills on their time and at their own pace. No need to worry about making it to class on time or striving to keep up appearances with professors and classmates in addition to all those you have to do so with on a day-to-day basis. After a hard day’s work, you can come home, change into your pajamas, pour a cup of hot tea, and continue with your course work.

What continuing education offers public relations specialists is the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the internet, computers, and basic programming. While a PR specialist doesn’t need to worry about becoming an IT specialist as well, they do need to have a basic understanding of the internet and web development so that they can help protect and promote their organization’s image. Over 90 percent of consumers research a business or organization online before giving it their patronage, and you can bet that if they see that a company’s in-person image isn’t consistent with its online image they won’t give it their business.

Online reputation management is just as important in protecting a company’s brand as is traditional reputation management. Public relations specialists need to know how to do basic website manipulations, how to interact with social media sites, and how to properly manage a company’s various websites. They don’t need to be a HTML or CSS guru, they just need to know how to work with these types of media and information sources so that they can provide a more well-rounded promotion of the company they work for.

Receiving the education needed to work well with social media sites and basic websites will help PR professionals more thoroughly enhance the images of the companies they work for. In fact, having the knowledge of web development will also make PR specialist more enticing to employers, and in this job market, being in high demand at the expense of taking an online course or two is definitely worth it.

About the author
Susan Daniels is an internet marketer for 43a.com. In her spare times she likes to write guest posts for marketing related blogs.

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