Competencies 101 – Part IV – The third bucket: Content curation!

In the last column, I stated the competencies I feel are critical under the second bucket (Influencer engagement). This column is dedicated to the third of the four bucket’s (strategy, influencer engagement, content curation, and Digital PR) that I feel are key for PR professionals to stay super relevant in the times to come. 

The third bucket is content curation.

I don’t know whether content is king or queen. However, one thing is certain – It has garnered more importance than any of the modes that it flows through! If data is the new oil, content is the output when you process this data. 

One of the key roles that a communicator will have to play more often going forward is that of telling his/her organisations story. This in a consistent, clear and most importantly in a creative and compelling manner. Of course the content will have to be delivered on time, every time. The content will have to be repurposed in such a manner that it engages audiences across segments and touches their respective emotional chords! More so in an era where the attention spans are lesser that that of a Gold fish, which when last heard was about 7 secs! I can’t make a more compelling case of why this bucket is insanely important!

So let me share with you, what I feel are a few competencies or traits that are required by a PR professional to be a good content curator!

  • Articulation, creativity, writing and grammar

Gone are the times when a PR professional could just coordinate between the management and the journalist, set up meetings or just be a courier! Of course, many still choose to do that and not change. In a digitally influenced PR landscape, articulation, writing skills and presenting data in a lucid manner has become very important. Most importantly, content that is really effective is the one that that is timely or most of the times, real time and effectively shared across platforms. PR professionals will certainly have to build on this competency and enhance it to an expert level.

  • Video curating – recording and editing

YouTube is said to be the world’s second largest reputation engine. Videos fly faster than any other sort of content. There was a time when one needed elaborate setups for professional videos. Today news are broadcasted using high end smart phones. With cost pressures heading north, the onus would be on the communicators to be smart and churn out video based communications, again in real time. Are we geared up for that? Do we still have the luxury of time to wait for a crew to come in, shoot and then take three days to send back the ‘first cut’ edits!! 

  • Interviewing, podcasting

Every one with a smart phone and a knack of asking the right questions is a journalist today. Digital platforms enable amplification. Also content is floating all around and it is up to us when and where to tap it. PR professionals have the opportunity to create testimonials for their brands at every appropriate opportunity. These third party endorsements fly better and are more authentic.  Podcasts have made a comeback and can be used effectively by PR professionals to frame narratives through thought leaders.

  • Packaging and repurposing

The kind of opportunities that open up for a communications professional once content and messaging is sorted. Today multiple platforms are available and each audience segment has a different consumption point. The trick is repurposing. An ability to present the same data in multiple ways across multiple platforms without losing the essence can create firmer narratives that are believable and reach to more number of people. Indian PR scene is so rich. It is also absolutely complex due to the kind of diversity in audiences, the number of languages, geographical divide etc.  The work done is phenomenal. However, are we good at packaging it? Probably no. No wonder internationally our share of the awards pie is dismal! Well, if not anything good packaging of content or our work can be beneficial towards ‘PR for PR’.

In part 5 of this column, I shall take up the last bucket viz. Digital PR. We shall discuss the competencies required to be a good Digital PR professional.

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Sujit M Patil, ABC
Sujit is a IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) accredited business communicators and a three time winner of the IABC International Gold Quill award. He has been listed as India’s top ten men in corporate communications by Reputation Today and featured on the PR Week Global Power Book, the definitive guide to PR industry’s most influential operators around the world. From 2018 to 2022, he has been listed every year on Provoke media (erstwhile Holmes Report) Influence 100 research and listing of the world’s most influential in-house marketing and communications professionals. Sujit is a part of the prestigious Arthur W Page Society..

Sujit is a qualified Instrumentation engineer with MBA in marketing and a Diploma in advertising and PR. He is a regular speaker and jury at various national and international bodies such as the World Communication Forum, Davos, AMEC, ICCO, PR Newsweek Asia, Public Affairs Asia, etc. He volunteers as a guest faculty at various B-Schools, is a weekend farmer, loves travelling, understanding cultures and experimenting with new cuisines. He is passionate about Sparrow conservation.

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