Yesterday, I participated in “Changing Times, Changing Workforce, Changing Business Models.” — a PRSA National Chapter panel aimed to examine how organizations are changing — and must change — to meet the needs of clients and employees. While there was a wide range of expertise on the panel (which included Jean Foster of the Consumer Technology Association, Joseph Truncale, CEO of PRSA, Jeff Feller from Booz Allen Hamilton, and Shira Harrington, an executive recruiter and career coach), there was a strong consensus about what’s essential for business success.

  • It’s all about the people: Regardless of the topic discussed (which ranged from digital skills to industry mergers during the two-hour panel), the final issue always came down to people. Identifying, hiring, training, and engaging the workforce is the bottom line that affects everything else public relations professionals seek to do.

 

  • But not about the money! Over the course of the panel, we didn’t get a single question about budgets or requests to “do more with less.” Instead, the discussion focused on measuring results and showing impact.

 

  • Integration and cross-functional expertise are what everyone is looking for. As Jeff smartly put it, “If you can’t do it yourself, become best friends with the person who can.” There is no room for siloed employees.

 

  • PR is core to business, but doesn’t always act the way the business needs. We need to speak the language of the C-Suite (outcomes, results, impact) rather than the language of the PR world (Twitter followers or impressions).

 

Keep in mind, this panel was all D.C. professionals – and maybe your concerns are different.  What would you have asked if you were there?