How Many Hats Can One Person Wear?

Keeping Up With an Evolving Industry

As I child, I loved the Dr. Seuss story The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. As Bartholomew removes his hat, another one mysteriously appears, each getting bigger and more extravagant than the last.

I think of Bartholomew when I talk about the “hats” I wear at work. When I first started in public relations, my job was fairly straightforward. I only focused on media and industry analyst relations.

Over time, my hats have become more numerous and elaborate as my skill set has grown. Some days, I’m a public relations professional dealing with social media or crisis communications. Other days, I’m an advertiser, strategizing how a digital ad buy could influence sales, or a digital marketer, assessing an online content strategy. But most days, I’m doing ALL of those things!

And it’s not just a personal career observation. Over the past 15 years, there has been an industry-wide shift toward the integration of marketing, public relations, advertising and everything in between.

As the years have progressed, media changed and marketing merged. Now, sharing news is instantaneous and this rapid pace is expected. People no longer need to be journalists or public figures to be heard, as anyone can have a voice through social media. And in this cluttered mess of information, the competition to get your message across is even greater. In order to cover more ground and determine new, creative ways to reach audiences, industry professionals are increasingly taking on new responsibilities and skill sets.

As the disciplines within marketing become further entwined, it is vital that today’s marketing and communications professionals are well prepared to handle many diverse responsibilities. My colleagues at Fahlgren Mortine represent a closet full of every hat you could imagine. I have the opportunity to work closely with experts from all backgrounds from public relations to media buying to creative, which helps me stay to top of the ever-changing marketing and communications landscape. We all have the opportunity to learn from one another and ensure that we have the right “hat” for every job.

How have you seen the industry change over time? What do you do to keep up with this evolution?


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