Guest Post: Marketing is most sought-after skill, say employers


kay-013e-croppedKay Ross is a Hong Kong-based marketing consultant, copywriter and editor – her company is Kay Ross Marketing. She’s also a Visiting Lecturer at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, teaching an undergraduate course in “Effective Marketing and PR Writing”. Tweet her good at

Note to PR students: If you want to get a job after you graduate, amidst tough competition and a tight economy, make sure you understand marketing (and preferably also IT).

Curious about the effects of the current financial crisis, a team of researchers at the City University of Hong Kong recently conducted a survey of 253 companies here, and found that “more than 60 percent of companies rated marketing talent as the most sought-after skill in the face of the crisis, and 82 percent said they would consider hiring people who were good at both marketing and information technology” (as reported in the “South China Morning Post” newspaper, March 24, 2009).

Based on what I’ve read on many online forums, I’m guessing that employers all over the world, not just in Hong Kong, feel the same way. They’re looking for multi-talented team-members who’ll help them reduce their operating costs; boost revenues and profits; become more competitive; communicate more effectively with their existing and prospective clients around the world, and do business in a transparently ethical, socially responsible and environmentally friendly way.

So what does that mean for PR students? It means you need to show a prospective employer that you’re able to do a lot more than just write a compelling news release and organize a successful PR event. Your employer will probably expect you to juggle (and measure the results of) advertising, customer service, volunteer recruitment, sales, PR, R&D, pricing, packaging, branding, sponsorship, media relations, website design and content management, copywriting of all sorts of marketing material, investor and donor relations, corporate social responsibility programs, training, blogging, tweeting, podcasting, distribution, liaising with regulators and legislators, building alliances with complementary companies and organizations, spotting opportunities and threats… EVERYTHING that influences people’s perceptions, motivations and expectations about the company and its products or services. 

It’s a big job! Do you have all the necessary skills?

One Response to “Guest Post: Marketing is most sought-after skill, say employers”

  1. A year of blogging about PR and Social Media | The PR Practitioner - July 27th, 2009

    […] as well as post your favorites. I’d also like to thank my guest bloggers from this past year (Kay Ross, Daryl James, and Carol Sunnucks). They took the time to write a post when they didn’t have to. […]

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