There are a few sayings that have been making the Silicon Valley rounds for a while now, like: “a data scientist is a statistician who lives in San Francisco” or “a growth hacker is a marketer who lives in San Francisco.”
With evangelists and storytellers on the rise, there’s certainly a degree of styling job titles against market and cultural forces. But in some cases, as positions fall away, evolve and emerge coining a new moniker for a role seems reasonable.
For instance, the PR industry has long grappled with being defined solely by media relations – even though most agencies have services far beyond this. Agencies are now bringing data scientists and content managers into the fold to reiterate this diversification.
But there’s been some backlash, arguing that PR has become paralyzed by the false choice of either bringing statisticians on or shying away from data altogether.
“[Analytics requires] being able to get through all of the engineering speak and get to what’s really being said,” Facebook’s Mike Buckley said at the In2 Innovation Summit.
Taking a new twist on this, AirPR a match-making and measurement platform for the industry, is introducing the PR engineer to its organization.
“The most outstanding thing to note is that this person is required to have a certain level of data literacy in order to really be able to apply data findings in order to make better decisions around brand communications,” says Rebekah Iliff, chief strategy officer at AirPR. A/B testing startup Optimizely also uses this term for its PR manager Helen Phung.
Would the PR engineer moniker engage folks with the industry who previously didn’t see a role for them? Does it more accurately capture the planning, creation, management and analysis that we expect from some crop of PR professionals? Or is it our industry’s equivalent of a growth hacker?
Photo credit: Brett Jordan