Because the field of public relations uses many online outlets such as the various social media sites and blogging platforms, computer coding is an incredibly valuable skill in the PR world.
Coding includes designing, writing and testing computer programs. The purpose of coding is to create a set of instructions that tell computers specific operations, or how to behave in certain desired manners. There are also different languages of coding, from which you would choose depending on the task you’re looking to complete.
Here are 4 ways PR fits into the equation:
- Coding can make your life quicker and easier. Imagine compiling a list of hundreds of blogs by industry to reach out to for press coverage. Non-technical people would be compiling a list of blogs from a directory into Excel and then visiting each to figure out whether it was relevant for your pitch. This process is long and tedious. Instead, writing a script in a programming language like Java or Python would allow you to easily and quickly pull blogs and their descriptions from Technorati along with their site descriptions.
- Knowing code can help you improve your blog. For example, you should know how to add alt tags to images (ie keywords to represent images), which helps bring traffic through websites by improving search engine optimization. Without knowing how to add these alt-tags to images, it makes it harder for people searching online to find you.
- Coding also allows for greater accessibility, greater organization, and greater audiences. Besides the practical positives, knowledge of coding can help make websites more attractive, put together, and professional. Imagine how much easier your life would be if you knew how to change the background color of your site without the aid of a web developer.
- Coding is a fantastic resume skill. Coding is worth the effort of knowing, especially in the world of public relations. Technical people will respect you for knowing their language. Non-technical people will respect you for knowing more than they do. If you know the basics of coding, it’s a near guarantee that a PR firm interested in digital will hire you over someone else who doesn’t know the lingo.
Dubbed “The Literacy of the Twenty-First Century,” knowing how to code has many benefits, especially for where the PR industry stands today.
While some may argue that learning how to code can be hard, the good news is there’s now websites that can help you teach yourself. Codecademy is a great resource for those interested in learning and the best part is it’s free!
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get coding!