It’s no secret that we are living in an era of incredible innovation and technological advancements. As our world changes, so must our tactics in the world of public relations.

Jodi Harris of iMedia Connection recently wrote about the “agency of the future,” as it pertains to the world of marketing and advertising. The agency of the future is one that embraces technology and uses new avenues to reach out to stakeholders. Don’t let the name fool you, though…the future is here, and the time for an agency revamp is now.

The first thing that PR agencies need to adjust to is the increasing number of skills required to provide effective service to a client. It is no longer enough for agencies to be great simply at gaining coverage for their clients in top-tier publications. Agencies must now also manage social media campaigns, tailor media training to include the arts of blogging and tweeting, and monitor the online presence of their clients. When a single agency can not provide both traditional and innovative PR skills, clients are forced to either employ multiple agencies or find another agency that is willing and able to meet their needs. Neither of these options should be necessary if your agency steps into the future, fusing tradition and innovation to form the agency of the future.

PR agencies must also begin using the Internet as the ideal tool to learn more about their clients’ target publics and stakeholders. Social media has opened many doors for research and has allowed PR practitioners to read exactly what is being said about their agency and their clients. The Internet has also paved the way for conducting polls and surveys at a much faster pace through the use of tools like SurveyMonkey. Agencies that embrace these tools to create stronger relationships between their clients and their publics will ultimately come out on top.

The last move that PR agencies can make to step into the future is by utilizing technologies that are now integral parts of the daily lives of their stakeholders. For example, the American population has turned to “Googling” any topic that they are unsure about, or would like more information on. Search Engine Optimization is a service that PR firms can provide to help their clients appeal to avid “Googlers,” and others searching for terms related to clients’ services. By optimizing a Web site, agencies can ensure that their clients’ exposure increases, as will web traffic. Agencies can also use the fact that so many Americans are connected to their mobile phones to their advantage. For example, PR campaigns can now be propelled using text messaging. Also, stakeholders can receive and complete surveys and polls directly from their phones, allowing PR research to be as up-to-date an accurate as possible.

The world of PR is ever changing, but it is clear that those firms that can be the most flexible and adaptable to new technologies will ultimately thrive. Agencies must step into the future today to avoid being left behind.