Someone said to me the other day “so in PR, do you just do some social media and write stories for journalists?”. Well yes, those things are included, but there are a lot more skills required to succeed in PR. Here’s my A-Z (ish) of skills
Analytical – you need to be able to analyse any research that you do in order to identify the correct objectives and make a great campaign for your client.
Business-minded – PR is part of the overall business plan, so you need to keep in mind the bottom line of your client’s business.
Creativity – being creative is essential in PR. You need to think up unique ideas to get your client noticed.
Dependability – being dependable is a key skill as clients need to know they can rely on you to provide a professional and exceptional service.
Enthusiastic – sometimes you might be dealing with issues that aren’t particularly riveting or a client that you’re not that interested in. However you must remain enthusiastic as part of the service.
Flexible – your day might change in an instant or your plans might not match that of your client, so you need to be flexible.
Goal-orientated – PR campaigns are centered around certain goals, so you need to have a drive to want to achieve them.
Honest – practicing PR ethically and honestly avoids the negative misconceptions of it being spin or propaganda.
Interpersonal – PR is all about communicating with people, so you quite simply need to know how to interact with a variety of people.
Journalism – you will be dealing with journalists fairly often, so having basic journalism skills yourself will help you build up a better relationship with them.
Keen to learn – (cheating a bit on this one, sorry!) PR is a constantly changing industry so you need to be able to keep learning as you go.
Leadership – some elements of PR may require you to be a good leader, leading a team on a campaign or taking the lead in a presentation.
Multi-tasker – you’ll never just be doing one thing in PR. You need to be able to multi-task and prioritise your ‘to do’ list effectively.
Negotiation – you’ve got to be good at negotiating everything from budgets to publishing stories and making sure you get the best deal!
Organised – this one’s pretty self-explanatory. PR’s can have a lot going on, so they need to keep on top of it.
Pressure – with looming deadlines and seemingly-impossible client requests, PR’s need to be able to cope with a bit of pressure.
Qualified – okay so not essential, but you need to know what you’re doing to give the best to your client, which can often come from having certain qualifications.
Research – research is a huge part of PR, without it, you won’t do the best for your client.
Social media – this is becoming more and more important and a huge part of a PR role.
Teamwork – whether in-house or in an agency, its unliklely you’ll be on your own, so you need to work well with your team.
Up-to-date – (struggled a bit with this one!) keeping up-to-date with relevant industry news and current affairs is a key requirement.
Video – hand-in-hand with social media is the increasing use of video content. You need to at least know the basics.
Writing skills – these are essential. Whether its a tweet, a report or a press release, PR’s will always be writing and having to adapt their style accordingly.
Z … so I’ve got nothing for these last 3 😦 Any ideas? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…