If you are considering a career in public relations, here are a few skills and qualities that are extremely helpful to have:
1. Writing/Editing: From drafting every day emails to press releases and memos from CEOs, you will need to write using different tone and voice depending what you are writing. In addition to writing, you need a keen eye in editing not only your work, but others work to ensure that it reads well, is accurate and is formatted correctly. (When you are writing you become involved in the content, it’s often good to have someone else review it to make sure that your writing makes sense.)
2.Articulate your Thoughts: As a public relations professional, being a good communicator is key. Every day you need to be able to effectively share your thoughts and ideas with your clients during in-person meetings, on conference calls, and via email. In addition, if you work on media relations you need to be able to articulate your thoughts succinctly in pitches and reporter follow-up calls.
3. Time-Management: Often there are multiple projects put on your plate at the same time. An effective public relations professional must be able to prioritize the order in which projects need to be completed.
4. Patience: Patience is needed whether it’s waiting to hear back from journalists you’ve pitched or feedback from a client on a project. Many public relations professionals are type A personalities, like myself, so it takes discipline and practice to be patient. Even when clients push for media opportunities to happen, keep your patience by reminding yourself and your clients that public relations tactics and campaigns can take time to gain traction.
5. Create a Work/Life Balance: In public relations you need to be responsive to media and clients, but you also need to make sure to set aside some time for yourself. In order to be effective in your job, you need to learn how to take some “me” time after the regular work day in order to relax.
6. Consume News: Pay attention to the local, national and trade outlets (depending on your company or clients’ industry) on a daily basis. It is always good to know what is happening as you never know when a story will hit that effects your client or that might be an inspirational moment. Being a consumer of news will not only help you as a public relations professional, but will also help you be a well-rounded individual.
Becoming a pro at public relations takes time. Keeping some of these tips in mind will make it easier for you to become a better public relations professional.
Tags: communications, new pr pros, PR, PR Pros, public relations
This post was written by Veronica Mikitka Reed