To become a successful PR professional, there are certain skills you must possess. With the rise of technology and many other digital channels, having a degree isn’t enough for a successful career. To keep up with the competition, you need to develop yourself also.
In this article, we will see the top skills PR professionals should possess in 2020.
1. PR soft skills
To be successful as a PR professional, it’s important that you possess soft skills. You will be interacting with a lot of people on a daily basis. It’s important that you possess the ability to maintain a strong relationship with both your clients and the public. Soft skills will help you be better at your job.
Soft skills are what are known as “people skills”or “interpersonal skills.” Unlike technical skills, soft skills are not easy to measure. Soft skills are also not limited to any kind of job. Every professional should possess them. Soft skills determine how well you interact with other people within and out of the work environment.
While hard skills are needed to get the job done, soft skills will make you a better PR professional. Soft skills will help you get better at resolving conflict and managing clients.
Here some of the PR soft skills PR professionals should possess:
- Communication: Every PR professional should be able to communicate effectively. One of the roles of a PR pro is communicating with the media and the public. It is important that you learn how to communicate your thoughts to avoid any form of confusion. Some of the ways you can become a better communicator are by practicing active listening, asking questions, and paying attention to body language.
- Organization: PR pros have several important roles to play within the agency. Some of these roles include promoting the organization, defending the reputation of the company from the media, distributing the company’s message both within and outside the company, and much more. To effectively discharge your duty, organizational skills are required. Being organized reduces your chance of making errors and also increases your productivity. Some of the ways you can improve your organizational skills are by making a schedule, minimizing interruptions at work, organizing your workspace, and establishing a filing system.
- Be a team player: Every PR pro is part of a team. It is important that you are a team player. Your team members should be comfortable working with you. One of the ways you can become a team player is by understanding the team’s objective. You should be genuinely committed to helping the team achieve its goals.
Other soft skills PR pros should possess include composure, leadership skills, problem-solving skills, planning, flexibility, time management, and relationship-building.
2. Marketing skills
Marketing skills are very essential for PR professionals. The world is increasingly becoming digital-based, so it is vital that PR pros possess digital marketing skills. Especially now when most people are doing most of their work online, it’s important that PR professionals are able to reach them across multiple platforms.
While traditional methods like print media still work, marketing will help you reach a much larger audience. You can reach your target consumers either through social media, PPC ads, or content marketing.
Here are some of the marketing skills PR pros should focus on:
- Search Engine Optimization: SEO is the process of optimizing your brand’s website to rank higher in search engines. The higher your PR agency’s website rank on search engines, the more traffic you will receive.
- Keyword research: Keyword research involves finding popular keywords and phrases that your audience is searching for on search engines. It helps you identify the best keywords that you should rank for.
Read these articles to help you add SEO/keyword research to your PR strategy:
- Incorporate these key SEO practices to your PR strategy
- SEO tips everyone in PR should be using
- Simple ways you can improve your PR with SEO
Other marketing skills PR pros should possess include social media marketing, competitor analysis, and content marketing.
These articles will help you get started:
- 7 steps to building an effective social media advertising calendar
- PR content strategy: Getting social with social media content
- 4 ways your competitors are using media monitoring
- Tips for creating an effective content marketing strategy
The articles I have listed above will help you improve your marketing skills as a PR professional.
Tip: SEO and keyword research can be difficult especially when you have other activities that require attention. You can automate the process by using SEO software. This software will help improve your efficiency.
3. Writing skills
One of the key skills every PR pro should possess is writing. Writing and communication are at the core of public relations.
Every PR professional should be able to write engaging content. Whether it is a press release for your company, a case study, or a guest article in a publication, PR pros should have a good command of grammar.
The power to use written words to communicate ideas, evoke emotion among readers, and build influence, is a skill every successful PR professional possesses.
4. Research skills
Public relations pros will have to work with clients from different kinds of industries. To effectively serve your clients, you need to be knowledgeable about the client’s business and industry. This is why it is important that PR pros have excellent research skills.
Being able to research effectively will allow PR professionals to communicate authoritatively on any subject matter.
For example, PR professionals should always perform in-depth research on the target audience they are trying to reach out to. Understanding your client’s target audience will help you brand your message in a way that will resonate with them.
5. Presentation skills
It is important that PR pros learn how to effectively present their ideas to clients, journalists, and media buyers. Effective presentation skills will help you communicate with confidence and motivate your target audience to listen and take the desired action.
Follow these steps to improve your presentation:
- Don’t skip over introductions. Take time to demonstrate your expertise. The introduction is a great way to engage your audience.
- Begin with an attention grabber.
- Be focused on the main message of the presentation.
- Always practice before you pitch.
6. Content analytics
It is vital that PR pros be able to analyze the performance of their content. If you are able to understand how your target audience reacts to your content, you will be able to reach them better.
Analytics will help you determine which pages are getting the most traffic, the kind of headlines that attract clicks, and the best performing content format. These data will help you perform your duty better as a PR pro. The more data you have, the more positive ROI you will get for your PR efforts.
One of the best platforms for analyzing content is Google Analytics. It is a free tool that will help you analyze the performance of your content.
The skills listed in this article will help you become a better PR professional. If you follow the tips in this article consistently and diligently, you will significantly improve your PR skills.