Climbing the PR ladder—5 essential skills for public relations pros

by | Feb 12, 2020 | Public Relations

Public relations is an all-round career. Other than a college degree, the PR industry requires professionals to arm themselves with various skills to remain competitive. Thanks to the significant shifts and advancements that the industry has undergone in recent years, PR careerists and journalists can now access modern gadgets and social media platforms to unveil their various possibilities.

Below are skills you need for PR expert development to differentiate yourself from the average PR practitioners:

Communication

A competent PR pro should be familiar with all means of communication. You might not necessarily need to undertake English or foreign language studies, but you should at least enroll in an ideal negotiations training program to advance your communication skills. Understanding the basic concepts of communication will enable you to write captivating content such as blog posts and press releases on behalf of your clients. Other than writing, it is essential to have the right verbal skills to not only express yourself, but also to negotiate well on different deals.

Social media

The rise of social media platforms has had a huge impact on the PR industry. As such, PR practitioners should equip themselves with various social media platforms. The platforms help to connect PR practitioners to different followers and brand influencers. Social media platforms also help the PR specialist to learn the customer’s feedback and respond in regards to their clients’ products and brands. Besides, social media can help in the identification of bad threats, which might damage the clients’ reputation. Each platform provides a unique strategy of reaching your clients; hence it is essential to understand the best skills applicable to each of them. The best social media platforms to use for public relations include Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Instagram, Medium and YouTube.

Time management

Time is precious for public relations experts. You must meet various deadlines, meet your clients on time, and still create time for other work-related activities. Although many factors determine how fast you will meet your deadlines, you can prevent delays by observing time management tips such as setting goals. A goal allows you to focus on activities within specific time bounds. Secondly, prioritize your tasks wisely and always work on the urgent and most important tasks first. Thirdly, plan and get rid of the distractions that prevent you from meeting your deadlines. Finally, delegate the less important tasks and track your time using a reliable tracking tool.

Research

You can only gain the confidence to write, present, or communicate well if you have accurate information. This means that you should always dig deeper to find out more about the subject. Before you work for a client, carry out a background check on their past to understand their needs, likes and current dislikes. Similarly, it would help if you researched the current market to keep up with the current affairs and stay up to speed with the news. So how do you improve your researching skills? First, learn to pay attention to details. Review and edit your work well before you submit it, or present it to your client. Second, look for the best information sources that you can rely on for accurate information. Lastly, advance your research skills even if it means you go back to class.

Creativity

A public relations career will present you with many opportunities that require creativity. Other than writing, you will probably need to come up with new ideas and strategies to promote businesses. You may also need to change your skills on how to approach or win new clients. So how do you increase your creativity quotient? Be curious to meet new people, read more books and learn from successful PR practitioners. Also, be observant and notice all the positive things around you. Interact with your audience and understand their opinions and concerns.

As you can see, PR needs more than distributing content and creating publicity. Each of the above skills are essential, and you should, therefore, combine all of them for better self-improvement and performance.

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Brett Clawson
Brett is a 43-year-old father of 2 boys with a degree in Business Management. In his free time, he enjoys learning about emerging business trends and writing about how to incorporate them into new and existing businesses.

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