To be a successful PR professional one needs to be a jack of many trades and master of a few. And with the right education and mentorship you can get there and develop those trades. Many of these trades or PR skills changes in they way they are used, with time, but the fundamentals remain the same.
My experience in working at a leading PR think tank, and a couple of Public Relations firms has helped me identify a set of core skills that an aspiring Public Relations professional should have.
1. Communications Skills
Strong communication skills backed by smart diplomacy defines the foundation for your career in this profession. You should be able to articulate your ideas and listen to others. Listening is as important here because communication is a two-way process. As a PR professional you will constantly be communicating and pitching ideas, and how well you do that depends on your ability to listen and articulate communicate. Thus this is one of the most important pr skills.
Your statements have to be backed by facts. You need to be updated about current happenings, about your clients and their business as well as their competitors. You will be required to map out trends as per your clients’ requirement. If you are serious about a career in PR be ready to do a lot of research and of you are naturally inquisitive you will enjoy this part.
3. Writing Skills
Content creation is at the foundation of PR. It can range from drafting a social media message or press releases, drafting media interview answers, and white papers, case studies and books, and everything in the middle. Regardless of the format, the fundamental skill needed is writing. This PR skills has to be backed with your research skill and to generate content you need to have knowledge about the subject and for that you need to research.
Creativity and PR go hand in hand. Public Relations as a profession constantly calls for ideas and originality. PR professionals develop strategies for clients. Being able to contribute in brainstorming sessions for campaigns and strategies require creative and original thinking. Thinking out of the box, being creative is a key factor to being successful in this field.
5. Media Management
Print and TV still holds great deal of influencing power and therefore cannot be ignored. If you wish to build your career in PR, be prepared to make those media calls, update numerous media lists and pitch for your clients constantly. Mapping industry trends and competitors are also a part of this.
6. Digital Fluency
Social Media has become the primary way we communicate. Platforms keep coming and going but digital content creation, online reputation management, search engine basics remain pretty much the same. The effective PR professional of tomorrow will be able to understand those basics and apply them on any platform, for any brand, for any campaign.
This post originally appeared on the author’s blog site.
– Julia Joseph
Julia is an alumna of Class of 2018 of the Post Graduate Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe. She is a Master’s Degree in English Literature, and has worked with The Promise Foundation of PR prior to joining SCoRe.
She interned with Edelman, Gurgaon and is currently working with Avian WE, New Delhi, in their Social Impact Practice.