We have been witnessing the evolving roles of a PR professional especially in the new normal. Digitisation and change in audiences’ consumption patterns are some of the major reasons for the same. Don’t you think this evolving role requires an updated teaching? what are the key public relations skills that should be taught?
This fast paced working environment is looking for upskilled professionals. Following are the 10 essential Public Relations Skills that should be a part of curriculum.
They say “less is more”. The message should be short and simple as it is comprehensive and easy to remember. Converting an essay into a small paragraph becomes time consuming as PR professionals have to create a short message for their clients after listening to a long description. By knowing the right technique and a good practice can make it a matter of just a few minutes. PR colleges should include a practice of brevity in their writing course as writing is a must have public relations skills for a professional.
The audience has become more data driven and so is the media. Mentioning data in your pitches makes it strong and attractive. Analysing data and converting into a report is needed when you are working on a white paper or a small survey done by your client. Data analytics will be beneficial in not only these works but also structuring your various databases. Short and simple tricks in excel can save a lot of time and effort in day-to-day documentation.
Yes, you read it right! You must be thinking how macroeconomics relates to PR. Well, it helps in understanding the negotiation procedure, businesses working with government institutions and most importantly target audience decisions based on behavioural economics. To understand policies and how they are made is essential and makes it for a PR professional to work with clients associated with the government or any such authorities.
A profession of communication is incomplete without communication research. Be it qualitative or quantitative, every PR professional uses this research very often in their career. This helps in preventing miscommunication about a client or its offerings. Keeping all the parameters in mind and drafting a right messaging can be easily done by communication research. Communication research teaches us to find out a communication gap in a problem and resolve it.
It is very evident that all brands are looking for a strong social media presence along with traditional media as their audience are more active on that platform. The type of content that goes on social media, scheduling of posts, eye on feedback, all these things come under the role of a PR professional. Making appropriate creatives is a tough task to do as it goes on multiple changes. As a result, it needs to be timely maintained.
A PR professional in an agency works in diverse industries. Each and every industry has a set of media including print and online. Scanning and analysing all the media at once becomes challenging. Developing a habit of tracking all the media across the diverse industries from college can gradually boost media knowledge in a PR aspirant.
If you have done a lot of work for your client or you have great PR plans but don’t know how to demonstrate it then all your hard work goes into waste. Showing your work properly is equally important as performing your work. An eye catching, comprehensive presentation of your plan is a right start to create a good impression and build trust in your client’s eyes. The job is not done here. After creating a great presentation, you have to present it before the clients and there comes the real job. To give a thorough power pack presentation, you’ll need proper body posture, good communication skills, and a lot more. These things come under presentation skills.
There is a huge difference between working individually and working with a team on the same project. In PR, you always have to strike a balance as you will have to work individually as well as with a team. Work delegation, leading a project in a team, assuring everyone is on the same page, all these are a must have skills which adds to your leadership skills.
In the new normal, when audiences’ preferences are changing at a faster pace and the media is becoming more selective and cautious, it’s essential for PR experts to advise their clients on how to communicate with journalists and keep them informed about brand developments. Clients should be properly informed about how the media works, which helps in the building of appropriate client expectations and ensures that the PR team and the client are on the same page.
After so many responsibilities and the pressure of doing justice to your clients with your work, it becomes stressful. If you know how to manage multiple tasks with tight deadlines, stress won’t come in your way. Learning to prioritise your tasks and devote time to each one will help you operate more efficiently. However, this is not a simple task; you must practise it on a daily basis, and the greatest place to do this is at an institute. Time management will lead you to work smart and you can complete your tasks in less time. In a profession like PR, time management is a great hack to lead to a stressless and successful life.
These were some must include skills for public relations institute apart from their existing curriculum syllabus. Keeping the course module updated is required in colleges for students to be updated with the changing business’s needs.
Related Read – Essential Public Relations Skill Sets for Aspirant
– Tamanna Singh
Tamanna is an Alumna of SCoRe (Class of 2020) and has worked as a PR consultant before (re)joining SCoRe as the Head of Student Affairs. She has also been a teacher previously, which helps her ensure that our curriculum & pedagogy are the best in the country, and our students get the value they join us for. Tamanna has worked as a PR Consultant at Value 360 Communications, New Delhi. She has a knack for being brutally honest, for which is she is as respected as she is feared! She goes by @TamannaS03 on Twitter.