In essence, PR professionals strategically plan and use communications to help organisations build relationships with the outside world. They often do this to enable businesses to strengthen their reputations, increase market presence and ultimately grow.
The role of a PR professional requires a great deal of flexibility and adaptability. Working in a fast-paced PR agency involves client management, content creation, strategic planning, and media relations. No two days are the same.
If you are interested in a career in PR, it may be useful to complete a degree or diploma in a communications discipline. However, this is not always necessary as many skills can be learned on the job.
This blog will outline six essential skills needed for a career in PR. Whether you are a student, a new graduate or looking to make a career change, these are relevant skills that you can improve or highlight on your CV.
Six essential skills for a career in PR:
1. Relationship building
The ability to build and retain professional relationships is crucial in public relations. As a PR professional, you facilitate connections between your clients or employer and the media. Therefore, it is vital that you create and sustain relationships with clients, the media, and other professionals in the PR space to expand your network. Having confidence and strong communication skills is essential to forming these relationships.
2. Attention to detail
PR professionals are responsible for telling their clients’ stories in an engaging and thought-provoking way, and for relaying those stories online and to the media. To do this well, the information they communicate must be accurate. There is no room for spelling or grammar errors when sending press releases and other content to journalists. If a piece is well written, it is much more likely to be covered as it means that the information will be clear and easy to understand.
3. Writing skills
A large part of PR is writing content, including press releases, blog posts or social media posts. This means that strong writing skills are critical. Businesses need to communicate different messages in different tones depending on the target audience, so having the ability to write in different styles will be very helpful. As well as having good writing skills, it is also crucial that you enjoy writing. If writing and editing is not something you enjoy, public relations may not be right for you.
Public relations is fast-paced and when working in an agency environment, you must manage the needs and expectations of multiple clients, often juggling several different projects at once. This applies to in-house public relations people too. While many projects can be planned over time, there may be situations where topics arise in the media or issues that arise that will need to be addressed immediately. Therefore, it is essential that you can manage your time well to meet deadlines while also monitoring the ongoing media agenda and keeping overall objectives in mind.
5. Creative thinking
PR professionals are called on to be creative in many aspects of their roles. This could involve brainstorming content ideas, identifying opportunities for clients in the news media, coming up with new ways to engage stakeholders or running social media accounts. If you can come up with fresh new ideas, your releases will be more attractive to the media, and this will ultimately lead to better coverage for your campaigns.
6. Digital Media skills
As the media landscape is evolving and becoming increasingly digital, so too is the world of public relations. It has become essential for all organisations to have a voice online to connect with their audiences. Therefore, to best serve their clients and employers, PR professionals should be building their digital media skills and understanding. Knowledge of social media platforms and SEO, as well as content creation and editing skills, are a must.
Comit is currently hiring, and seeking a Senior Account Executive, ideally somebody with both PR and digital media skills. Don’t worry if you have one but not the other, if you are the right person for us, we will invest in helping you to acquire those skills that you need. Take a positive step forward with your career and check our PR jobs, especially if you want to get into the rapid growth and dynamic technology arena.