5 Essential Skills to Succeed in PR
As with any career, to succeed in PR, there are certain essential PR skills that will help you reach the top of your game.
Clear and concise communication
Top of the list is the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Whether you’re pitching a journalist, managing a crisis scenario or providing advice on a client’s communication strategy, getting the key point across as quickly and clearly as possible is essential.
Honesty is also critical; some may associate PR with spin-doctoring, but the reality is that if you claim to be able to deliver something that you (or your client) can’t, you’re putting both your reputation and working relationships on the line.
Develop your listening skills
My second piece of advice for anyone looking to get into a career in PR, or develop their PR career, is to become a really good listener. It is so important when you’re working with clients and journalists that you have heard and thought about what they need from you. Whether it’s an interview on the latest technology developments in a particular sector that you need to brief your clients on, or a campaign planning session, understanding what each party’s objectives are is key to making yourself an essential intermediary.
Next comes adaptability and agility. No day in PR is ever the same, and however you think your day will start, it most certainly won’t end that way. Being able to manage multiple priorities, re-prioritise those on the fly, and stay calm and effective at the same time takes some getting used to. But it is a skill that can be learned, even if PR can seem a bit overwhelming at the start.
The penultimate essential PR skill is being a good writer, with excellent attention to detail. It may seem obvious, but this is not just a case of having good spelling and grammar. The best writers will pull the reader in with their prose, while still being able to clearly communicate a client’s key messages – without it being a sales pitch! Nothing puts a journalist off more…
Get on social media
And last, but certainly not least, is social media. In today’s influencer age, it is key to align the social media campaign and content to the PR campaign; making absolutely sure that the PR content is maximised throughout all a client’s potential communication channels; maximising hashtags and @ connections… Social Media campaign management is an art form of its own and more relevant than ever.
A career in PR is full on, and therefore not for the shy & retiring. However, it can also be hugely rewarding to get that piece of coverage your client’s been angling for; to see something you’ve written appear in print; to learn something new pretty much daily.