Six key skills needed to succeed as a public relations professional
As everyone continues to make strides in their 2018 resolutions, here are some skills that will make you invaluable in the field of public relations.
1. Good communications skills
If youâre considering a PR career, you will need to be a good communicator; not only a confident speaker, but also an excellent listener. It doesnât matter what field you specialize in; e.g. you can work in the field of technology and be skilled in explaining complex concepts. Always think big; you may be in SVG right now, but you never know what opportunities may arise in the future; so, as a public relations professional, be mindful that you may be involved in communicating with a range of people across different mediums (social media, in person, on the telephone and in writing) across different territories.
2. Research skills
You must be a good researcher in order to communicate accurately and authoritatively on a subject. You will have to be knowledgeable about your clients and their needs. If you are naturally inquisitive like me, then youâll enjoy the research aspect of PR.
3. Writing skills
These days, people hardly read; they scan everything, especially emails. Writing engaging content for a press release, a magazine article or otherwise is a regular part of a PR professionalâs day or week. You can hit the ground running once you have an excellent command of grammar, as well as experience in writing a range of content, including presentations and briefings. Attention to detail is also critical, especially when you are writing under pressure.
If you canât string words together interestingly to tell a story, youâre going to be working with a serious handicap.
4. International mindset
I canât highlight this one enough. When I was in school, we often questioned the benefits of a foreign language, but now itâs clear that there is increased demand for language skills because of the globalization of business. The more proficient you are in multiple languages, the greater your opportunities. Imagine having the opportunity to write foreign language content for a publication!
Public relations is a profession which constantly calls for fresh ideas and lateral thinking, hence the need for a creative streak. There are countless opportunities to be creative, particularly in coming up with new ways to promote businesses and approaching new clients.
Video communications is now applicable to nearly any programme. You should learn how it can be cost-effectively included in the media mix. Understanding how online video can be effectively applied (or not), along with learning about telling stories with pictures as well as words, is a huge professional advantage. Set yourself apart by becoming conversant, if not immediately skilled, in video production.
Candice Sealey is the founder and principal marketing and PR consultant at Ignite! a full service marketing and PR consultancy that helps businesses owners/marketers to promote their businesses, to raise awareness, attract new customers and increase sales.âWe help youâwork out what marketing is needed, we bring a fresh approach, create a tailored plan and make it happen, leaving you free to concentrate on dealing the other areas of your business.
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