Essential Skills for PR Pros

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Getting into the PR industry is a tricky one.

Perhaps if I were to compare it to the X-Factor, then I’d make more sense.

You see, while there are no specific entry qualifications needed to access a career in PR, you do need to be a certain sort of person. To have certain qualities.

I mean, you need to have the – can I say it? 

The Wow Factor.

While many have found this certain quality hard to define – including countless scholars, academics and Simon Cowell – I’ve done my fair share of reading this week and have pulled together a list of the key skills needed for those wanting to master a career in PR and reach the finals:

OK – I’ll stop the jokes now. They don’t even make sense to me anymore.

  1. Remaining optimistic: Do you know what? Sometime’s things don’t go your way, but that’s just part of life. It’s important to respond to setbacks as you would a success and use it as a learning curve.
  2. Communication skills: Believe it or not, you’ll need to be effective when approaching verbal and written communication. Find your voice, align it with the goals of your client or organisation and remain consistent to deliver the messages clearly.
  3. The Moral Compass: Wherever or whoever you’re working on behalf of, you need to take responsibility for your actions, and those of your team too. Behaving consistently in line with your organisation’s codes of practice is crucial unless you think something unsavoury is headed your way – then report it at first opportunity.
  4. Digital Savvy: The landscape has completely changed over the past couple of decades, and with any luck – it will continue to do so. You’ll need to be up to date with new technology or at least trying to be. Communicators need to be ahead of the game if they’re going to successfully build relationships around it.
  5. Preparation is Key: Anyone working in PR will most likely tell you that time-management is essential. Plan for every eventuality and don’t leave yourself susceptible to nasty surprises.
  6. ‘I work well on my own but I’m also a great team player’: A favourite for CV’s, this overused phrase actually needs to be true. In PR, you need the ability to provide direction or support some one else’s. Of course your role within a team will usually guide what decisions you get to make, but being able to make decisions without someone always holding your hand will always be a winner.
  7. There’s no I in team but these two can help: Regardless of the client or campaign, maintain your interest so that you can make your content interesting.

In fairness, I could go on for ages – but those are just some of the basics. 

If you don’t think you possess all of these skills, then don’t fret.
The most promising aspect about a career in PR is that the industry is ever-changing and you’ll never stop learning. However, you need to apply yourself to succeed, you can’t just lie back and wait for it to happen.

Your career is just that. Yours. And it’s completely up to you what you do with it.

Isn’t that exciting?

I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to leave comments and give me your feedback. However, it’s important to remember that all comments are moderated in line with WordPress policy.

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