Whether working in PR or trying to break into the industry, here are five basic skills you should master that will help you succeed in PR:
It is absolutely essential to be a good communicator in public relations. When pitching the media, you have about 30 seconds to grab their attention. You must be clear, concise and engaging to either make your introduction or pitch your client. As a PR professional, you are the face and voice of your client and must communicate their message efficiently, whether verbal or written.
You may have to juggle 6 to 8 accounts at a time and nothing can slip through the cracks. Being able to locate files and documents quickly is important when an editor calls you on deadline and needs something ASAP. No time can be wasted searching through a messy desktop. Organisation is even comes into play when running meetings. Meetings must run smoothly and flow with an agenda to ensure details and important topics aren’t neglected.
Whether your calendar, meetings, time or desktop, you have to find an organisation system that works for you and it will make all the difference in an industry where everything was suppose to be done yesterday.
PR is not ER, but you must understand the concept of triage when it comes to deadlines. You always want to beat your deadlines and finish tasks early, but PR is anything but predictable. Your day rarely goes as planned, so you have to be flexible and manage priorities. Know what is urgent and know where you can push for an extension if necessary, but stay organised. You don’t want to forget anything, because something else took priority at that time.
Media, industry trends and digital tools are always changing. Adapting to changes and finding ways to stay on top of new industry news is important. In PR, you cannot get stuck in complacent habits. It’s your job to know what the latest and greatest is for your clients. It’s especially key when managing a client’s digital and social media marketing. Five years ago, Twitter and Facebook were the main social media channels. Now, there is Instagram, Periscope, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube and many others that are always evolving with new features, and it is important to follow these changes to bring your client to new, different and bigger audiences. Don’t be afraid of anything new, and explore everything.
Dot your i’s and cross your t’s, then check them one more time. In PR, the error margin is slim to none. Being anal retentive is a positive trait in this industry. Your clients depend on you to deliver their message without any spelling, detail or fact errors, so no skimming when it comes to all documents.