Public Relation professionals act as image shapers for any organization. Their job requires them to analyze the organization for positive pieces in order to create a story that can be presented and pitched to the media. Being a working member in this industry, I can certainly say that PR professionals are a pro at multitasking and have definite qualities which are necessary to persuade people and create an impression.
With changing and emerging trends in PR the skills of a PR professional update accordingly. Agencies look at different attributes based on both traditional and modern skill set
Traditional attributes – These have helped in creating a foundation for PR professionals to adapt to. A new entrant to this world of PR need to have the basic attributes and they are –
1) A PR job requires you to create copy for your organization. A knack for writing can always help you grow in this industry as it becomes a part of your skill set. A good writer is always chosen above a non-writer. A PR professional is expected to write news releases, press releases, and blogs for the website and content for various occasions. Hence, a proficient writer is always opted for.
2) Having effective communication skills when working in PR is essential. Whether it is in the form of verbal or nonverbal, communication helps you become a stronger representation of your brand.
A PR professional acts as the face of the brand on behalf of it. Strong verbal communication is imperative in Public Relations, especially for those who act as a representative or press secretaries. They represent the clients or the company and speak on behalf of them. Also, PR professionals pitch ideas to the media and have to interact with stakeholders and foreign organizations for which they should be confident in communication. PR professionals also entail to give presentations every now and then, for this effective and persuasive speaking techniques is important in PR.
PR is all about having and maintaining good relationships so, having strong interpersonal communication skills is paramount. Interpersonal communication means having a good relationship with other individuals in all aspects such as professional, environmental and psychological.
Certain non-verbal communication skills such as body language, eye contact, your stance etc. speak more about you. They convey an important message to your audience about your personality and behavior. Apart from holding a strong persona, it is also important to be a good listener.
Always make sure your work is thoroughly proofread. Poorly edited work or anything which has errors is not appreciated by your clients. Always have an eye for detail. Facts should be mentioned correctly and thorough research should be done before writing or preparing for anything. Proofreading before submitting the work showcases that you are very well involved and dedicated to your writing.
3) PR experts should have an understanding of different forms of media and ways to connect with them for various purposes like the launch of new product or services, initiation of new outlets, organizing sponsored events, campaigns etc. So, having good media reach and relations is very important.
• Apart from all the traditional attributes, these new set of attributes are very important as well. Most of them catering to the online networking group.
1) Blogging- creating meaning full content for your organizations helps in creating a powerful impact on anyone trying to learn about your company. Along with that, regularly posting the information shows how up-to-date the organization is.
2) Social networking accounts- having a presence on social media is the new way to get known. It is important to have social media presence on all platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram etc. it is the duty of an internal PR professional to assure that the accounts are regularly updated with fresh content.
3) SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Most companies today apply some form of SEO and as a result, they are re-thinking many of their communication practices to take full advantage of the power of the web. Basic knowledge about SEO and SEM always helps in expanding the use of the available communication mediums.
Quoting one of my inspirations:
“If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on Public Relations – Bill Gates”
In conclusion, Public Relations as a sector has the potential to grow each day. Prospects are limitless and learning is beyond limits. The job skill set is that of an all-rounder. Having an insight on every aspect of communication helps in showcasing yourself as a stronger individual in the team. Also, it makes you a person that can be approached in times of crisis.