Public relations is a forever changing field and each year there are thousands of young professionals with the desire to have a successful career within. The problem is, they don’t have a clue of the specific skills to acquire to become a public relations guru. The core classes the took in college only taught the basic foundation of PR and while knowledge of the field is beneficial, one may be missing the key skills that employers are looking for. Below are a few skills most organizations and agencies are in search for.
If a public relations professional doesn’t have a knack for writing then it may be time to change fields. Several public relations organizations require their employees to write a plethora of pieces for their clients such as press releases, blog posts and various content on the websites. Most of the classes in public relations programs at colleges consist of writing of all sorts, so it should come as second nature but if not, its’ never too late to brush up on your skills.
Public relations is no longer just writing news and press releases and sending them out to the media, it requires extensive use with other forms of technology like social media. Public relations professionals usually have aptitude for building relationships and what better platforms to do so like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Just by understanding exactly how to use these tools to grow business can strengthen your skillset. PR professionals may be required to run client’s social media pages, produce reports to see social media’s effects and even pitch reporters or media influencers on social media.
Since public relations has evolved, so has employer’s mindsets of what they desire in a PR professional. If you are in a thriving organization then chances are you have many clients with various requests. There will not be time to only focus on one client at a time, so this is where multi-tasking becomes a valuable asset. One client needs an immediate press release and another needs promotion for their upcoming event, employers will expect their employees to be able to take care of it all within a day’s worth of work.
Relationship Building Skills
If you are not good at building relationships then how can a company expect you to sustain and cultivate relationships with media influencers and reporters? Even though responsibilities span further than pitching and building relationships, these are still two of the main duties. Building relationships with others will ensure that your client is happy and satisfied, which in return ensures business is continued for your organization.
Along with writing and relationship building, this is another traditional skill but employers will still be looking for candidates to have knowledge of it. PR professionals will need to know how to communicate with the media and when to inform the media of something involving their clients. Media relations often involves with traditional forms of media like publications and news outlets but given the advancements of technology, blogger relations is also important and should be handled the same way. Employers will expect their public relations professionals to understand the nuances and everyday tactics of media and blogger relations.
If public relations is a selected career path then one must be prepared to go through the frequent changes the field goes through and in an event, must be ready to acquire the skills involved with those changes. PR is very different and the skills above are just a few of the many that employers will be looking for in potential candidates.