Skills and Qualities Every PR Pro Needs
Throughout my six-month tenure at Caster Communications, I’ve come to learn that there is a very specific set of skills one must possess in order to successfully make it in the PR world.
In my opinion, you need to achieve a balance of the following skills to be the best PR pro you can be:
When you take a job in the Media Relations field, it is imperative that you are able to listen to others as well as articulate your own thoughts in a relatable and professional manner. Relationship building is one of the cornerstones of working in PR. Here at Caster, we interact with our clients and the media on a daily basis, because as PR professionals, we are the liaison between the two. Therefore, it is crucial that we pay close attention to our client’s needs and the needs of the media in order to deliver for each party and develop meaningful relationships with both sides.
As PR pros, we write press releases, contributed articles, award submissions, blog posts, and all sorts of other content. I’ve learned that in PR, the first step to becoming acquainted with your writing style is to develop an understanding of your audience. Is your audience a potential end user or are they another company interested in selling your product? The answer to this question determines whether you need to write in a business to business (B2B) or a business to consumer (B2C) tone. With B2B, it’s all about the facts. Start by researching statistics that support the point you are trying to make and use that data to help tell your story. If you are writing for B2C, you can bring some personality into your story and rely less heavily on hard figures Give your audience real-life examples of how your product will improve their lives. For more tips on determining your B2B or B2C storytelling presence, check out this previous Caster blog post by @merryshoebell.
Time management is the most important quality a PR pro must possess. At Caster, we bill our clients based on the time we spend working on their account, so it is extremely important that we track our time properly. We must be as efficient as possible with the work we produce to ensure that our clients are paying for valuable time spent on our behalf. Procrastination will get you nowhere in the PR world. As an agency, we are constantly working on multiple projects for multiple clients so we must be able to prioritize or workload in the best way possible.
In PR, patience is truly a virtue. We pitch the media on our client’s behalf daily but it is not always definitive whether or not those pitches will yield results. That’s where the follow-up pitch, and more often than not, a secondary follow up comes in because PR doesn’t come easy, it is something that is earned. PR pros must also be prepared when a client crisis arises. When this happens, it is on the PR firm to keep things from escalating and patience becomes a critical component. Though we typically work set hours, PR is a job that doesn’t really sleep, especially when a crisis occurs.
A successful PR pro reads the news every single day. If we do not stay informed about our clients, their industries, their competitors, or what the market is doing, we risk falling behind and in such a quick-moving field. Spend time each morning catching up on what you missed overnight. You will never regret being ahead of the game.
For more advice on developing your public relations skill set, tweet me!