The public relations industry is constantly evolving, and PR professionals have the responsibility to grow and adapt to technology innovations and the media landscape to ensure the job is getting done. We’ve laid out the top five skills that every PR pro needs to be successful in a competitive field:
Adapt to the evolving media landscape
Over the past 20 years, there’s been a stark shift from traditional print news to digital news, meaning PR pros have had to adapt to the expedited spread of information. Professionals who have welcomed digital news and all that comes with it have learned to write more tailored pitches, monitor news more consistently, and utilize social media to gain a more targeted understanding of the reporters they are pitching. Being an adaptive and quick learner is essential to mastering the latest technology which expands opportunities for creativity.
Creative thinking and problem solving
With digital news platforms comes a crowded media landscape that PR professionals need to break through with creative thinking. To ensure clients stand out, PR pros must determine what factors make them unique, and be able to communicate that messaging to reporters in a way that grabs their attention and hooks their readers. Brainstorming a strong angle for your pitch, such as highlighting your client’s recent milestone or their connection to a current event, is helpful in getting responses from reporters. In some situations, PR professionals might feel like they’re struggling to form a strong tie-in, which is why being a creative thinker and problem solver is crucial for finding the storyline that sticks.
Strategic planning and thinking
Every social post, pitch and campaign created for your client should be strategically crafted and evaluated. To begin the process, you must identify your clients’ goals and their ideal outcome. With clear objectives in mind, you should brainstorm specific tactics for reaching these goals. Lastly, and equally as important, you take inventory of your results and evaluate; noting your successes and what fell short will help in future planning.
Meticulous and efficient research skills
With each new project, event or client, PR professionals must heavily research to understand and be familiar with the brand, industry, and competing products or services in their market. Understanding the industry and competitive landscape will be crucial in learning the company’s mission, product and/or service so that you can have productive meetings with your client and ask the right questions. Wider industry research cannot go understated – familiarizing yourself with the field and its major players as a whole will enable you to see how it has evolved and where it’s headed in the future. This way, you’ll have greater success in recognizing significant news moments and identifying where your client can jump in on these moments and bring strong opportunities to them.
Strong writing skills
Strong writing skills are integral for branding, storytelling, creating messages, and connecting clients with reporters. Whether you’re selling your client’s story to a reporter, or sending messages directly to the audience, compelling storytelling is a powerful tool that gives you the opportunity to grab your listener’s attention. With the audience’s attention, consistent and strong communication skills will help to create a positive brand image of reliability and expertise for your client.
What do you think are important skills to have as a public relations professional? Let us know in the comment or on Twitter!
Do you think you have all of the skills of a PR pro? If so, check out potential roles at BIGfish. We’re hiring!