A long ‘To-Do’ list awaits PR Practitioners every day. From media monitoring and garnering client coverage, to pitching to journalists and coming up with content. Many skills are involved when carrying out these tasks, and though tough, we have narrowed down the three core skills that every PR practitioner needs.
From selling our clients to the media trying to garner more coverage, to liaising for interviews and events, everything we do requires communication. Being clear and concise is not enough, we also need to know when to use the right tone for the right people, knowing when to push and pull, keeping everyone up to date, satisfied and most importantly, on schedule.
Effective communication does not just encompass talking on the phone, writing emails and sending out press releases. Being a good listener is also just as important, listening to our clients’ needs and wants and ‘listening’ to what’s going on in the news and the relevant industries.
Confidence is key in everything we do, all that we say and write. Without confidence, how would our clients ever trust us to handle their PR and how would the media ever be convinced that they should indeed publish our press releases?
There are many subtle nuances involved in communication, including language and culture. Despite increasing demand of hard skills such as coding and being able to decipher big data, communication is still being one of the most sought-after soft skills in every industry, especially PR.
Press releases, pitch notes, speeches, blog posts, emails, proposals, reports… All of this is a must within the PR industry. A flair for writing is one of the core skills every PR practitioner should possess in order to rise in their career. And while we do spend time out at events and meetings, more often than not (and we all know it) we spend our days unglamorously behind the laptop, typing away.
A PR practitioner needs to have a way with words to write captivating content for blog posts, forum letters and social media posts to capture the attention of their audience. The content written, with the exception for blog posts, also has to be catered to the prospective publisher, what the publisher wants and stands for before the editor runs the piece. Interesting content isn’t enough, it has to be compelling, relevant and of course, error-free.
As such, being detail oriented is a good trait to have. Often editing and proof reading the work of your fellow colleagues, spotting any grammatical or factual errors could be crucial to your clients’ and your own reputation. (Read more about how typos can be small but deadly here)
3. Time Management
Deadlines will always be our number one enemy. PR practitioners are often required to juggle multiple clients and projects simultaneously while racing against the clock.
A typical agency scenario is very much like this. Client A wants daily media monitoring and an event proposal by next week, but Client B needs immediate attention because of a recent news article published and we have a meeting with new Client C who wants us to manage their social media. And of course, we must not forget to follow up with journalists after emailing them and send in our weekly work in progress reports.
Being able to manage different accounts and meeting every deadline requires serious time management skills. Prioritising, organising, scheduling your tasks well is extremely important especially in a fast-paced industry such as PR. Being unable to meet deadlines could make you lose the trust of your clients and the media and of course your reputation.
Thankfully, here at Right Hook our PR practitioners are well equipped with these skills. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about what else our PR practitioners have to offer - enough to pack a punch for your company’s PR.