I honestly think that to live in the Public Relations world you first need the attitude and then the knowledge. Not everyone that has a big interest for PR can handle all the pressure and amount of work that is required for the field. Just an example, if we take a quick look at the top 10 most stressful jobs, we find 3 PR positions in there. Surprising? Event Coordinator, PR executive and Corporate Senior Executive have been listed as the most stressful jobs in the world by CareerCast and many other resources for years.
That said, do you think you have the necessary skills to be a PR professional? After analyzing what those skills are, I split them up into two: personality skills and work skills.
- Stress tolerance: accept critics and be able to handle calmly high stress situations
- Honesty: The job requires integrity, being moral and having ethical principles.
- Focus on details: Keep it calm and verify all the information in the documents before sending them to the manager or the client.
- Proactive: Have initiative to being a leader and taking challenges and responsibilities.
- Cooperation: Willing to work with others and display a good attitude.
- Creativity: Being creative is great for all kind of aspects in life, but especially for PR. You should be able to come up with new plans of how to promote your idea, approach a new client or write creatively. There are countless opportunities for being creative and thinking outside of your bubble. There is actually an incredible book about how to implement the lateral thinking in any factor of your life, it´s called Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono. Highly recommended.
- International mindset: Public Relations is a globalized business that of course requires globalized professionals as well. Languages are also very important to mention, as sometimes you will have to communicate or do research in another language.
- Communication skills: This skill and the next one are a bit obvious but still worth mentioning them. Any Public Relations professional must be able to express any complex concepts in clear ideas. Good presentation skills, being confident speaking in front of an audience and being a good listener are also key qualities about anyone working in the communication field.
- Writing skills: Apply your creativity here and develop text that engage people. Write stories that surprise people and make them want to stay with you. Again, we can see here the importance of storytelling that I have mentioned in my previous posts.
- Research skills: Never stop researching, you will need to build trust with your clients by basing your information on reputable sources. Primordial for a great PR professional.
There are innumerable lists about what skills that a PR professional must have, but I tried to sum them up on this post. Do you agree they are the most important ones? Did I miss any important skill?