Ingredients for Success: What Makes a PR Professional Excellent in Their Field?

Having a long-lasting a successful career in public relations is challenging. Working in the industry requires a good amount of bravery, as often a public relations professional is tasked with managing reputation, dealing with needy clients, and doing damage control. So what exactly makes a PR pro successful, and what should an agency be looking for in their next superstar candidate?

Attracting the right candidate often comes down to two things: the job description and work summary as well as the reputation of the employer. Many candidates are often drawn to companies with big names, but this doesn’t always mean that this is the best place to work. So before looking to attract the best in the field, make sure that the hiring company’s reputation is high enough to warrant that top-level talent.

But what truly makes a public relations professional excellent in their field? Several skill sets come into consideration in this industry, and while there are different benchmarks for success in any industry, there are still some personality traits that are highly beneficial.

A high level of organization is necessary in order to effectively manage a client’s needs. Staying organized makes anyone’s life easier, and particularly in the public relations industry, it’s important to stay on top of the client’s schedule, media presence, and appointments. This enables the public relations representative to stay one step ahead, which is one of the most effective ways to manage public reputation.

A public relations professional is not afraid to back down from a challenge. In this industry, there isn’t room for much hesitation. A public relations pro will know that challenges exist, and they’ll thrive on taking these challenges head-on. However, there must be some caution put in here about the downfalls of having too big of an ego. Confidence and ego can be different things, and it’s important to keep the latter in check.

Public relations professionals are excellent at maintaining relationships. While certainly not applicable to everyone in the industry — exceptions do exist, after all — those who flit from relationship to relationship, often having relationships end in high drama, may not be the best fit for the industry. Maintaining long term relationships is a skill and an underrated one at that. Consider those who have had a strong roster of the same clients for an extended period of time. This indicates a higher level of integrity and responsibility for the client-agent relationship.

Lastly, a public relations professional who excels in their field should be an excellent communicator. After all, much of the work in this industry centers around effective communications. A good communicator knows how to communicate with respect and intent, and having someone on your team who has the skill down and is willing to always improve it will prove to be invaluable in the long run.

The public relations industry is not for the faint of heart, and having success comes down to having the right skill set. For those seeking to hire the best in the business, ensuring that the company itself has a stellar reputation for its employees as well as seeking out the best skills in a candidate are two ways to ensure ongoing success in building a strong public relations team.