Soft skills necessary for PR pros

Public Relations
5wpr 16.03.19

When you think of successful set of skills required for a career, the first things that come to mind are research, writing, visual storytelling and analytics. Usually a degree in public relations or communications or something similar will equip you with the necessary hard skills so that you are adept at the rules and technical skills required to perform your job at a PR firm.

Then there’s soft skills that you can’t really learn in a classroom. Unlike hard skills, soft skills are intangible and difficult to measure. However, in a people-centric environment like public relations, soft skills are just as essential for a success since the PR industry is built on the ability to establish strong relationships with the public, clients and the media.Here are some of the soft skills that are necessary to excel in PR:

Attention to detail

As a PR professional, you’re writing press releases and you’re behind building the brand’s messaging. As a representative of your brand, attention to detail when it comes to what you put out to the public is absolutely critical. If you make a mistake, people will notice and point it out. When you’re sending out pitches to journalists, it’s important that your pitch is accurate and error-free.

Team player

PR professionals work alongside various teams, organisations and industries. Being able to effectively work with people across a range of professionals is necessary to be successful in PR. If you want to improve this skill, then look for opportunities in both your personal and professional life to work alongside a team.

Problem solving

PR involves a lot of problem solving. There are times when you need to be creative to come up with solutions to different challenges. Working in PR also involves responding to crisis situations, which requires the ability to think on your feet and come up with approaches that work.

Adaptability

PR is a constantly evolving and industry, involving changes in technology, PR tactics and approaches, and trends. It is extremely important to be able to embrace change and adapt so that you don’t fall behind. If you can’t keep up with the changes, then it may present problems as other professionals and firms will be ahead of the game.

Relationship building

A PR practitioner needs the capability to build strong relationships based on trust. Having a solid professional network enhances your value and allows you to do your job more effectively. Mastering the art of relationship building requires a multitude of other skills, such as the ability to communicate well, reliability, trustworthiness and the ability to deliver what you promise.

Time management

The job of a PR professional is usually dynamic, as they find themselves doing a range of different tasks everyday. Responding to emails, crafting press releases, pitching to media, pitching to clients, social media management and staying on top of the news are just some of the things PR professionals do during their work day. Therefore, it is essential that a PR practitioner is well organised and has strong time management skills so as to not lag behind.  

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