It’s impossible to be an expert in e v e r y t h i n g especially when it comes to your work roles. When thinking about what’s expected from a PR or marketing professional, it can almost be comical. From having to stay in the known of the latest technology trends and marketing news to studying your competition to learning your work environment quarks to understanding where and how marketing fits in within the business or the personality your clients will have. The environment is ever-changing, leaving you little time to get comfortable.
However, the good news is you don’t have to master everything! There are going to be skills you should have and ones that would be nice to have. Below are four things we think every PR pro should have, and if they aren’t it’s something you should aim for.
1. Adopt New Technology
If you’ve been in the PR or marketing space for more than a minute you’ve realized it’s not only its own language but a whole new set of tools you have to learn. And we aren’t talking about your typical listening and researching skills. We are talking about posts, tags, dashboards, platforms, connectors, API access and much much more. There is just so much stuff you can learn about your audience and so many tools making that possible and your agency is going to want to use them! And just when you think, you couldn’t love (or hate) a tool anymore a new one is rolled out to your team, and you are expected to use it and enjoy it and to be flexible and willing to start that relationship all over again.
It’s important that you learn how to use each of these tools and then also keep up with the new technology your customers expect you to use. Whether it’s VR, AR, basic social accounts or even being able to get a hold of customer service without a phone. The technology you use to get your message out impacts how your audience thinks about your brand. As communicators, we have to adapt to these platforms and format our story in new ways, which may mean taking the time to figure out what technology is next, how to use it and how it fits into your clients brand’s story.
2. Explain Ideas Clearly
When you can clearly explain your thoughts, it means you have a healthy vision. It means you have spent time researching, studying, planning and even practicing the right words and way to deliver the message you have for your client. When done well, it helps your customer believe in you and could boost your confidence too. Think about it, having a perfect idea means nothing if your client can’t understand it if you can’t communicate. When you have strong communication skills, you can deliver clear and concise messages that could make or break your client relationship or even landing the job in the first place. You won’t get too far in the PR or marketing world until you master this skill!
3. Think Collaborative and Globally
Being able to work as a team matters! Whether it’s with your peers or your clients, in PR, you have to work with people. Which means multiple personalities, dislike and likes are all being brought together and having to work with each other. Are you someone who can unify and create a team atmosphere?
When you are capable of working as a team the people who work with and for you will be happier; it will increase morale and create and open environment. Being able to collaborate doesn’t mean you agree with everyone either, it means you create a climate where people know they can express their opinions and concerns without being shut-down or made to feel stupid.
When your team has a reputation for being a team player, people who work hard to build and maintain relationships it’s going to be the driving force behind a driving business. And that may mean expanding your services beyond local business ties and using those skills to win over global clients. Thanks to new technology the world feels like it’s shrinking, and we will have to start becoming more international. The deep understanding you have of your local market will need to translate into understanding the PR business on a more global scale.
4. A Desire To Grow Personally
I doubt you execute the above three skills perfectly, but your imperfections aren’t what matters. It’s your desire to continually learn to succeed in those areas you struggle with that will set you apart. And even if you do have every skilled mastered, that doesn’t mean there isn’t at least one thing you need to learn or should push yourself to understand better. What could you do every day to not only grow professionally but personally as well?
Wrap It Up
After reading the above, what do you think? Do you have what is takes, to become a PR pro?
Notice how we didn’t mention any degree you had to have, experience or internship. These are all skills, that pretty much form from good interpersonal practices and evolve with experience. In the areas you are struggling with, I challenge you to put yourself in situations that will push you to become better even if it is uncomfortable. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
Looking for another resource for your PR team? Download our free e-book, How To Escape Your Agency’s Reporting Nightmare, here.