Business Buzz
February 20, 2018
Six key skills needed to succeed as a public relations professional

One of the most important things that was instilled in me during my early university years was that professional growth is an investment you never stop making, if you want to remain valuable. As my career progresses, I can safely say that a career in PR/Marketing takes more than a degree. A few years ago, I remember being asked by a student of the St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown, what it takes to be successful in my field; in addition whilst doing a presentation to UWI students as well as prospective UWI students, I listened with interest as many of them said they had no idea what it took to work in the public relations field.

As everyone continues to make strides in their 2018 resolutions, here are some skills that will make you invaluable in the field of public relations.

1. Good communications skills

If you’re considering a PR career, you will need to be a good communicator; not only a confident speaker, but also an excellent listener. It doesn’t matter what field you specialize in; e.g. you can work in the field of technology and be skilled in explaining complex concepts. Always think big; you may be in SVG right now, but you never know what opportunities may arise in the future; so, as a public relations professional, be mindful that you may be involved in communicating with a range of people across different mediums (social media, in person, on the telephone and in writing) across different territories.

2. Research skills

You must be a good researcher in order to communicate accurately and authoritatively on a subject. You will have to be knowledgeable about your clients and their needs. If you are naturally inquisitive like me, then you’ll enjoy the research aspect of PR.

3. Writing skills

These days, people hardly read; they scan everything, especially emails. Writing engaging content for a press release, a magazine article or otherwise is a regular part of a PR professional’s day or week. You can hit the ground running once you have an excellent command of grammar, as well as experience in writing a range of content, including presentations and briefings. Attention to detail is also critical, especially when you are writing under pressure.

If you can’t string words together interestingly to tell a story, you’re going to be working with a serious handicap.

4. International mindset

I can’t highlight this one enough. When I was in school, we often questioned the benefits of a foreign language, but now it’s clear that there is increased demand for language skills because of the globalization of business. The more proficient you are in multiple languages, the greater your opportunities. Imagine having the opportunity to write foreign language content for a publication!

5. Creativity

Public relations is a profession which constantly calls for fresh ideas and lateral thinking, hence the need for a creative streak. There are countless opportunities to be creative, particularly in coming up with new ways to promote businesses and approaching new clients.

6. Video

Video communications is now applicable to nearly any programme. You should learn how it can be cost-effectively included in the media mix. Understanding how online video can be effectively applied (or not), along with learning about telling stories with pictures as well as words, is a huge professional advantage. Set yourself apart by becoming conversant, if not immediately skilled, in video production.

Candice Sealey is the founder and principal marketing and PR consultant at Ignite! a full service marketing and PR consultancy that helps businesses owners/marketers to promote their businesses, to raise awareness, attract new customers and increase sales. We help you work out what marketing is needed, we bring a fresh approach, create a tailored plan and make it happen, leaving you free to concentrate on dealing the other areas of your business.

Contact us on 784-432-222, Follow us on FB & IG @igniteresults

Twitter: @ignite3D Email: [email protected]