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5 Key Skills for Public Relations Officers

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Steven Conway

As brands are becoming more reliant on influencer marketing, media coverage and events, a career in Public Relations is one with lots of scope.

Often referred to as a PR officer, a specialist in PR often works for a brand, service, or a corporate company, working within busy marketing departments. Daily jobs include planning, developing, organizing, evaluating, communicating, and executing PR strategies which go out to the public.

A successful public relations officer is responsible for how the public perceives a brand or product, depending on its media execution. You may be required to spend one-day writing press releases and seeding them out to various media outlets, and the next day is responding to a crisis on social media.

It also involved organizing and attending events and networking with everyone from business owners and journalists, to influencers and celebrities.

A diverse range of skills is needed if you want to become a successful PR officer. Below, we’ve outlined 6 top skills essential for a career in PR.

1. Strong communication skills
Being a strong communicator is essential when working in PR. The job requires some form of interaction with people on a daily basis, which can be across both writing and speaking.

If you’re afraid of phone conversations, now is the time to overcome the fear. A successful PR officer will be able to pick up the phone and contact various journalists, selling in a product or story with ease. As meeting people and attending events is a heavy part of the job, being able to make conversation with anyone and talk passionately about a brand or product is essential.

2. Managing time pressures
PR officers tend to have busy, full schedules, working to tight deadlines and often working long hours. The nature of the job means you are expected to constantly perform and excel even when under extreme pressure. If there is anyone in the company who must attend presentations, meet with the public or attend promotional meetings, it is usually the PR manager.

As there is a lot of pressure involved with this job, it’s important to be able to stay calm and positive, while managing time effectively.

3. Negotiation skills
Part of the everyday life of a PR officer involves liaising with a variety of different people, but mainly those within the media. The PR Officer must have an element of strong persuasive techniques, selling in their brand or product and persuading the media professional to want to talk about it.

This requires an element of negotiation too. In today’s online heavy world, those in public relations need to work with online influencers, celebrity agents, magazines, and high-profile influential people to rely on for promotion. Negotiation is often required in a bid to come to agreements over rates and activity while being able to compromise and avoid arguments and disputes.

Luckily, if negotiation doesn’t come naturally to you, there are seminars you can attend, which can help you learn the tricks. For example, offer seminars in effective negotiation in various place across the world.

4. Writing skills
Writing is an essential skill when it comes to a career in PR. Most days are filled with writing press releases, composing pitch emails, producing invites, and working on brand presentations.

It’s vital to brush up on your spelling and grammar, as any flaws in written communications will look poor for the company the PR officer is representing.

5. Attention to detail
A keen eye for detail is crucial when working as a PR officer. For example, there may be times when you are expected to deal with criticism on social media, or complaints from the public. An efficient PR officer will be able to deal with the situation by identifying and addressing all aspects of the problem, assessing from every angle. As the role is often the key communicator role in a company, attention to detail is important to help prevent mistakes and assists with effectively managing the reputation of the company.

As you can see from the above, a career in PR requires more than a good degree. To be successful in this industry, you’re expected to have a combination of creativity and communication skills, with a strong vision to push a company’s reputation positively. Overall, it’s extremely rewarding, and can lead to a strong career profession.

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