10 skills a modern PR professional needs to be Ab Fab in today’s ecosystem

Success in the often chaotic world of public relations requires far more than a solid educational background. Communications professionals working in the modern industry are required to be more dynamic, adaptable and flexible than ever before. There is perhaps no other industry in which specific skills together with character traits count for so much more than conventional education.

Academia can certainly help, but without the following set of 10 essential skills, getting by as a modern PR professional would most likely prove implausible at best.

If you can think of some we’ve missed we’d love to hear them!

1 – Awareness of the Ever Changing Media Landscape

First of all, the media landscape as a whole is changing and evolving at the most extraordinary pace. Change is something that happens on a daily, often even hourly basis, which in turn means that keeping up with what’s new and relevant is a fulltime job in its own right. For the PR professional, maintaining a constant watch over social media and various other channels is a must.

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2 – A Natural Team Player

Given the fact that every element of the marketing mix must be integrated these days, PR professionals are required to work closely and constantly with other media and marketing teams. Collaboration is the only way to get by in modern PR.

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3 – Abstract Thinking

Explosive competition means that in order for a PR professional to position clients favourably, it is necessary to think outside the box and consider abstract concepts. Standing out from the crowd and building a positive brand image in a contemporary context requires creativity on a whole new level.

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4 – Tenacity and Personality

Modern PR professionals also have to tread that very fine line that separates tenacity and aggression. Perseverance with story placements and getting the job done in general is of critical importance at all times. Nevertheless, so too is remaining personable and likable, in order to attract and retain the right friends in the right places.

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5 – Confident Networking Skills

It’s true to say that who you know in the world of contemporary PR can be just as valuable as what you know. Networking represents a massive part of the job and is a responsibility that requires complete and total confidence without exception. For anyone with even a slight hint of shyness about them, PR roles are entirely out of the question.

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6 – Flexibility and Timeliness

It is often necessary for PR professionals to work unsociable hours, not to mention rather extensive hours that may continue over weekends, evenings, bank holidays and so on. It is impossible to predict exactly when the services of the PR professional may be needed, meaning they must be available and on standby at all times. Leaving your emails/ phone at the office is typically a no-go in the world of PR but don’t forget to pay attention to our second point, being a team player means the workload can definitely be split.

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7 – Superior Writing Skills

As the job in general will inherently involve the production of a great deal of written copy, it simply makes sense to practice and enhance writing skills. Being a great writer in the world of PR means knowing exactly how to present matters and points of importance in the most appropriate and effective tone, voice, context and so on. It can be borderline impossible to achieve success and gain respect as a working PR professional without genuinely outstanding writing skills.

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8 – Flawless Levelheadedness

As a PR professional, you often never know what the next day or even the next hour will bring. Nevertheless, if it is something of importance to get the job done, you have to handle it professionally. Which in turn calls for supreme levelheadedness as the daily duties of the PR professional can be stressful, challenging, frantic, frustrating and often downright intimidating.

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9 – Personal Organisation Skills

More often than not, PR professionals will to a certain extent be given free rein by the brand or business hiring them. Rather than being told what to do and how to do it, those who work in PR are instead required to organise, balance and manage their own workloads, duties and activities. As such, it is of critical importance that they possess flawless personal organisation skills and are comprehensively reliable and dependable.

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10 – Accountable and Honest

Last but not least, every PR professional on the face of the earth makes mistakes from time to time – the difference being whether or not they are willing to accept it and learn from it, and also how one reacts in times of pressure or uncetainty. Accountability and honesty go hand in hand and are both the kinds of qualities that are of absolute importance for the modern PR professional. Accessing and acknowledging mistakes allows for growth and development, whereas denial and dishonesty lead to stagnation.

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Contact us if you’d like advice on hiring a PR professional, structuring your in-house PR or comms team, or if you’re interested in our retained PR, Comms and Marketing services.

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