By Lydia Harris, Intern in Mobas' PR team.
The definition of public relations is constantly evolving, and this stems from the diversity of work each day brings – especially in an agency. Before embarking on my internship at Mobas this summer, I believed that in order to have a successful career in PR, you needed to be good at communicating, enthusiastic and creative. However, I soon learnt that to succeed in the ever-changing PR environment there were many additional skills required. Here are my top 5 skills I think are vital for working in PR.
- Be aware
While most graduates claim to be up-to-date with current affairs, for someone working in PR this awareness needs to go beyond what is happening in the news and extend to other trends in publishing – whether it be social networks or traditional media. Digital skills are becoming more important than ever in the PR industry and the best way to understand how social media can benefit a brand is by getting stuck in, ensuring that tone of voice and audience are considered to create engaging content. Research skills are essential in ensuring that you not only have general awareness but also a more client-focused understanding of specific industries.
- Have confidence in creative ability
Whilst being creative is clearly important in PR, as you will spend many hours trying to think of new and exciting ideas to present a client, confidence in your ability will allow you to present these ideas effectively. Confidence, not arrogance, will help you to pitch to a client an idea which may be considered ‘out of the box’. An environment whereby text and images are the sole means of promoting a client’s reputation no longer exists. Now, more than ever, there is a demand for relevant and innovative thinking around creating stunts, videos and events.
- Have great communication skills
With the evolution of the PR industry, being able to write well and speak to people in a confident way is not enough. PR representatives now have to consider the digital age with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and be in more touch with subtle nuances in language dependent on their target audience. Nonetheless, attention to detail and an excellent grasp of grammar are still invaluable.
- Be organised
Being organised is absolutely crucial to keeping on top of your daily tasks. Maintaining a balance between your everyday tasks, client needs and breaking news can be challenging, but once perfected will stand you in good stead.
- Be flexible
To assist with this aforementioned balance, being reactive and proactive is essential. We must react to situations and be proactive in finding relevant news hooks, partnerships and other opportunities for our clients.