By Gladys Mae
Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.
In public relations, your reputation is key. Being upfront, honest and sticking to your core values in your working life will not only help you sleep better at night but enhance your networks and the quality of your work. Alternative facts, spin and mistruths will diminish your hard work when representing a client and their brand. To make your mark in the PR world, stick to the truth.
The ability to undertake research and build your knowledge of a client’s product or service is key. Keeping up to date on the latest market trends, competition, technology, and customer desires will assist you in having a successful career in PR. Further, conducting background research ensures your ability to meet the needs of your clients without a sweat, and speak with journalists and analysts about your subject matter with confidence and ease. For example, some PR firms specialise in niche tech areas, so promoting yourself as an individual who has grasped the workings of technology and the fast-paced nature of the tech industry will make you a preferred contact over those who rely solely on other skills.
More than a soft skill, the ability to build your professional network is a crucial skill for success in PR. Your ability to build relationships in expressing your confidence and charisma will complement oral and written communication skills, making you a great PR representative.
In the high pressure environment of PR, the ability to work on multiple projects at any one time will be part of your everyday. This means handling multiple clients with varying needs and differing deadlines. Professionals who thrive and enjoy working in such a fast-paced environment will love the energy of PR.
Accuracy in your work is essential for a successful and long career in PR. The ability of a PR professional to tell their clients’ stories through the fast-paced and ever-evolving media demands accuracy and attention to detail. When constantly reviewing and editing written content for clients, it is crucial to deliver a flawless edit, as even the smallest of mistakes could be the difference between a campaign’s success or failure.
The media landscape is constantly changing. People are consuming media through apps and social media more than ever, where clickbait as a style of reporting is normal. As a PR expert, you must be flexible and adapt to these changes.
PR managers must have the ability to think on their feet. It’s now very rare to meet journalists and media buyers face-to-face, so quick strategic thinking will help you get across a client’s brand, make a pitch, run events and successfully execute campaigns. Excellent strategic thinking comes from a place of passion, vision, and knowing your subject matter like the back of your hand.
The rise of social media in recent years has been one of the greatest catalysts for change in the PR and media industry. Not only has Twitter and Facebook changed the way media is consumed, it has turned content preparation on its head. PR professionals now create content around social media as the key delivery piece for a client’s campaign. A great feature behind social media’s power is the ability to measure a campaign’s reach and overall effectiveness when using social channels. Even using LinkedIn to communicate with clients, editors and media buyers is now more common than ever before. Being social media savvy will take you places in the industry.
Having polished writing skills is extremely important for a public relations professional. If you can’t organise your thoughts on a page, you will find it very difficult to communicate with clients and colleagues. The more styles you can write in, the better!
Great oral presentation and communication skills are a must. Gaining presentation practice is key, as you’re going to passionately outline and explain your creative ideas to your clients, media buyers, and journalists who expect a professional and insightful delivery of information.
Due to the globalisation of business, there is an increased demand for PR professionals who are bilingual, or even multilingual. In the PR industry, clients often don’t budget for expensive on-the-ground reporting in foreign countries, however, have immediate needs for engaging content in that foreign language on their website or blog. So the more languages a PR professional has under their belt, the greater the opportunity for international postings, providing the opportunity to build a diverse professional portfolio.
You can brush up on your foreign language skills while in the comfort of your own home with a language course from ICI.
The International Career Institute’s Public Relations course has been designed by the PR industry to provide you with the knowledge and skills to conveniently succeed in the industry. Kick-start your career in public relations with ICI today.