People working in public relations should:
Be intelligent communicators
It’s not enough to have the nerve to start a conversation or do a media pitch by phone, email, or Twitter. In PR, you have to lead the conversation to achieve the best results. PR demands intelligent communication and an innovative and exciting approach. This will ensure you become a trusted advisor who provides great value to your client or company.
Be stress resistant
A PR professional is often a middleman (or woman). Whether you’re in-house or agency, you have to deal with various parties: CEOs, stakeholders, editors, journalists, suppliers, etc.
Being in the middle creates the dilemma of how to make everybody happy at the same time while achieving your PR goals. This is exceptionally hard—sometimes impossible.
However, dealing with the demands and challenges of clients and journalists is part and parcel of the PR profession and you need to accept this. Keep strict control over your emotions. A clear mind provides the only chance to move forward and not become bogged down in a stressful deadlock.
Deadline is the most frequently used word in public relations, and sticking to the deadlines is one of the major tasks for a PR pro. To make this happen, you must be organized. More than that, you must organize everybody involved to make the interview happen, manage the event, or execute the campaign. For this, planning is the key. It helps to ensure you have everything under control and allows space to manoeuvre. True, you can’t predict everything, but being organized will certainly help you deal with the unexpected.
If you have enough energy and motivation, you’ll feel comfortable and happy in the PR industry. Even in the business-to-business sector, you still can have loads of fun and find creative ways of doing your job properly. Generating new ideas, hooks and angles will be necessary the whole way through your PR career, so stay on your feet and don’t stop coming up with alternative ideas.
What other attributes do you think PR pros should have?
Anton Davidenko is head of digital and social media at Moonlight Media in the U.K.
Contact him via Twitter: @antdav.