5 PR skills you won’t learn in a classroom

Do you know how to budget? Read a balance sheet? Possess basic management skills? You’d better get cracking if you want to work in PR.

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It’s a gross generalization, but as a rule we joke that we went into PR because we hate numbers.

And numbers are just one thing you need to know that you won’t learn in PR class. Here are five other skills:

1. The business dashboards. Do you know the difference between a profit and loss statement, and a balance sheet? Do you know how to read them? Do you know the difference between revenue and the bottom line? What about the difference between gross and net margins? Do you know how your efforts can affect revenue and margins? If you can’t say yes to every one of these questions, I recommend you befriend someone in your accounting department. Learn it. It will benefit you in the long run.

2. Traditional marketing. The lines between PR and marketing are becoming even more blurred. In a comment on a blog post describing the difference between PR and advertising, Ken Mueller lamented that the term “PR” may eventually go away because everything is integrating. Learn how to generate, nurture, and convert leads. Work with your sales team to understand how they use the customer relationship management software. Learn how to automate some of your reporting, as it relates to all the good work you’re doing.

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