Tag Archives: corporate communication

6 Skills You Need to Succeed in PR.

image-90“Everything you do or say is public relations.” – Unknown

Do you ever wonder what it takes to survive in the world of public relations? It’s a question I get asked sometimes by students considering the field. It’s also a question I still ask my mentors. Until we become seasoned professionals, we only know as much as we’ve experienced.
However, if you’re truly passionate about the field, that’s one sign, you’re headed in the right
direction. So, what else?

  1. Patience. The PR field is faced with a lot of rejection. When it comes to pitching a story idea, or trying to get your client featured, you’re not always going to succeed. It is
    incredibly important to remain patient and determined.
  2. Quick thinking. Also known as, crisis management 101. When you get a call at 3 a.m. you’re going to have to be quick on your feet. A portion of the PR role is handling a crisis if one arises. The more time you take to figure out a solution, the more damage your client will face.
  3. Sociable. The field strives on networking, and understanding what it takes to be a good communicator. It is important to possess good social skills. PR professionals interact with the public on a daily basis. This will include public speaking and presenting in front of your clients.
  4. Dedicated. If you’re looking for a 9-5 office job, PR might not be your calling. The job
    entails a strong dedication to the field and your career. It also requires different hours on different days. Ignoring a call or an email after hours could lead to a missed opportunity – including a crisis. It’s a job that works around the clock, and you have to be willing to put in the time.
  5. Tech savvy. This is extremely important for the industry. New technology equates to new opportunities for you and your clients. You must be willing to try out the
    latest technology, gadgets, and software to see what works. Whether it’s for analytics or media alerts, the latest technology will usually accommodate the gaps in the old.
  6. Strategic. I chose strategic as a quality because it touches on a few areas that are
    important. First, you have to be willing to understand your client’s audience and their needs. You have to know when to look at the bigger picture, or when to consult outside
    resources. As well, the field requires you to make recommendations after you’ve
    thoughtfully analyzed whom you’re trying to reach. A campaign will fail if you don’t use strategic thinking to get there.

What else do you think it takes to be in PR?

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A Masters in Public Relations: Why did you do it?

image-86“There is no certainty; there is only adventure.” – Roberto Assagioli

It’s a question I get asked on a regular basis: “Why did you go to graduate school for
public relations?” I figure with the amount of inquiries I get related to this topic, it should really just turn into a blog post. So – voilà!

Many of you know that PR is one of those fields where practical experience is vital to the
industry. In order to truly understand the day-to-day work of the job, you have to immerse yourself in it. Seasoned professionals will tell you they got to where they are through hands-on experience, hard work, and learning from their mistakes. The thought process then usually jumps to the conclusion that it’s better to seek out an internship over heading back to the
classroom for another few years. But, “which option should I choose?” still lingers on the mind of many soon-to-be grads.

Let me start by saying, this debate isn’t about which option is the better choice. The real debate is asking yourself: which option is best FOR ME? There are always going to be pros and cons
associated with either decision. It’s not an answer that you will get from an honest blog post. The true factor in determining what’s the better option is figuring out what your logical next step is going to be.

There are merits in both decisions. Seeking out an internship after you graduate can be
valuable work experience. It shows you are ready to learn more about the field, and
truly get a sense of how the industry works. On the other hand, graduate school offers
you an in-depth look at how the field has evolved, and where it’s headed. As well, graduate school offers you the opportunity to refine the skills needed for the job so you can put them into practice in the real world. In the words of Oscar Wilde, You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Don’t ever be discouraged about learning more. The decision to gain more
education will never be a bad option.

Again, the true answer to this question won’t lie in the advice of a blog post. I came to my
decision by reflecting on what I thought was best for me at that time. Since I was
graduating with practical experience in the field already, I saw this as an opportunity to learn more about the industry. It was a chance for me to learn more about why the industry exists, and how it’s constantly changing. At the end of the day, nobody can make this decision for you. Take the time to lie out your options, and evaluate where you are in your career. Throw away questions like: “Which looks better on a resume?” or “Is it worth it?”

Start asking yourself, “What is the best decision for me right now in my career?” You have the power to make the decision for yourself; you just have to trust that the decision you make will be the one that is meant to be.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 8.48.27 PMWant to discuss the topic more? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson!