Written by Olivia Ryan
Public relations is a hard field to succeed in but once you do, you will have achieved a lot. To be a great PR
professional, you need to possess a strong and varied set of skills. These professionals share the traits of being great
communicators and storytellers, established individuals and critical thinkers.
Interestingly, your hard skills might be the thing that you use to land the job as a PR professional, but the thing that
will keep that job for you and help you move forward are the strong skills. Since strong skills lead to relationship
building and creative work, so working on improving your performance can yield ongoing dividends as you progress in your career.
Below are five super simple considerations to help ensure you are thinking about your own results as well as those of your clients.
1. Identify and learn a new skill
As a PR professional, you will be meeting many people through different media outlets. You will also be exposed to
all kinds of strategies, as well as challenges, making it impossible to use the same methods over and over again.
Wanting to succeed in this field demands that you follow the trends and work on learning new things all the time,
therefore developing a more effective PR work.
This as any other professional field is transforming regularly, so keep an eye on the trends. This is not hard or
complicated. In fact, it can be very simple and take only a few minutes of your time each day. Open popular PR
websites, read the daily newspapers to get some updates on the happenings in the world, and stay in touch with
your PR colleagues and friends.
2. Play around with different writing styles
Any professional in this field cannot thrive in the industry without possessing good writing skills. ‘’In the PR world,
writing is a critical skill to master. Begin with the press releases and finish with the pitches – it is all about the
storytelling.’’ – explains Eugene Moore, a writer at aussiewritings.com
Build on your writing skills by taking time to write in different styles and forms, for no other purpose than to explore and evolve your relationship with your own writing.
3. Learn about story arcs and use them to build out campaigns
Understanding the different story arcs that are known to resonate well with human beings can help you to figure out the best way to communicate a particular client story. You can also think about story arcs when pitching your services, sharing your own story during panels and when writing content or speeches on behalf of clients. The next time a friend is telling your particularly good story, pause and pay attention to what is capturing your interest.
4. Get to know other aspects of your client’s business
Every organization runs the risk of operating from multiple silos that prevent the exchange of information that is crucial for the success of the business. Great story and pith ideas are not relegated to your own department or even communications. Spending time with customer service, research and development, retail employees and even trusted vendors can be a great way to spark new ideas and get invaluable insight into the human beings who make up the company. Host or schedule meetings occasionally with other departments to get a fuller picture of how you can best support from a PR perspective.
5. Create personal and professional development goals
Inspiration can come from anywhere and as your own mindset evolves you’ll be able to be a better strategic advisor and communications leader. Whether you choose to hire a coach, commit to a new fitness goal or implement new productivity habits, make sure not to lose yourself in the process of being so focused on getting client results.
If you look at your career as not simply having a starting and stopping point, but a whole trajectory upon which you can both develop PR skills, acquire new areas of expertise and also experience personal development along the way, you’ll be set up for a rich and rewarding professional life.
About Olivia Ryan
Olivia is an independent journalist and passionate explorer. She likes to write about everything that
can positively affect people’s life. When not searching for a new topic to write on, Olivia prefers to take a camera
and enjoy the beauty of nature. Connect with her on Twitter @olivirayray.