Congratulations to the class of 2023!
As you embark on this next chapter in your life, you may have your eye on public relations and wonder about the qualities it takes to succeed in this career.
Whether a PR class, previous internship, or the big screen piqued your interest, it’s important to establish that, at its core, PR is about public perception and reputation management. It involves strategic communication that raises brand awareness for a person, organization, product, or service and positions experts as thought leaders. It can be challenging and demanding but also incredibly rewarding. Imagine a reporter interested in your idea, and you get to see it published for all to read. Or, your team works hard to navigate a crisis and, in the process, strengthens the client’s reputation and credibility.
No day is the same, and that is what makes PR exciting.
Without further ado, here are the top qualities we believe every young professional should lean into if they decide to pursue a career in PR:
Being creative in public relations means consistently finding new angles and news hooks to keep clients top of mind. While having a steady stream of news is helpful, your creativity can truly shine during the periods between announcements. A savvy PR professional scours the news for relevant opportunities and proactively schedules story-mining sessions with clients, subject matter experts, customers, and end users to brainstorm ideas and keep the momentum going.
Strong Storytelling Skills
Compelling storytelling is crucial in PR. There are now 6.2 PR professionals for every journalist. With so many people vying for a journalist’s attention, it’s essential to craft pithy pitches that grab their interest quickly and keeps it.
In PR, persistence pays off, particularly when it comes to media relations. As mentioned above, there are fewer journalists, which means they are busier than ever, and sometimes they need a gentle nudge. However, there’s a fine line between being persistent and becoming annoying. The more you master this skill, the better you will become at following up without being spammy.
Every day in PR brings new challenges, and resourceful PR professionals do their best to act swiftly. They use their network, digital PR tools, and other resources to problem solve. They are known to take action and demonstrate their value to the team.
It is not unusual for priorities to change suddenly. The nature of the industry is fast-paced. There may be breaking news one day that affects a client, and you have to pull a sentiment report right away or build a quick media list to issue a statement. The more flexible you can be, the easier you will handle these quick transitions when they come your way.
Empathy helps PR professionals develop compelling pitches that aren’t just touting the client but highlighting how the client’s product or service can help end users — what is it about their role or situation that resonates with others? Is there a broader trend that the client is a part of? When you can see things from other people’s perspectives, it’s easier to craft newsworthy angles and connect with audiences on a deeper level.
By embodying these six qualities, you will be well-positioned for success in the world of public relations. Good luck on your journey!