By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations
What does it take to be successful in PR? After you’ve been in this business a while, it’s a question you’ll be asked time and time again. There’s never one right answer, but there are some traits and skills that will help you establish a successful career in the field. Here are a few skills/traits that I think make a difference:
- Being intellectually curious and open to new thoughts and ideas. If you’re genuinely interested in learning about people, places and things, it will help you stay connected and knowledgeable about a wide range of topics. It can really set the stage for your success in the PR business.
- Knowing what news is, and what reporters want. It doesn’t matter if YOU think it’s interesting; the question is will it be interesting to the reporter/media outlet and their readers/viewers/listeners? Over time, you can develop a pretty good instinct about this and that will help you shape your messaging when pitching a story.
- Being a good writer. Today, in most cases for general PR, it means being a good story teller with a conversational writing style.
- Knowing how to network/build relationships. A key skill in PR is relationship building; with your clients, other PR professionals, reporters and your social followers. If you don’t like people; or if you’re an introvert, then PR is going to be difficult for you.
- Keeping up with technology. You don’t have to be an expert about every new social platform or technology device that comes along, but you should have a basic understanding about it and know the advantages, disadvantages and where it fits in your overall communication plans.
Of course, this list could go on and on. That’s why I’m counting on you to comment on the skills, abilities and traits you think are important to building a successful PR career. What do you think?