The PR industry is ever-growing. In order to adjust to these changes and become a successful PR professional, it is important to hone your public relations skills. Whether you’re looking to break into your first entry-level position or hope to climb the PR ladder, here are 10 skills all public relations professionals must have by 2022:
1. Knowledge of the AP Stylebook
Of all the skills you could possibly learn, this one is probably the most important. As PR professionals, we know the importance of Associated Press (AP) Style. AP Stylebook is as a veritable lifeline for everyone. The AP Stylebook is the essential style manual for all writers, editors, students and public relations specialists.
2. Being able to blog
Blogging has really grown as a way to reach an audience online in terms of providing user-friendly content. A great way to sharpen your skills of blogging is to create your own blog where you can practice blogging about topics related to the PR industry. By doing this, you are showing that you are able to use popular blogging sites like Google Blogger and WordPress and are creating valuable content for an audience.
3.Keeping up with the times and information while remaining educated on emergent trends and issues
It’s a lot easier to anticipate opportunities and challenges when you’re aware of them before your competition or detractors. A way to do this would be to stay on top of related industry news and how it might affect the company you are working for.
4. Able to Shoot and Edit Video
With the advancement of technology and the internet, many companies are using various sites like YouTube and Vimeo to create and upload videos that spread awareness of their brand. A great way to show your skills in this area to potential employers is to begin practicing shooting video with a camera and uploading your videos on your own YouTube channel.
5. Being Bilingual
In recent decades, the United States has grown to become more diverse. According to Census.gov, Hispanics will make up approximately 54% of the population growth in America. From this one can see how valuable knowing a second language like Spanish can be when it comes to being able to communicate with diverse media outlets. Or even if your dream is to work in public relations in a foreign country, having the ability to speak a second language will come in handy.
6. Knowledge of Advertising
Know the difference between advertising and PR (Advertising is controlled media that is paid for, while PR is focused on brand awareness and publicity). Nowadays, companies are implementing the idea of an integrated marketing communications team when it comes to strategic communications for the company. Having a overall knowledge of how advertising is used and how advertising will make you a valuable voice within your workplace.
7. SEO Expertise
Having skills associated with SEO, as well as the knowledge of how to research topics using keywords is an invaluable skill in PR. SEO allows the target audience you are trying to reach to find related content you create that is associated with the key words you use in blog posts or other online media.
8. Create and curate content on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ Pinterest, StumbleUpon)
In the future PR professionals will own social media content creation and digital marketing. PR professionals can do this effectively because they know how to write engaging and valuable content for social media. Having an active social media in the sites previously mentioned will be a great way to hone these skills and show potential employers that you are able to run their social media sites.
9. Programming skills
Having the ability to manipulate code in WordPress/content management is certainly a skill needed for public relations since many companies are using WordPress as a platform to share content.
The ability to write clear, concise copy that is relevant, engaging and conversational will only grow in importance. If you’re still in college, make sure part of your curriculum is writing-based and that you are taking classes associated with journalism and writing for public relations. This is important given the importance of the journalist/public relations professional relationship. Having a knowledge of journalism will allow you to determine what qualifies as “newsworthy” and how exactly to angle a lead so that your press release has a greater chance of being used.
While this list of 10 skills may seem intimidating, consider taking educational classes either online or in your community to develop your skills in certain areas associated with public relations. If you do this, you will be better prepared by 2022 to either advance in your PR career or gain entry-level employment.
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