As a public relations (PR) officer, you will have to plan, develop, organise, evaluate, communicate, and execute strategies to present organisations to the public in a positive manner. You will also be responsible for implementing effective channels of communication within organisations.
So what type of work will you actually be doing if you are a public relations officer?
One minute, you might be busy writing press releases and preparing presentations, and the next, you might be resolving a crisis on social media. You might also be required to attend important events, network with key industry role players, and analyse media coverage. This is why you need a diverse range of skills if you want to succeed in a career in PR.
To give you an idea of the range of skills you will need if you want to become a successful PR officer, here is a list of the top 6 skills that you need to work in the PR industry:
If you want to succeed in the PR industry, you need to be an excellent communicator. Everything that you do in this industry involves some or other form of interaction with other people, and it is therefore essential that you are able to communicate effectively. Not only will you have to be a good writer and a confident speaker, but you will also have to be an active listener.
Ability to work under pressure
As a PR officer, you will often have a full schedule, heavy workload, and tight deadlines. Due to the nature of the job, you will constantly be required to perform, and excel, under pressure. Making sure that you know how to stay calm and manage your time effectively will help you to do your job well, and will also help you to establish a good reputation for yourself in this industry.
Proper research and fact-checking are essential aspects of the PR industry. You will only be able to manage the reputation of an organisation effectively if you are able to ensure that the public statements you make on behalf of an organisation are true and accurate, and not misleading or defamatory.
You will therefore need sound research skills, both to stay up to date with the happenings within an organisation, as well as to stay up to date with industry-related news and current affairs.
Writing is an important form of communication in the PR industry. Whether it is writing a press release, drafting a presentation, composing an email, or formulating a response to a query, you need to make sure that:
- You communicate your intended message clearly
- Your spelling and grammar are flawless
- Your tone is appropriate in the context
Creativity refers to the ability to perceive the world in new ways and to generate solutions based on these perceptions. As a PR officer, you will need creativity to come up with effective solutions and responses to the situations you will be faced with on a daily basis.
Attention to detail
Paying close attention to detail will make it less likely that you will make mistakes in your work, or that you will overlook important aspects when completing various PR-related tasks.
If, for example, you are dealing with a complaint from a customer on social media, it will help you to deal with the situation more effectively if you are able to identify and address all the aspects of the complaint, instead of ignoring the details and not resolving the underlying issues.