Musings of a PR Professional

Skills Needed in PR

After narrowing it down, which was extremely hard to do, I decided on the two most important skills needed in the PR field, in my opinion. They are writing and being technologically savvy. In a way, these two skills are completely different. Writing seems to be the rock in terms of important PR skills. It is the unwavering, tried and true means of communication and that’s what makes it so great- it can never go out of style. Writing (good writing, I should say) is necessary in all aspects of PR. From news releases and writing speeches to “coordinating communication efforts with advertising campaigns” and planning special events (pg. 37 in our text, Public Relations A Values-Drive Approach), writing helps accomplish what needs to be done. One must be eloquent and understood in their writing, no matter what type of writing he or she is doing. If you are not able to craft clear and effective messages then what’s the point? Well written messages are the backbone of PR.

Personally, I consider myself to be a very good writer. I think it is just one of those things I have a natural knack for. Ever since I was a little girl it has been my hobby to write whenever I could. I kept diaries and eventually, as the technology emerged, I began to blog. So, I think part of the reason I am a skillful writer is because I enjoy it so much. Working at getting better at it is not work at all for me. Now, that is not to say that I don’t have room for improvement, I certainly do. However, I think my talent for writing sets me apart from others in terms of good writing skills.

The other PR skill I find most important is quite different from the age old art of writing. But, that certainly does not make it any less important. Being able to adapt to new, growing and changing technology is critical. John Bell focuses on new technology in his series of blog posts about the skills PR practitioners will need for the future of the profession. He describes this new age very well, “The short story is that we are now in a great time of innovation. The same predictable media spend won’t cut it anymore or, more accurately, it may work today but maybe not tomorrow.”People today are getting their messages from a variety of new sourcesand not only are they recieving information, they are communicating right back to us in a technologically sophisticated way. In another one of Bell‘s post he lists the various online channels people are using to voice their opinions. Blogs, multimedia search engines and message boards are just a few. It is a PR practitioner’s job to keep their finger on the pulse. It is imperative that a person in this field have the technological know-how so that they can send and recieve messages the way the public is at that moment.

I am far from being Miss Technology, but I am definitely willing to learn. The more blogging I do, the more I search the internet for examples of PR, the more apparent it is becomming that this profession is extremely up-to-date. And it has to be, effective communication between the organization and its publics is impossible if organizations are sending messages and listening to the wrong channels. I love the idea that PR is constantly changing and I want to learn how to keep up. First and foremost, I plan to continue blogging and reading the blogs of people already in the PR field. I think the best way to adapt to technological innovations is through hands on learning. I plan to participate in a lot of trial and error with sites such as Flickr and Google Groups. 

The field of PR is so diverse, I am ready to dive in.