The kind of skillsets one should develop to build a career in PR…

The fundamentals of PR will never change and the principles of PR still need to be followed while working on any PR strategy or Campaign. What ever you communicate to your stakeholders should be transparent and credible. There should be complete clarity, where there is no clarity there is will be confusion. Clarity is the backbone of excellent communication and hence you must strike a perfect balance between strategy and execution so the right messaging is created and delivered.

One of the basics that I have been taught when it comes to PR is you must show interest to read a lot and keep increasing your knowledge bank. You need to create your own Wikipedia page in your laptop and keep saving and storing the various content that you come across which will be relevant and useful in your campaign planning or thinking. While browsing content online is one way of learning new things but buying the right books and making it a point to read is another way of building your knowledge which will also help you in strengthening your writing and thinking skills. Any communication professional must master the art of writing and making good presentation. While this will come through experience and but you must show the passion to learn and develop.

There is no substitute for listening. Without listening properly, you can never communicate. The power of listening and observation is what will help you cull out great insights for your campaign. While listening will help you understand a brief or a problem but you also need to ask the right questions, be it a briefing with client on a new campaign or conversing with the journalists who have very limited time when they engage with the PR professionals.

Eye for details is crucial and you need be flawless when you send your press release or press note to the media. Ensure that you double check everything that leaves your mail. You will earn and command a good respect when your client or the journalist get a perfect release or brief note. Many organisations especially the clients judge a PR professionals based on their writing skills followed by the attention for detail.

You need to be creative in your approach. Pitching innovative ideas will excite the journalists. It’s important to encourage your team to think outside the box. While it may sound cliché but you need to develop that art and knack to be different in your thinking. No idea is bad idea so keep thinking and churning out ideas something will click and that may be the big idea for your campaign. One way to facilitate this creative thinking is to hold regular brainstorming meetings. Keep track of all your ideas, including the bad or unused ones. These could spark new ideas down the line.

Media relationship is something that you will learn over a period of time while working with a PR consultancy. You need to show some passion and understand the media fraternity and the type of beats the various journalist cover. With the guidance of the seniors, you will be able to master this. But the new media animal social media is something you need to hone your skills. Some amount of training will be required which you can pick it online or learn on the job. It is similar to any other media but it is far more dynamic as the news travels faster. You need to be agile, sharp and creative to leverage the platform. It will be far more challenging when you have to handle a crisis situation. But with the right kind of training and guidance one will be able to manage the challenges of social media.

The above skillsets will definitely will be a good beginning for aspiring PR professionals. The aspirants just need to show interest and be focused in their career to grow in this sector which is always in search for talented young professionals. The business is growing and will keep growing as clients have seen the power of PR in building brands. Today PR is a very important tool for every marketing professional and is looked as key driver along with other marketing activities.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Ganapathy Viswanathan
An independent consultant in Branding and Communication, Ganapathy Viswanathan comes with over three decades of experience in Brand Communication, Public Relations & Digital Marketing. He has worked in diverse disciplines with several multinational advertising agencies like Ogilvy, Lowe and Mudra Group.

On the Public Relations front, he was the General Manager, Western region of 20:20 MSL, where he spearheaded the western region operations. In his last role he was the Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Communication at Eureka Mobile Advertising - a mobile engagement company in India head quartered in UK.

1 Comment on "The kind of skillsets one should develop to build a career in PR…"

  1. Ramasubramanian K S | May 31, 2023 at 9:45 PM | Reply

    Well written covering critical points.

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