1. Be a strong communicator and relationship builder
Relationships are everything in public relations. The basis of our industry is the ability to form relationships and build rapport with clients and the media. Working as a public relations professional requires you to be sociable, friendly and approachable. Having meaningful conversations with people will show that you are genuinely interested and will allow you to build strong relationships.
2. Be a good writer
Not only do you have to be good at communicating face-to-face, you must have the ability to communicate well via written word. In the digital age we are in today, it’s important to know how to professionally and comfortably write a decent email, letter or press release. Even something as a simple grammatical or fact error can mean the difference between yes and no, so in order to be a successful public relations girl, you need to have great writing skills!
3. Be informed
If you’re not informed of what is going on, how will you make your clients and the media informed? A key to finding success in public relations is knowing your client, your company, the industry and the media like the back of your hand. Strive to learn something new about your client or specific product every single day, so that you are the most knowledgeable person in the room when it comes time to pitch that particular story.
4. Be detail oriented
Pay attention to even the smallest of details. Clients look to you to maintain their positive reputation, and with the fast pace of digital communication today, even one small error can make its way through the media within an hour. Carefully planning out and meticulously reviewing all communication to the media will pay off in the end when your client gets that positive media attention.
5. Be comfortable with public speaking
As a public relations professional, being able to work a room is a must! Get comfortable with public speaking, whether it’s in front of one executive or a crowd of media. You won’t be able to do this job unless you know how to convey a brand message or a story to an audience.
6. Be good at multitasking
Public relations is an industry that never sleeps. Something is (or should be) happening with your brand or client every single day, so being able to multitask is a key trait of a successful public relations girl. From pitching to the media, to controlling a crisis, to initiating a new campaign, being able to juggle multiple projects or clients at once is essential.
7. Be flexible
In this day and age, adapting to changes in the industry is crucial. New technologies, new marketing techniques and new media develop and evolve every single day, so it’s important to be on the ball and ready to adapt to these changes. What’s right today for a client’s social media campaign might not be what’s right tomorrow, so having the ability to be flexible and evolve with the industry is a necessity.
8. Have thick skin
The world of public relations isn’t the place for the faint of heart. Being in public relations, it’s inevitable that you will get shot down quite often, but to be successful, you have to be able to withstand that criticism and persevere through the times you will find yourself at the negative end of a meeting, pitch or campaign feedback. Developing a thick skin will help you recover from those misfortunes and come back even stronger for yourself personally, as well as for the client you are representing.
9. Be patient
In public relations, results don’t happen overnight. Whether it’s not seeing immediate results from a public relations campaign, or waiting to hear back from a publication that you pitched to, patience is truly a virtue in the world of public relations.
10. Don’t be a know-it-all
You can always learn more and do better. The field of public relations is changing every day, so there’s always something new to master or someone new to network with. Be a sponge throughout your whole career in public relations, soaking up new knowledge and tactics whenever possible. Even as you gain experience and become a seasoned public relations professional, there’s so much to learn in the industry you will never be able to say you know it all.