Bernay IMC

Having been around the PR, Corporate Communications biz for a while, I believe I have a good understanding of the personal characteristics that are commonly found in a successful PR professional. To stand out in the PR circles, these are the traits of the personnel who are looking at a career in this profession.  PR people need to be:

Think Business like

What’s the end goal? That’s what PR people need to consider, frankly more often than they do typically. The PR activities one executes daily establish a company – put it on the desired map – or contribute to a larger initiative designed to help it do more business. While vague, that’s appropriately described. Before acting, a PR person needs to determine: how does the desired result contribute to the bigger picture of business success?

Flexible, nimble& ready to mingle

I can’t think of a business/career/gig that requires as much flexibility as public relations and social media. Plans, particularly those of clients, change with unexpected regularity. The successful PR professional needs to adapt and, throughout any transition, help clients achieve communications and business success no matter the programmatic direction. Social media channels present the very obvious need to be nimble: one social media post can change the tone of a day. In addition to being reactive and responsive, PR practitioners need to have the ability to professionally deal with whatever comes their way in their own way and wriggle out of the situation.

Writing skills, a must

To be great at PR, one needs to have decent/good/better writing skills. While content development has taken on a more expansive meaning of late, the foundation of the gig is still in keystrokes. Verbal articulation, creative thinking, and a positive personality are all obviously critical characteristics for any profession, but in PR better-than-basic writing skills are imperative, with colleagues and clients demanding everything from compelling blog posts to finely crafted press releases and everything in between.

Early in a career, be adaptive

Becoming a well-rounded, consistently reliable and savvy PR person takes work. The ramp-up to achieving such a lofty standard varies greatly depending on the individual, but no entry-level professional punches into a new job and immediately begins counseling the world’s biggest brands on the highest-profile communications issues. Most newcomers make an impact –but there’s a difference between that impact and other more senior decision-making. There’s so much to learn in PR on a daily basis, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve aimed being a PR guy since I first joined a publishing biz. And, there are plenty of dynamic and entrepreneur bosses and colleagues to learn from – another reason I’ve loved my career. The best young professionals “get” that experience can be gained from closely watching co-workers, carefully noting their accomplishments, and learning from their challenges.


Later in a career, keep learning

As the expression goes, learning is continuous process, and that’s so true when it comes to the ever-evolving PR field. There’s so much to gain in every interaction with a colleague or a client, and in every first-hand experience – from a methodical, well-laid out plan to a crisis situation. The best PR practitioners know to embrace all that is happening around them and best leverage that data to improve as professionals.

Watch and care about news

No matter the market, category, or industry any PR person works within, they need to care about what is happening, both in their core sector and in the broader world. They need to be on top of news and trends, so that they can leverage what they know to craft story ideas that best position their client, topic, etc. within the most timely, topical conversations being had in the media and on the street.

Must be a Hard nut to crack

PR people get shot-down often. It’s a common occurrence, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Amid great editorial success, we get shot-down pitching more than our fair share of story ideas, bylined articles, and profile pieces. While we enjoy much strategic and tactical success when working with clients, we also get shot down presenting ideas for new programs or programmatic approaches. It’s part of the business – and you need to roll with the circumstance. Critique and criticism are common, and solid PR pros learn from their misfires and grow stronger from those experiences.

Adopt media

Don’t merely invest on media networking but start adopting media. Bring a trust amongst the media fraternity that you give invaluable and genuine inputs for their standout stories. In the process also after gauging the journo build them as brands in the category they specialize in and give them local, national and international exposure. Finally who doesn’t need recognition? 

Think before the client thinks

This is an important quality of a PR professional. Think before the client thinks which makes one stand out as a PR professional because preempting is the best quality what a client appreciates. When you do this the client will never look out for another agency. This also builds you as the one who is ready to take up crisis when it hits you with ease. As crisis is merely an accident and how one overcomes the same shows the PR skills and managing the same incidentally the final outcome is what matters.