How to do good PR: 10 must-have qualities for communicators
Newsflash: Not everyone is cut out for the world of public relations.
Becoming a successful PR pro is not easy. The profession can be difficult and demanding, but also extremely rewarding. Figuring out how to be successful in public relations requires a unique mix of creativity, accuracy, critical-thinking, powerful tools and more.
If you’re still determining how to do good PR, we’ve rounded up our top 10 must-have qualities for communications professionals.
1. You have to be a strong writer
The written word still dominates the field when it comes to public relations.
A great PR professional is familiar with the fundamental rules of grammar and AP Style. But it isn’t enough to just have the fundamentals of great writing down pat; a good PR professional knows how to create compelling content by weaving together a story that will draw in readers.
2. You must be prepared
An excellent PR pro is always on the lookout for new opportunities and ready for them when they strike.
Keep business cards and your smartphone handy -- you never know when you’ll need to take notes or meet a potential client.
3. You need to have at least a basic understanding of SEO
Online earned media can have a huge impact on a brand’s search engine optimization and keyword rankings.
Implementing SEO best practices in your content can help extend the reach of your message and boost your brand’s online authority.
4. Being detail-oriented is a must
When it comes to PR, making sure all materials are accurate, up-to-date and factual, while still telling a favorable story about your company or client is a must.
A successful PR pro triple checks the facts and makes sure all sources are credible.
5. You must meet deadlines
Journalists are always (always!) on deadline. Make sure to turn in materials on time and respond as quickly as possible to requests from reporters.
By helping a journalist to meet their deadline, you can forge a relationship that will benefit both parties well into the future.
6. Knowing how to research is key
A quality PR pro knows how to do their homework.
Not only will an investigative mind help you to craft compelling content, it will also help you to determine the best media outlets and journalists to pitch.
7. You must always be learning
Great PR professionals consume news on a daily basis to stay abreast of trends.
Make time each week to spend a few hours reading, watching or doing some social listening to see what’s trending among your target audience. If possible, attend industry conferences to stay up-to-date on news and best practices in the PR industry itself.
Our list of the top 25 must-read PR blogs is a great place to start.
8. Social media is a requirement
In today’s digital landscape, consumers have unprecedented access to brands via social networks.
A great PR professional knows how to navigate social media to increase exposure of their brand or client among the target audience.
Beware: Social media gives consumers a place to directly and easily air their grievances with a brand. Successful PR pros must be ready to handle backlash and address concerns on social within a reasonable amount of time.
9. You have to be resourceful
Challenges are typical in the world of PR.
From dealing with a crisis to finding a creative way to pitch a product launch, the day-to-day job requires critical thinking.
Coming up with creative solutions to everyday problems makes a great PR professional stand out from the crowd.
10. Self-discipline is critical
Sometimes being a great PR pro means wearing multiple hats at any given time.
Figure out early-on how to prioritize tasks and best manage your time and your workload. Your clients, coworkers and any journalists you work with will thank you later.
What other qualities would you add to this list if you’re trying to figure out how to do good PR? Let us know on Twitter.
Curious to learn more about how Muck Rack can help you improve your public relations success? We’d love to tell you more.
Jessica Lawlor is the features editor for the Muck Rack blog and handles PR and social media for Muck Rack.
Photo via Pixabay