Do you have what it takes to work in PR?

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Whether you’re considering a career in PR or are currently working in this field, there are certain skills you need in order to succeed. So what are these, and do you possess them? Our resident PR expert - Kelly Hopkins - recently contributed to a piece on this very subject and we thought we would share her views with our readers.  You can view the full article on PRmoment.com, but here are Kelly’s top tips:

1. Relevant skills, experience and contacts: Hiring organisations, whether that be agency or in-house, are looking for professionals who have worked on similar brands and who have something tangible to offer the business. This could be in the form of contacts and in-depth knowledge about a particular industry to add further credibility to the team and more consultative and advisory value to clients or the board. Recruitment budgets are tight and clients are taking less risk and want to hire as close to briefs as possible.

2. Integrated skills: An interesting trend is the on-going shift in the sector towards the full-service agency – those that can offer integrated marketing/PR/digital/design for instance. This is calling for a broader range of roles than has historically been the case – marketing managers for PR agencies for example. What this means is that roles and skill sets are becoming much more defined and employers are creating job specs with tight criteria.

3. Social media skills: Around 90 per cent of the briefs we receive have some element of social media and online PR so it’s a must have skill whatever your level. You don’t have to be an expert, but being able to walk into an interview and say that you have built online relationships with bloggers or other on-line influencers within your specific industry sector is bound to add weight to your application.

4. Evaluation skills: ROI is at the top of everyone’s agenda. Consequently analytics and evaluation skills are in demand. Although hitting coverage targets is still essential, we’re finding that an increasing number of clients want to see what impact this coverage has and explore whether alternative approaches could result in more success.

5. Techies: There is exceptional high demand for tech PROs for both B2B and consumer accounts and with the number of new tech companies moving into the new “Silicon Roundabout” area we can only see this increasing.

6. International campaign experience: More organisations are looking for new revenue streams beyond their traditional domestic borders and so need PROs who can see the bigger global picture.

7. Senior digital expertise: We are also seeing increased demand for senior digital specialists at director level who can pull all the strands of digital strategy together from winning and developing new business to keeping abreast of developments in terms of new and evolving digital platforms.

Whilst there is no denying that the PR market for job seekers is a competitive space, those candidates with the relevant skills and experience are being snapped up quickly. Ensure you are continuously adding to your skill set and keeping up with new developments in order to give yourself the best chance of success. Good luck!