PR Advice: 10 Essential Skills New PR Pros Must Have

, Posted on Apr 30


I’m very passionate about providing PR advice to students and recent grads to help them succeed during their careers. It’s part of the reason why I manage the Help a PR Pro Out Michigan Report and return to my alma mater, Central Michigan University, to speak to the PRSSA chapter whenever I’m available to do so.

I recently spoke at the annual CMU PRSSA Spring Conference, themed PR Highway. Rather than talking about social media trends or delivering a “how to” talk, I decided to focus on sharing the essential skills PR pros must have to succeed in this industry. The skills I discussed apply to a variety of career choices, because let’s face it, there is no “one size fits all” approach to PR anymore. Every professional has to be adaptable and come prepared out of college with the knowledge and capabilities to tackle a variety of tasks for their company/clients – ranging from internal communications and media relations to writing blog content and managing a Facebook ad campaign. All those tasks can easily fall under the responsibilities of a PR pro today!

Here is my presentation on Prezi with the 10 most important skills I recommend every new PR pro possesses. I hope you take the time to click through the short presentation, but here’s an overview of the 10 skills I included:

  1. Excellent writer
  2. Strategic thinking
  3. Detail oriented and organized
  4. Media/blogger relations
  5. Humbly confident
  6. Ability to counsel and advise
  7. Clear communicator
  8. Provide creative direction
  9. Understand basics of SEO, HTML, CMS (if you don’t know what these acronyms stand for, Google them NOW!)
  10. Reporting and analytics

That’s my PR advice, but what else would you add? 

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