Six skills PR professionals need to master

Six skills PR professionals need to master

The team at Target Media Directory shares the need-to-know skills for PR pros.

Here they are:

1. Creating and editing video content

Video content is taking the digital world by storm thanks to online platforms like YouTube, SnapChat and Tik-Tok. And “creating quality custom video content is something that many brands will pay a premium for,” says Caroline Yodice in an article for PR Daily.

Part of the job in the communications industry means being adaptable to new trends — one such trend is the increased consumption of video content across digital platforms. And where consumers go, brands will soon follow. This means that more and more brands will be looking to invest in video content.

So in order to tell your client’s story in a way that their consumers may appreciate, you need to learn how to craft and edit video effectively.

2. Creating compelling digital content

"With the emergence of social media, a key success factor is the ability to develop compelling stories that drive word-of-mouth,” says John Clinton, head of creative and content at Edelman, in an interview with Forbes.

Producing branded content is not enough to really make the most of social media; you need content that people also want to share. Luckily, the PR industry trains storytellers. This means you know a thing or two about what stories will motivate consumers to share.

To harness the power of social media, you need to take your stories and turn them into shareable digital content — this can be in the form of images (such as infographics, memes or photographs), videos (for example, GIFs or short films) and audio (like podcasts or sound bytes).

3. Understanding the analytics

The only way determine the effectiveness of a digital communications campaign is to measure it. This means you have to become an expert at understanding analytics. You need to be able to tell exactly how many impressions, how much engagement and how many new followers you’ve earned over the course of your campaign.

“Clients want to understand how the campaign is working. How many people are seeing the article or post? Are they clicking through? How many sales leads came from your PR efforts?”

“The best way to answer your client’s questions is to learn how to collect and read the data. PR pros should excel at proving their work is worth the money spent,” says Yodice.

Using analytics can also help you to determine exactly what’s working and what’s not — and you’ll be able to adjust your communication efforts accordingly.

4. Implementing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

“Unless they’re trying to hide, PR pros must accelerate content discovery and distribution with SEO,” says Lee Odden in an article for PR Daily.

SEO is a way of fine-tuning your content so that it is more visible online. You can use optimisation techniques like including backlinks, making use of keywords and repurposing original content.

If your content isn’t specifically tailored to be found online — it won’t be. So if you want a measurable way to drive traffic to your online content, then SEO is the way to go.

5. Working with virtual teams

“As more companies allow their employees to work remotely, the challenge of managing a remote workforce will come to the forefront. How will managers motivate, monitor, discipline and inspire workers spread across the country, even the world?” says Arik Hanson in PR Daily.

Your job is almost entirely reliant on an Internet connection — making it possible to take up work from anywhere in the world. However, you’ll need to make sure that you, and your team, are up for the challenge.

A great way to do that is to take the focus off time spent working (the amount of hours a day/week/month someone is supposed to work) and rather focus on the results of productivity. Another thing you can do is to come up with creative ways to keep you and your team motivated.

6. Building relationships with bloggers

“In PR, one core role is to help brands deliver the right message to the right audience. Media relations is one effective tool. But a number of bloggers are also building strong readership in niche subject areas,” says Heather Whaling in PR Daily.

Whaling continues, “Pitching bloggers isn’t the same as pitching other kinds of media; however, PR people need to understand how to innovate media relations best practices and incorporate blogger outreach into their strategies.”

The media is evolving to include more than just the traditional journalist. And bloggers are one example of a potential media contact that is building and communicating to a niche audience.

This is why, when working in the communications industry, it’s your job to find creative and effective ways to connect and build relationships with people who have influence in a specific area — one that your client may be trying to reach.
Working as a PR pro means constantly adapting to new trends and industry shifts. But there are some fundamental things that won’t change in 2019 — you can read about them in our article, Eight do’s and don’ts for PR professionals.