The PR industry of today is vastly different from that of yesteryear, and that means that modern PR pros need to be armed with completely different skills. Luckily, media update is here to take you through six of the skills that are an essential part of any modern PR arsenal.

A modern PR professional needs to:

1. Harness hyper-creativity

While any PR professional throughout history could tell you that creativity was a necessary skill, modern PR requires hyper-creativity.

Modern PR still demands that PR pros apply their creativity and constantly generate fresh concepts for campaigns and angles for press releases, as they always have. But, on top of that, PR professionals now have to work that much harder for their message to cut through the competitive noise on digital media.

Plus, with so many media options out there, modern PR pros have to flex their creative muscles – often on behalf of clients – and go further than just using the usual mediums. Creative PR options can include podcasts, social media content websites like Mic and Medium as well as enhanced social media platforms like Facebook Live and IGTV.

The most skilled PR professionals will push the creative limits to come up with new content ideas using the mind-boggling media options out there.

2. Research resourcefully

Before pitching to – and landing – a client, a PR pro has to do some research to find out about them. But modern PR requires a deeper and further-reaching understanding of exactly what makes the client tick.

Not only does a PR pro need to understand the client, their audience and their industry in order to deliver positive results, but a modern PR should understand even more things about them, such as:

  • The client’s audience
  • That audience’s media preferences
  • The industry jargon
  • The needs and wants of the client’s audience
  • The latest technological advances
  • The latest social media trends

By understanding more about the client and their audience, as well as the happenings in the digisphere, a PR professional is better equipped to deliver positive PR results.

3. Organise optimally

Organisational skills are a no-brainer when it comes to PR, considering that often you’ll have multiple client projects all happening simultaneously. And while advances in technology have helped to make things a little easier, you’ll still need to focus on prioritising your work.

Thanks to online applications like Google Calendar, Asana and PocketInformant, PR pros are able to keep up with all the tasks they have to get done, however, ensuring that those applications are always up to date is essential.

The balancing act of prioritising your clients can often be tricky – and sometimes downright overwhelming – so if you’re constantly brushing up on your organisational skills, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour. Keep an eye out for new organisational tools and methods to ensure you’re making the most of what little time you have.

4. Communicate confidently

Although successful PR requires that you walk the walk – you’ll also need to talk the talk (and confidently!). Strong verbal communications is a cornerstone of PR. Thanks to technology, we seem to be doing a little less talking and a little more typing, but that doesn’t mean your verbal communication skills shouldn’t be on point.

The best way to hone your skills in this area is by actually doing it, although formal training can be a valuable asset. Public speaking training courses, like Toastmasters, can give you that little bit of extra confidence, particularly when addressing a group of people.

Remember that your ability to communicate is often a major factor in whether or not you land a new client. Confident pitches inspire confidence in the client. And if your client has confidence in you and your abilities, why would they not trust you?

5. Write well 

The ability to put together a pithy tweet, notwithstanding delivering engaging, correct and meaningful complete sentences, is non-negotiable.

Poorly written content is a red flag for consumers and brands alike – so you’d better ensure that your writing is in tip-top shape. Wondering how to improve your writing? Simple – just do these two things:

1. Read voraciously
2. Practise, practise, practise
Want some more advice on bettering your writing? Check out these Five golden rules for creating exceptional content.

6. Measure meticulously

Running a campaign costs time and money and, in an ideal world, every decision will make the right impression, in the right market, at the right time. Return on investment has become the real currency of performance. And for clients, it is an essential measure of success.

Media monitoring is a fantastic tool to used to show a campaign’s impact as well as its shortcomings. Clients want to know exactly how successful a campaign is and where their expectations were not rewarded.

How do you know your brand’s latest PR campaign met its objectives? Well, you’ll need a comprehensive view of all the media coverage your campaign generated.

A media monitoring service, like Newsclip, can find all mentions of your campaign and brand messages across traditional media channels, online websites and social media platforms. Use this information to check if your brand is generating enough publicity, getting coverage in the right media and if it’s being portrayed positively.

PR professionals should always be accountable, and measuring your efforts will help you show your clients exactly what you’re doing for their brand.

What other skills do you think are vital for PR in the modern age? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Armed with all the right skills, a successful PR pro will also need to know about the biggest trends hitting the industry in order to navigate their way through. Check out these Five PR trends you’ll spot in 2019.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy