Whether you are a PR professional in a consumer agency or you are tasked with building brands, if your focus is on corporate positioning and profiling, managing and mitigating crises or shaping public opinion and knowledge, there are certain skills and attributes that you definitely need. 

Good PR people display a combination of skills and qualities contribute to making greatness attainable. Here are the ABCs of such:

A for agility
You've got to be able to think on your feet, be flexible and nimble.

B for broad
Have broad knowledge about news, global issues and current events. Have deep knowledge about your client’s business and the sector in which they operate.

C for creativity 
Obvious but true. Without it, all you have is bland, boring, old-style PR.

D for driven 
If you're not driven, determined, diligent and detail-oriented, then PR isn't the right profession for you. It's also for deadlines. They are there for a reason so respect them, adhere to them and make them your friend.

E for expectations
Managing them is key to a successful client / agency partnership.

F for feistiness
This is not the profession for wall flowers or introverts. But be careful that feistiness doesn't come across as impertinence or insolence.

G is for good people
Good agencies are all about the people who power them and their clients.

H is for honesty
Let it be your north star in everything you do and say.

I is for industry
Whether it's PR and communications, or your client's, get in deep. You'll never know more than the client does but make a real effort to be on top of key issues.

J is for jargon
Don't use industry-specific terms and don't talk in acronyms. Be clear and concise. Always.

K is for knowledge
Knowledge is power. Make it your job to build knowledge about this industry, your clients, the media, our country and the world in which we live. Make it your business to know.

L is for listen
We always hear but we don't always listen and if we want to be effective partners to our clients, we have to truly listen to their needs and wants.

M is for multitasking
It's a reality of agency life and working across different brands and sectors without dropping balls. It's also for measurement; identify and analyse salient metrics and provide insight to report in a meaningful, relevant manner. That is what adds value.

N is for No 
Learning to say no (to the right things at the right time and in the right way) comes with experience and maturity.

O is for openness and transparency
Don't hide behind smoke and mirrors. The truth always comes out.

P is for proactivity
Without it, any communications plan will be static and dull.

Q is for questions
Don't be afraid to ask, even if they're the difficult ones.

R is for relevance
Interrogate the topic, interrogate the angle, ensure context is strong and make sure it's 100% relevant to the audience at which it is aimed.

S is for strategic
If your approach isn't strategic, if it doesn't align to client business objectives, then why are you doing it?

T is for thinking
While so much about PR is implementing and doing, that's only one element of delivery. Make time in your day to think about your clients, their industries and how to leverage strategic communications.

U is for understanding
Make it your business to understand your client — their business, their structure and their processes. You need to fit in with them, not them with you.

V is for verify
Facts, statistics and numbers all need to be embedded in a foundation of reality. Don't make them up to make your story look good. Within this, be hyper-aware of fake news versus news grounded in facts.

W is for worth
When PR and communications is strategically executed, it can add significant value from an awareness and reputation perspective. It's also for wine. Sometimes you need a glass of sauvignon blanc after a day in the PR trenches.

X is for xenon
Shine a light on the good work being done by corporates and communities around our beautiful country.

Y is for yearly
Plans, that is. A yearly plan is vital to give structure to any PR or communications approach but ensure that any plan is flexible enough to allow for change and modification.

Z is for zeal
If you prefer to call it zest, enthusiasm, eagerness or willingness that's fine, but it's one of the elements that separates the chaff from the wheat.

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