So, what skills do you need to become a successful public relations manager and be good at your pr job?
One thing that you cannot do without in this profession is strong communication skills. You should be able to communicate ideas clearly through writing and speaking. You will be required to communicate not only with your client but also with the media, organizers, customers of your client etc. You might have to chalk out press releases and interact with the people from the press to gauge their reactions and interest in the events that you are organizing. These communications can happen via telephone, email or in person.
If you are working for a well-established organization, you might even have to make media appearances in radio and TV shows and pave the way for your client’s popularity. You will also have to make presentations and host talks to various potential customer groups. Many a times you will have to do extensive research and design brochures and pamphlets besides coaching the executives from the company on how to tackle the media and how to leave the best impression on the audience, whether in a live function or on a show.
For jobs in PR, besides being able to talk well you should also have good organizational skills, particularly if you are into event management and media interaction. You should be able to delegate work efficiently and stick to deadlines at all costs. You might end up being responsible for product launches, the management of pre-launch and post-launch events and gauging customer response thereafter.
Do you need special training for jobs in PR? One of the primary reasons why public relations are becoming an increasingly popular career option is because you do not necessarily need a qualifying degree. Even so, having a degree might help you in gathering requisite background knowledge and give you a more firm footing when you first set out. More often than not, any company will require you to have a basic Bachelor’s degree or a significant amount of work experience before they even consider you for entry-level PR position. Many people, who have had long careers in journalism or publishing, now shift to public relations. Of course, that ensures that they have good contacts and good writing skills. It always helps to have a degree in any one of the following related fields: Advertising, mass communications, psychology, public relations etc. With your studies, you can enroll for internship in any local corporate communications company or public relations company to gather hands-on experience.
Being in the field will also help you decide whether you want to take it up as a full-time career or not. If you combine classroom knowledge, practical knowledge of the job and recommendations from some established people in the field then you are set for a stable career in public relations.
You should try to use any of your free time constructively. Many companies offer unpaid internships to students. Make full use of such PR jobs list. Every job that you do will add to your experience even if it does not add money to your pocket. Many companies recruit students from different campuses. You might also be able to land a job acting as a negotiator between the students and the company. This will help you immensely in forwarding your PR skills.
Even when your schedule is tight, you can still help with local society events, working on the team or organizers. This will not take up much of your time and you will get a chance to polish your skills. This kind of experience is also quite valuable and will add to your work experience.
When you are in your final year, you can start thinking of the particular field of personal relations you are aspiring to get into. Another thing that you have to decide is if you want to work with a particular company or with a PR firm where you will be dealing with multiple companies. According to surveys, more and more people are opting to work with PR firms or in sports PR jobs, which gives them better opportunities in the long term, as they get to work with multiple accounts to start with.
Finally, when you go for an interview, make sure that you are clued into the basic requirements of your job and things you might be expected to do. But more important than all this is that you should exude self-confidence in yourself and your abilities. Be sure of what you are saying and be clear about your priorities.