5 Skills Students In The Public Relations Industry Need to Succeed

5 Skills PR Students Need to Succeed

If you've ever applied for a job or even an internship in public relations, you'll notice all the common requirements and qualifications needed for the position. The abilities to work under high pressure situation, to be able to multi-task efficiently, and have interpersonal communication skills are frequently written. Then they will ask for experience in AP Style for press releases, as well as proficient proofreading skills and knowledge of social media.

There's still some skills I believe that they don't cover enough in college for hopeful PR professionals wanting to break into the PR industry. Here are a few other skills you should consider adding to your list:

1. Writing

I know what you're thinking - duh! However, it's going to take more than a few basic writing courses to help you achieve the writing skills you need. Advertising agencies are going to expect you to easily change the tone and voice of your work to match the brand of the client or company that you are writing for. To do this, you need to understand AP Style as well as how to write for press releases, for press kits, for social media, for blogs, and much more. 

2. Photography

PR needs photography to thrive especially on social media, and even through press kits! Photography is commonly seen as a skill easy to possess, but it takes more than just understanding the rule of thirds. These days you can get inspired easily via Instagram and creative bloggers, but you can also find tutorials on YouTube, Pinterest, and sign up for courses on Media Bistro.

3. Graphic Design

It should be a given that photography and graphic design go hand in hand. Knowing how to edit your images and make them visually appealing is essential to getting noticed in this competitive world that we live in.

4. Research

You never know what might be asked of you at work. You may need to dig around for contact information, compare and contrast reputation management softwares, or even deliver flowers on behalf of your boss. To do this, you might have to get creative when the answers you're looking for don't show up on the first page of Google.

5. Networking

Many employers will ask for you to have communication skills, but I want to take it one step further, and recommend that you know how to network. Don't rely solely on technology to get your name out there. LinkedIn and Twitter are both a great way to get introduced to people that work in the field but you should also go out in your community to make further introductions and connections too. 

Join a student organization like PRSSA, go to a resume workshop, message someone on LinkedIn and meet up for coffee! You never know who you'll meet.