Last week I focused on efforts you can do to get closer to your dreamt PR jobs. Today, I will describe what skills are in need from current graduates to successfully fulfil junior’s responsibilities. The industry is evolving and so should future practitioners.
Like in the previous post, I based my views on webinars organised by CIPR, PRCA, and PR Club, chats with senior PR practitioners, as well as many articles about the future of PR and the job market. I hope you will find it useful and feel free to share your views about this topic!
It remains the most important skill in the PR practitioner’s toolkit. Copywriting and editing are the most common activities undertaken in everyday PR job according to the 2019/2020 CIPR State of Profession. Even though the development of AI will bring new tools capable to write quality copies, writing will remain fundamental to the PR profession.
To improve it, I heard one ultimate advice – write! The more, the better. If you want to train longer forms of expression – you can start a blog. If you think that your social media copy needs some improvement – post on your Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn and try out what works out. It might also help you to connect with other practitioners and find a new job (I explained it more here).
Try different styles to make sure you will be able to reach and engage the targeted audience. If you will work for an agency someday, you will cover a variety of clients with different goals and audiences simultaneously. You need an ability to switch between them easily. Moreover, remember about SEO rules. Your piece must be ranked as high as possible to make sure that customers can see it.
There are many books, resources, and webinars supporting your development in this area. Access to a variety of them is one of the benefits of being a member of CIPR. Many free-access webinars are covering an extensive range of topics, including writing. But still, practice will make you a master in writing.
If you are interested, here I covered more advantages of CIPR membership.
Photo and Video Editing Skills
Like it or not, but entry-level PR jobs often require knowledge of Adobe Suite, Canva, or other graphic and video editing tools. 86% of businesses use video in their content strategy and the ability to create it adequately and engagingly can be your great asset and possibility to stand out from the crowd.
Original graphics like infographics or illustrations are also frequently present in a marketing strategy. They can be even more engaging and often they bring better results than video content.
Abilities to create engaging graphics and video content can be crucial. Especially for those, who apply for junior-level positions in small agencies. Big in-house and agency teams often have a graphic designer responsible for that. But in smaller companies, it may appear that it will be a part of everyday activities and your skills in this field can be decisive if you get a job or not.
Digital skills and data analysis in PR jobs
This is a very broad topic but essential in today’s communication. PR is becoming more measurable and your abilities to properly analyse and improve your efforts on the Internet is just necessary. Traceability is a great feature of digital communication and we have to benefit from it.
Familiarity with tools like Google and social media analytics will allow you to know your brand, what to improve and what is going well. Data visualisation is also very important and presenting outcomes from analytic tools can help you to get a client or increase your budget. Examples of great visualisation and analytical tools are Google Flourish, Tableau, and Excel/Google Sheets.
Besides ‘hard skills’ there are also soft ones, not less important. To thrive in the PR industry, we have to be flexible, adaptive, and always eager to learn. One of the coronavirus pandemic positives is that flexibility and adaptiveness will be our distinguishing features. Furthermore, creativity, time management, proactivity, and of course general knowledge about PR are crucial to be successful in the industry.
I hope you enjoyed both parts of my guidance and it will help you land of the PR jobs. If you didn’t have an opportunity to check the first part, you can find it here.