The time has come: you have your Master’s degree in-hand and are on the hunt for your first job as a Public Relations Specialist. To be successful, you know you have to offer a wide range of skills. These can range from critical thinking to attention to detail, but there are five skills that potential employers particularly look for in communication majors and candidates for Public Relations Specialist positions.
More than any other skill, communication is one you will use every day when working in this field. You must be able to communicate your thoughts clearly and be an excellent listener. As a Public Relations Specialist, you also need to be socially aware while communicating. It’s important that you’re able to pick up on the slightest change in tone or emotion during a conversation. Additionally, you cannot let your own emotions color your message.
2. Writing Ability
Along the same lines, you must posses the ability to write captivating content. A strong grasp of grammar and attention to detail will make a huge difference in your writing. You should be able to walk into a job interview and present samples of articles, press releases, or copy you have written. Blog samples are another great way to show potential employers that you know how to write for new media.
3. Understanding of Social Media
Social media has redefined communication between Public Relations Specialists and their audiences. Having a strong understanding of social media does not mean that you know how to like a friend’s Facebook post or regularly post status updates on your wall. It means that you are knowledgeable about how to use social media to manage a potential employer’s brand voice, that you understand the fundamental differences between individual social media platforms, and that you know how to use those platforms as tools for communicating with the public.
Multimedia skills play a huge part in presenting online content. As a Public Relations Specialist, it is important that you have at least a basic knowledge of how to manipulate various types of media. You may not be a blogger, but familiarity with where and how to post a blog is greatly beneficial. Additionally, having a basic knowledge of Photoshop, YouTube, SEO (search engine optimization), and coding will make you more attractive as a potential hire.
Creativity is not just for artists; Public Relations Specialists are called upon to be creative all the time. Whether by writing, coming up with a new approach to an old idea, or finding a way to attract new customers, public relations professionals are constantly required to be creative. If you can think outside the box and come up with ideas that others haven’t, you’ll be better able to make your clients happy. Creativity is the key to success in this industry.
Over the next few years, it is projected that there will be employment growth for Public Relations Specialists, and those who possess these key skills will be in the best position to reap the rewards.