Guest Blog: 5 Key Attributes of a PR Practitioner

When I received this list of the 5 key attributes and skills of a PR practitioner from College of New Jersey student Steph Van Heest, I was blown away. She prepared the essay after I spoke with her class at a PR strategies course led by adjunct professor Jake Farbman.

Steph’s “list” is concise, lucid and exceedingly well written. With elegant pith (Professors Strunk and White would be proud), she presents the top five points we discussed in Professor Farbman’s class.

 I present it here, wholly unedited, as a guest blog. It’s a perfect lily that needs no gilding:

  1. Intellectual curiosity. Curiosity makes a great public relations practitioner. Whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve been in the business for years, it’s important to constantly learn and explore new ways of doing public relations. A public relations practitioner can’t be satisfied with what has been tried and tested. Be a risk taker and step out of your comfort zone. Go out and explore the unknown and absorb everything that you learn like a sponge. The world is ever changing and you need to change with it. As an unknown author once stated,  “The Future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out.”
  1. Integrity, genuineness and transparency. It is very important to be straightforward and honest. If you lie, it cannot only damage the reputation of the organization you are working for, but your reputation as well. Be confident in who you are, your ethical values and in the value of the message your client has hired you to communicate, or step away. A good public relations practitioner also has to help a client tell the truth, even when it’s not so pleasant.
  1. Writing. It is the cornerstone of public relations. If you’re not confident about your writing skills, then practice, practice and practice some more. You have to make sure that your writing is clear and concise, and gets the point across effectively. You’ll also need to have good attention to detail when writing and proofreading other’s work. One grammar mistake or wrong word can change your message completely. There is always room for growth in your writing. 
  1. Communication skills. A public relations practitioner needs to be a great communicator. This not only includes being a confident public speaker, but an excellent listener too. A lot of public relations is centered around what you say and how well you say it. 
  1. Creativity. The public relations profession constantly calls for fresh ideas and new ways of thinking. A great public relations practitioner needs to think outside the box. You need to be creative in how you craft and deliver messages, especially with the bombardment of information we receive every day. Right now, social media is still the Wild West and is constantly changing. A social media practitioner needs to think of innovative and creative ways to reach their audiences.
About Chris Biddle

With 35 years of experience as a hands-on communicator and PR practitioner, President Christopher Biddle is well positioned to help New Jersey-based companies tell their stories and get the results they want. An exceptional writer and editor, Chris is also a strategic thinker who has a proven track record in his ability to conceive and execute goal-driven communications projects both large and small. Chris was Vice President in charge of Communications with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association from 1992 until his retirement in 2012. Contact: Website | More Posts

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