Started as an American phenomenon during the late 20th century, public relations is the strategic practice of disseminating information to the public to build a connection, engage them and influence their attitude and perception.
Standing as a cornerstone in the society, public relations is now an emerging profession, with professionalism an important goal for all who work in the field.
However, to achieve success in the modern world of PR, there are certain essential characteristics that PR practitioners must possess to fight adversity, capitalize on opportunities, maintain a positive image and build strategy.
Let’s take a look at some of these must-have qualities:
Faint-hearted ones or those who are timid should actually stay away from this profession. PR experts from today’s generation need to develop the ability to withstand personal and brand criticism and not be easily offended. Developing resilience is a key characteristic of a PR pro.
A good PR practitioner does his homework and has a healthy skepticism. He checks and double-checks facts and veracity of any statement and makes sure that it can be properly sourced.
Attention to Detail
Digital communication has placed brands on the slide and under the microscope requiring meticulous review and careful planning of all communication to media and the community. A tiny error can be magnified by 1,000 times and can shift the tides of positive to negative sentiments.
To say in today’s society that consumers are inundated with content and journalists receive a deluge of pitches daily is a radical understatement. Often, what tends to resonate best is creativity born out of ideas outside the norm. Learn to be creative.
It is about putting the best light on a situation, helping to portray issues, companies, organizations, in a positive way. It does not mean lying (if you have to lie, it’s probably not a very good product). A good PR person helps a client and tells the truth even when it is not so pleasant.
A good PR person should ahve the power to engage with the world and keeps up with the news, current events and trends and developments within the ‘industry’. That means understanding social media and its implications. The PR practitioner’s job is to bring the outside in as well
as the inside out.
In PR, relationships are everything. The profession’s core is the ability to build rapport and bridge communication chasms through quality conversations that build strong relationships.
Public relations practitioners are often presented with complex subject matters. Their job is to drill down and develop simple key messages and sound bites that target audiences can comprehend.
In the public relations profession, the PR practitioner is a bit like a circus juggler, he has to manage multiple deadlines. His work is frequently time-sensitive, so being well-organized is essential to delivering needed materials on time, every time.
Sometimes ‘no’ means ‘not now’. Knowing the difference between these meanings helps
A public relations practitioner is often privy to inside information about customers’ businesses. Clients know they can share confidential information about upcoming lay-offs, new programs and even gripes about their job, because it is safe with them.
Some Patterns of Behavior Adopted by Professional Practitioners
- The communication technician typically implements program tactics determined by others and does not play an active role in strategic planning.
- The expert prescriber acts as the authority on all public relations matters while the client or employer assumes a passive role. The expert prescriber defines problems, selects solutions, implements programs, and assesses impact with little input from the client.
- The communication facilitator maintains two–way communication and facilitates discussion. Working under the assumption that the more information both sides of the relationship have about each other, communication facilitators work to remove barriers and keep communication channels open until decisions are made.
- The problem–solving facilitator, collaborates with other managers to define and solve problems. Practitioners working in this role work with others in the organization to apply to public relations the same step–by–step management process that is used in other parts of the organization
Do you think you could make an excellent professional PR practitioner?