When you work in Public Relations, it becomes part of your DNA. It’s not just a career choice, it’s a lifestyle choice. Soon, you’ll find yourself applying PR principles to all aspects of your life, consciously and unconsciously. But that’s only for the best! Working in PR means picking up an array of skills that are useful and can be applied to situations outside of work. Just read on and see how many of these skills you have.
Event Planning 101
Whether it’s a friend’s wedding or your mom’s surprise birthday party, you can’t help kicking things into high gear now that you’ve become an expert event planner. Sure, picking up a cake is not as complex as ordering materials from one city and shipping it to the next in time for the next tradeshow – yet you treat is as seriously as you would any work event.
And the decorations will be Instagram-worthy. You will know a thing or two about creating the picture-perfect setting after putting up a booth in a limited amount of time. The doors have opened, media is on your heels and you are fussy over the placement of a Peppa Pig figurine. Similarly speaking, your mom is blindfolded on the other side of the door and you’ve got to get the flowers arrangements just right. The details matter, after all.
The Art of Negotiation
Client management is a precise art, and whether its securing new business, keeping current business or just making your clients happy, being good at negotiation will prove very useful in your career as PR professional.
Negotiation also works pretty much everywhere else. Whether you’re haggling over a vintage jacket at a flea market or on the phone with a customer service rep, trying to lower your exorbitant cell phone bill – convincing the other person to see your point of view and compromising with you is the key to getting to a better place than you were at before. Negotiation isn’t about WINNING – it’s about levelling the playing field so it becomes fairer. Too often, we let things slide (especially us Canadians). But keeping it fair will end up benefiting everyone more in the long run. So, negotiate. Because you’ve got the skills.
Talk That Talk
There’s nothing you do more in PR than… talk (okay, sending emails is a strong competitor for the top spot). In PR, you gotta talk that talk to walk that walk. No one is going to believe in you, trust you or want to work with you if you’re not good at expressing yourself and your abilities. Being a good communicator is just as important as being a good performer. Delivering results is great and all, but if you can’t articulate what you’ve accomplished and take the credit for your wins, then the client (or whoever you’re speaking to) will never know it and never credit you.
Talking that talk is also useful in all aspects of life. Whether you’re at a job interview or giving advice to a friend, talking well and with confidence is important to get your point across and make the person sitting across from you buy into what you’re saying. If you’re not speaking effectively, you’re pretty much wasting your breath. So, add some oomph to your conversations, the same way you would if you were in a boardroom, presenting a marketing plan to your client. Sell what you’re saying and it’ll be bought.
PR skills are always referred to as transferrable, but we rarely realize that doesn’t just mean we can hop from job to job and excel in various positions – it also means you can apply them across your life. And you’ll be better off if you do! Embrace the PR superstar that you are.
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