1. Community Relations Skills
Community relations means knowing who lives and works in the community, and understanding their values, concerns and interests. Additionally, knowing the organizations and community leaders is key.
2. Media Relations Skills
This skill set involves meeting the reporters, photographers and assignment editors and establishing an ongoing dialogue with them. Become familiar with journalistic practices in your area – always be aware of their deadlines.
3. Writing Skills
An effective public relations staff person will be able to write:
- News Releases
- Fact Sheets and media advisories
- Public Service Announcements for radio, Television and Cable
- Pamphlets, Brochures and Newsletters
- Annual Reports, After Action reports, Grant Requests
If you’re not comfortable with your current writing skills, it’s a good idea to take a business writing class at a local school or college to refresh your knowledge of grammar, spelling and composition.
4. Public Speaking Skills
Public Speaking involves the ability not only to speak with confidence before an audience, but also to write a speech in outline form for presentation. Common PR speaking occasions include:
- Media interviews
- Community training
- Panel discussions
- Presentations to community groups, government councils, and the public.
5. Audiovisual Presentation Skills
Today’s effective PR staff person will have a working knowledge of the technological resources available (computer software and other equipment) in order to produce digital photos, a powerpoint presentation, operate a digital projector and be familiar with the basics of sound amplification (microphones, wireless mics, etc.).
6. Event Crisis Management
In a perfect world, everything would run as planned and expected. However, this is rarely the case. As you plan your event or activity, be aware of potential problems such as the loss of electricity, severe weather or sudden illness or injury to an attendee.
A crisis can be large and affect everyone attending the event, or small affecting only one or two individuals. Your responses must be effective and well thought out in any case. Decisions made under the pressure of a crisis are often made without deliberation and consideration. Therefore, during the planning stage of any event, it is extremely important to consider what could go wrong and how to respond in each case. BE PREPARED.
7. Miscellaneous Skills
Along with the above-mentioned skills, effective PR involves good judgment and resourcefulness.