Monday, February 27, 2012

Five Essential Qualities of a Public Relations Practitioner

Public Relations profession cannot be thought from reading and learning a text book. Public Relations is much more than that: it is a discipline and a given gift.  

Before deciding to pursue a degree in public relations, I was afraid that I am not suited for it. After reading a few articles about public relations practitioners and their qualities I began to feel better about my choice as I have indentified some of the same qualities in myself. Looking around at my peers and professors I can also spot some of the same qualities.

The following five qualities are some of the essential ones for a successful public relations practitioner and are not listed by their level of importance:
  1. Intellectual curiosity: This quality depends a lot on your personality. In order to have this characteristic you must not be satisfied with already tested and tried ideas.  You must have an urge to come up with new ideas, try new things and check out new ways of thinking.
  2. Passion: You must be passionate about what you do. Passion is about loving public relations and being enthusiastic about new project, new ideas and accepting change. If at the end of the day you come home unhappy from working or studying public relations, than this profession is not for you.
  3. Integrity, authenticity and transparency : It is important to be straight forward and honest. Public relations already has many misperceptions attached to it so do not play games or try to manipulate your client and/or audience.  Be confident in who you are, and in the value of the message, product or service your client has hired you to communicate.
  4. Humility and ability to embrace a service mentality: Work hard to get to know your client and understand his or her needs. Establish that relationship and be efficient and effective. Also, have humility, you do not know all the answers to every question. Reach out to your peers and professionals when seeking answers and guidance.
  5. Respectfulness and courteousness : Do unto others as you would  have them do unto you. It is your job to approach that individual appropriately and always remember that there is a person behind each blog and a newsletter article. 

Public relations is not always a job where you sit at the desk writing press releases. It is more than that, but you must want to be engaged and embrace the people and projects you are working with.

Qualities above are not the only ones that describe a public relations practitioner. What are some other qualities you see in yourself that are suited for the public relations profession?

By Meliha Krvavac
Associate Manager

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Update: CGPR Spring Initiatives

This spring, the Center for Global Public Relations has developed new initiatives and programs to get students, practitioners, scholars, and educators involved in the global dialogue about international public relations. 

CGPR staff have designed and implemented a monthly professional speaker series. This series, titled “PR Power Hour,” features Center advisory board members who come on campus to talk to students. In January, Joe Carleo, APR discussed Charlotte diversity and why it matters to a PR student. This month, Natalia Flores, APR, director of Fusion Communications, will give students insider tips on their first jobs in PR in her session titled, “The Top Ten Tips for PR Newbies.”

Spring 2011 Staff Members
The Center will also host an International Public Relations Teaching Colloquium on Thursday, April 19 from 1pm-3pm in UNC Charlotte’s Student Union, Room 200.  This colloquium will feature faculty who teach international public relations and practitioners who can bring unique insights into what should be taught in such courses as well as make general curricular recommendations. The colloquium will be relatively informal but promises to be quite substantive. It will be of great value to faculty, including those who perhaps are not teaching international public relations courses presently but who might want to develop such a course for their institutions.

Finally, CGPR will host its Second Annual Global Research Conference on Friday, April 20. Last year, at the first annual conference, approximately 60 people were in attendance; this year, we're expecting around 75 attendees. The participants come from all around the United States. Last year, we also had participants from Indonesia and Russia.

During the morning session, the conference will include roundtable discussions as scholars and practitioners present their research on topics including public diplomacy, corporate social responsibility, social media, and globalization. Following the keynote speaker, there will be a global panel featuring scholars and practitioners speaking on public relations in various cultures. Speakers include Oliver Schmidt (C4CS), Joe Epley (Epley Consulting) and Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda (University of Florida).

For more information on any of these events please email the Center at For a complete overview of CGPR's ongoing initiatives please visit our website at or read the latest edition of our newsletter, The Blue Book.

By Kate Brissenden 
Associate Manager

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Going from “Intern” to “Young Professional”

Image source: Ambro/
An internship is…
   A) An easy three hours of credit.
   B) Free slave labor.
   C) Something to put on my resume.
   D) None of the above.
You might have guessed ‘C’. The real answer is ‘D’. It’s true – an internship is something to put on your resume. But if that’s all it is, then you’re wasting your and your employer’s time. Take it from someone who has been there, done that, and got the ‘A’.
And looking back, I could have made it so much more than bumming around the office, waiting to spit out another press release (though, let’s be serious, by the end of the semester, I could write a beast of a press release…).
But that’s not the point.
The point internship is what you make of it. Here are a few tips I picked up along the way:
·         Be proactive. Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions or voice concerns. It shows you care and you’re thinking about your work.
·         Ask questions. If you don’t understand something, ask! An internship is supposed to be a learning experience.
·         Use it as a time to network – if you get a chance to attend an event, don’t just sit there like a bump on a log. Talk to practitioners, find out what they do and learn from their valuable advice. Take your own business cards and be sure to get one from them, as well.
·         Keep ahead on the latest trends. With social media, it’s one day you’re in and the next day you’re out (2 points to the first person who can tell me where that quote came from). If there’s something your organization isn’t doing, let them know.
·         Stay late if you need to. It shows you’re involved in the organization and a dedicated individual. And if there are other interns, it’ll set you apart.
·         Look the part – dress like a professional, not a college student. People will take you more seriously and you’ll feel more confident.
·         Ask for constructive criticism and feedback. Yes, it can hurt But realize it’s nothing personal – and it’s benefitting you in the long run.
Now it’s your turn: what do you add to the list? 
By Chelsea Wilde

Friday, February 3, 2012

Resource Revolution: Implications for global PR practitioners

Global PR practitioners must be savvy about the global challenges, where environment, geopolitics and economy are intertwined. Therefore, I think this recent report by McKinsey is a must-read. It describes the heavy increase in energy, food, water and materials needs and lists some opportunities to improve resource productivity. Here are three major challenges in the resource landscape identified by the report. I see many interesting implications for global PR practitioners.
  • The new middle class. More than 3 billion people will join the middle class in the next 20 years. Coming from China, India, Brazil, Nigeria and other developing countries, they will boost demand for energy, mobility, urban infrastructures and food, and their consumption patterns will be more and more sophisticated. Global PR practitioners will play a key role in understanding and satisfying these new consumers as well as managing stakeholder relationships in those countries and, finally, helping the vibrant local brands from those countries become powerful in the domestic and international market.
  • Resource supply inelasticity. While demand will be rising, new sources of supply are difficult to find, expensive and often controversial. Therefore, since supply is inelastic, even small changes in the demand may result in large price fluctuations. Global PR managers should act as the eyes and the ears of their organizations, scanning the environment and trying to understand the signals of changes in resource demand and their impact. If they will be able to provide smart insights on this fast-changing environmental, geopolitical and economic landscape, they will be likely to shape the future strategies of their organizations. This task is even more challenging, given the complex interdependence of the value chains and national economies.
  • Innovation to increase resource productivity. In order to face the increased resource demand, a big innovation wave is needed. PR people should participate to innovation teams as they are able to foster creative communication, facilitate team dynamics and bring stakeholder insight. Moreover, since the path to innovation follows more and more often an open innovation approach and it involves several stakeholders, PR should be on board and have a say. Finally, innovations must be spread and socialised and PR practitioners can act as change leaders.
To sum up, a global PR leader should develop the following skills:
- deep stakeholder insight into developing countries

- environmental, geopolitical and economic understanding

- system thinking

- open innovation facilitation

- change leadership

By Marcello Coppa
Managing partner, Anteprima LAB, Italy
Global Affiliate, The Center for Global Public Relations