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

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