What will I need to know, I mean really have a solid grasp of, in order to be a solid team-mate upon graduating from college? Well, in an article I recently read the author opened up a discussion question and invited current professionals to comment on the skills that Public Relations representatives need to possess upon graduation.
- A strong desire to learn
- Great writing and editing skills
- Social media skills
- Presentation skills
- A solid record of work experience
- The ability to tell the truth.
- A love of storytelling
- The common sense of knowing the value of maintaining and cultivating relationships.
- A solid understanding of business and community.
- Inquisitive passion.
- Communication skills
- Asking the right questions, and then listening to the answers.
- Manage your reputation carefully. You only get one.
- Dress professionally.
- Think carefully before posting anything, private or public.
- Research your client’s business and evaluate the needs they have.
- Ask lots of questions from more experienced co-workers.
- Think strategically. Understand the situation.
- Plan strategically. Build effective strategies to best serve your client and their publics.
- Find ways to become a valuable asset to your company.
- Focus on business basics: Keep appointments, be early, answer your phone, and respond as quickly as possible.
- Understand the basics of PR. 1. The story. 2. The audience 3. Storytelling 4. Measuring results
Something else I would add is the ability to work in an ever-changing and sometimes highly stressful environment. Be prepared to fill lots of roles, and don’t expect your new position to be like a school assignment. In real life, you have to produce to get paid. There are rarely do-overs, and respecting others is KEY. You can be the kind of team-mate others respect and enjoy working with, or you can be the person that they talk about at lunch. As we finish up school and our graduation dates quickly approach, let us strive for excellence, let us be the university, the class, the individuals who bring “something special” to the table, let us be catalysts for professionalism in the workplace and global community.
As always, I welcome questions or comments. If you have links or articles to share, please feel free to send them in.