Lynchpin Biomedia

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PUBLIC RELATIONS

Qualities You Want in a PR Pro?

Jun 11, 2013

I just read one of those LinkedIn surveys that pop up from time to time. This one was asking about the qualities that you want in a public relations person.

The readers were asked to choose from five qualities:

  • Previous Agency Experience
  • Social Media Guru
  • Media Contacts
  • Ability to Write
  • Education

As I looked at the choices, I quickly to the came to the conclusion that they were missing at least one category: NONE OF THE ABOVE. None of those qualities really define what make a good p.r. person.

When a person runs a company or an organization, their communications person is a lot more important than how well he or she writes. What you need is someone who can think and someone you can trust and someone that the employees can trust.

Sure, a communications person has to be able to not only write a good press release, manage the media and understand social media. Those are simply tactics. That person must be able to assess situations, put fires out where necessary, and make sure the leaders of the organization understand if problems are arising.

So when you ask what qualities are the most important for a p.r./communications employee?

I would say a good set of ears.

An ability to listen to what the employees are saying, listen to how the media describe the company or organization, listen to the customers and stakeholders… those are the right qualities.

Because any organization that truly understands its employees, its customers, its stakeholders and the media has a leg  up on most--if not all--of the competition.

The other thing that he or she has to do is be able to talk frankly...to the boss and let him or her know the real deal. This is how we are being perceived! That's why the relationship with CEO/Director/President is so key. If it's healthy, the boss knows to listen to the p.r. person because he or she has been listening to the key audiences. If the two trust each other, the company or organization will be healthier.

At Lynchpin BioMedia, we usually can tell right away how healthy the company's internal communications are when we speak to marketing, communications and public relations teams. And if everyone is on the same page, that is a great place to start!

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