Cara Mitchell

September 4, 2008

Necessary Ingredients for the PRactitioner

Filed under: Assignments — by caramitchell @ 3:59 am

After reading our chapter in the textbook “Jobs in PR”, 13 Skills of the PR Pro of the Future, and some ads for jobs in PR – I’ve compiled a list of ingredients that when combined, will make tasty PR practitioners. 🙂

  • Writing: Practitioners should be able to write under deadlines to produce items like news releases, newsletters for employee relations, speeches, etc.
  • Communication Skills: PR is about cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships with numerous publics. For example, practitioners should be able to manage relationships with other businesses, communities, consumers, employees, and investors.
  • Commonsense: This plays a part in being able to make good judgments, decisions and managing a team. (This is really necessary in most professions).
  • Creativity: Be able to discover and implement new ways to reach publics and forge new ground within the field. Incorporate the use of new technologies to better communicate with publics.
  • Education: Most job ads want practitioners to have at least a Bachelor’s degree and one year of related experience for an entry level position.
  • Planning skills: Activities may include organizing events like volunteer efforts and fund raising.
  • Marketing and Advertising skills: The textbook, the blog, and some PR job ads all referenced the need for these types of skills.

My Progress with These Skills and My Plan to Develop Them:

Since practitioners need all of these skills, I need to further develop my skills in every area. Right now, I am focusing on improving my writing and planning skills. I already have some writing skills that I’m working with, but to improve these I am currently taking two journalism classes. These classes will improve my ability to meet deadlines and understand what editors might look for when I’m crafting news releases.

I’m the type of person that pays tremendous attention to detail-this is a good thing, but can also get to the point where it’s working against efficiency. Getting my education here at Clemson in general is helping me to work on being more efficient and better my time management and planning skills. Another way that I plan to improve these skills is by joining the Public Relations committee for the Clemson University Gospel Choir. This year the PR committee is starting a newsletter for better communication within the choir. We will also be reaching out to our publics more this year, so this is a great way for me to develop writing, planning, creativity, and some of the other skills I need to work on. Hopefully I will be able to apply some of the theories from class and concepts from our textbook in my efforts.

Since an understanding of marketing and advertising ideas is becoming increasingly necessary in PR, my plan to work on my lack of expertise in these areas is to take a few of these classes while I’m in school. These two areas are where I definitely need the most improvement.

This Intro to PR class is definitely helping me in several areas listed above. For example, I’m improving in the creativity area as I learn and explore some of the technologies that successful practitioners are using to practice excellent PR.

Now that I have made some plans to develop these skills that are important for PR practitioners to have, it will be interesting to see how executing these plans helps me to grow in each area. *Stay tuned* 🙂


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