A PR professional is expected to perform a wide range of roles and responsibilities – from handling all aspects of publicity campaigns, and planning press events, to undertaking market research and developing effective working relationships with key partners in other departments, and so on. As such, an aspiring PR representative is required to have a broad skill set, which would help him stand out in the competitive field.
We scoured the PR job descriptions of some of the top employers in Saudi Arabia to see what skills are most in demand in the local PR industry. Here are the most popular skills required for a PR professional:
– Education: A bachelor’s degree in public relations or a related field such as literature, media studies, journalism, marketing or behavioral sciences.
– Communication: PR practitioners nowadays are expected to do a lot more than just write the standard press releases and maintain media relations. He/she should be a strong team player with the ability to communicate well. Proficiency in the English language, in addition to the regional language, is essential. In addition to written and communication skills, he/she should also be an effective listener with good interpersonal skills. He/she should be comfortable and skilled in both broadcast and print media interviews.
– Technology: Technology skills for public relations are a necessity. While a high degree of proficiency in Microsoft applications (I.e., MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is expected, PR professionals must also keep track of the emerging trends within the evolving global communications industry. Some of these new skills such as coding, big data, artificial intelligence, data management, video production, etc,, may be useful in the production of graphics (e.g., tables, charts, etc.) or other illustrative, supporting content for use in presentation format.
– Industry Knowledge: Fundamental knowledge of the industry and familiarity with all big players is crucial. A PR professional will be expected to conduct required research to develop key insights and support the development of communications strategies, messaging and other products.
– Social Media: Traditional PR is fast making way for digital PR. With this shift from the offline world to the online world, most companies demand that the PR professional is familiar with all forms of social media currently in use. A suitable candidate for the job will be one that is equipped with the basic skills needed to create impactful content for social media channels, such as, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others.
– Combinations of skills:
– Superlative analytical and deductive reasoning skills.
– Strong business acumen.
– Ability to work both independently and in a team environment.
– Strong project management skills with ability to supervise multiple projects.
– Organizational skills, multitasking and meeting deadlines.
– Ability to think boldly and creatively.
In addition to to the above requirements, most companies usually ask for a few years’ experience in public relations, communications, or a related field, depending on the position being offered. For example, a minimum of two years of experience for a mid-senior level position or 10 years’ experience for a senior position. Fresh graduates with exceptional abilities are also encouraged to apply.