Communicating Lasting Impressions

6 Fundamental Qualities of a Marketing and Public Relations Practitioner

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marketing and public relations practitioner blog image little girlI grew up watching Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters on television and reading the Miami Herald. Admittedly, I was probably an oddity in high school as I read the newspaper every morning before leaving the house.

In high school, my schedule didn’t allow me to take journalism classes because of my involvement in band. I was, however, a columnist for the town newspaper reporting my school’s news. Qualities that enabled me to be a good rookie reporter then still serve me well as a public relations practitioner:

  • Passionate Curiosity: I love to learn. A New York Times article affirms the value of this trait among CEOs. When learning about a program, how and why did it get started? When writing about a person, what makes him/her do what they do? Everybody has a story to tell. It’s my responsibility to uncover it.
  • Comprehension: Public relations practitioners are often presented with complex subject matters. Our job is to drill down and develop simple key messages and sound bites that target audiences can comprehend.
  • Organization: In the public relations profession we’re a bit like a circus juggler as we manage multiple deadlines. This work is frequently time-sensitive, so being well-organized is essential to delivering needed materials on time, every time.
  • Persistence: Sometimes “no” means “not now.” Knowing the difference between these meanings helps when seeking information, pitching a story to a reporter or talking to prospective clients.
  • Trustworthiness: As a marketing and public relations practitioner, I am often privy to inside information about customer’s businesses. Clients know they can share confidential information about upcoming layoffs, new programs and even gripes about their job, because it’s safe with me.
  • Literacy: I’m fortunate to have a nice mastery of the English language and strong writing skills to boot. Writing is a creative outlet that allows me to educate and inform others on behalf of my clients. If I am able to help one person gain a better understanding of a medical procedure or realize that there is an educational program that will help them reach their goals, then what I do makes a difference.

What skills do you find are helpful in excelling as a marketing and public relations practitioner?