If you thought that being good at PR just needs you to be a people person with a huge network then you’ve got a lot left to learn. That’s why we have highly resourceful and talented PR and Communications Manager Nadine El Guiddawy to tell you what you need to know to truly become great at PR.
What skills do I need to have to be great at PR?
The media industry, in general, requires a broad set of skills to be able to thrive and become successful. However, since PR is a more specified category that lies under media, we are going to have to get precise with the qualities one needs to obtain. In my opinion, the basis for a successful PR person is his/her ability to network and be social. And so, one should be capable of observing and reading people which will allow one to obtain a second skill, that being the ability to cater one’s words to fit the person he/she is addressing. Once you start building your own network of people, you would be able to develop other skills such as proper communication and perception.
Do I need to take any courses or classes to build my PR skills, does my college degree affect this in any way?
First and foremost, you have to be interested in the media industry nooks and crannies. There are different strategies that people use to approach PR. However, personally, I believe it’s always best to know a little bit about everything before choosing a specific direction. Because of that, I’ve decided to experience various media outlets (journalism, presenting, PR, client relations and digital media). To end on a professional note, more academic experiences are essential to allow you to communicate your knowledge within a professional and well-informed frame.
Can I get into PR if I’ve never done it before, or do I need to have a big network to work with at first?
I always say that you can start whenever and wherever. If you are into media, choose a reputable agency to work for and gain professional experience. There is never truly a moment wasted in a professional workspace. Which means that there’s always something to learn whether when you are dealing with clients, your workmates or even preparing for an event. People might underestimate working in an agency but it teaches you a lot and this experience allows you to choose your own career path whenever you decide.
What is your game plan to handle when a brand/ your clients suffer from a reputation crisis?
Some people might say that PR is about lying to your audience but in fact, PR is about honesty. In other words, you cannot really convince a person with a product if your product is bad. With that being said, if a client suffers from a reputation crisis, I ask them to consider this, look back, reflect on what went wrong and find a way to solve it immediately. This is where my job starts where we create a strategy to convey this to the audience. There are a lot of tools that can be used to disseminate any message you want whether it is through traditional or new media.
How do you convince clients to allocate a bigger budget for PR?
Not all clients are similar. Before signing with any client, market research must be done in order to see where they stand and what is their end target/goal. Based on this, a tailored proposal is made to cater to the client’s needs. So it is not really a fixed equation, every client has their own formula.