| posted by Joe Hice |

Five things I look for in a Public Relations or Marketing professional

The folks at Yahoo Education created a list of the “most favorite” jobs and public relations comes in at No. 2.  Not sure how I feel about that, especially when you read the opening phrase; “If you love socializing.” When will they ever learn.

Read more at “Where have all the fun jobs gone?”

I can’t tell you how often a job candidate will start off by telling me “I’m good with people,” thinking that this will encourage me to move forward with a hire.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate people, but being good with people isn’t one of the top priorities on my list.

So I ask myself, what are the characteristics I pay attention to?  Here, in no particular order are Five things I look for in a public relations or marketing professional.

1. Writer/Story Teller.  Not just short 140 character paragraphs either.  You’ve got to understand the basics of news writing.  The Inverted Pyramid.  Take a class. Read a book.  You can learn to be a better writer.  And, after all, what is writing all about?  Telling stories and you’ve got to be a good story teller in this business if you want to survive:-)

2. Organized.  Ya think!  But you’d be surprised how many communications professionals are a mess when it comes to organization.  Just check out my desk if you don’t believe me.  But looks aren’t everything.  You’ve got to be able to prioritize and and structure your day, your client’s work, your organization’s work.  Multitasking might be a better word than organized.  An organized multi tasker is even better.

3. Fearless.  As Lady GaGa says, do different proud.  If you want to stand out; if you want your clients to stand out, you’ve got to stand out.  You’ve got to be different.  Being different is not easy.  You get pushed and pulled to conform all the time, but those practitioners who are able to look at things differently arrive at new and different solutions to the challenges they face.  They have the most success in marketing and public relations and their companies and clients are the most successful too.

4. Savvy.  Technologically and peopleogically.  You’ve got to be good with the technology so you can do good things with it.  And yes, you do have to understand people and understand how to work with different kids of people.  But you don’t have to like people, or be good with people, to understand people. So there.

5. Research Minded.  You don’t have to be a statistical geek, and reading the tea leaves won’t help, but somewhere in the middle is a good place to start.  I’ve seen so many situations where a little understanding of the research made all the difference in the world.  At Harley, for example, we did a little research and found that we weren’t in the business of selling motorcycles.  “We fulfill dreams through the experiences of motorcycling,” is what it’s all about at the bar and shield and the research showed that.  The company’s PR and marketing folks know that too and despite the recent economic conditions, Harley is positioned to emerge from the downturn at the top.

More to come, but for now, check out what Yahoo had to say about jobs.

#2 – PR/Marketing Specialist

If you love socializing, this might be the job for you. Public relations and marketing specialists are all about connecting with people and creating buzz and awareness for products and services.

Fun Factor: Is your finger on the pulse of what’s hot? Use your pop culture savvy to create marketing campaigns that wow people. Want to make a splash in the media? Many news stories on radio and television start at the desks of public relations specialists.

Training: Look into degree programs in public relations, journalism, marketing, or communications. Take a look at courses or degree programs in advertising, business administration, finance, psychology, sociology, and creative writing.

Average Pay: Public relations specialists have an average annual salary of $51,280.

One of Many

Passion Rules!

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3 Responses to “Five things I look for in a Public Relations or Marketing professional”

  1. Kristin Guira says:

    Thanks for the tips, Joe! As someone who is searching for new opportunities, I appreciate the insight into what a respected PR professional looks for in potential candidates.

  2. Jeff says:

    Very good article. Interestingly (or maybe not), according to the list, I do job #1, #2, AND #6 currently and have for more years than I care to think about.

  3. Sarah says:

    Saved. Thank you very much. I appreciated your insight on ufprchat tonight too! I welcome ALL of the hints, opinions and hand-holding that I can get! I just transferred to UF as a junior PR major. I have loved every minute thus far but I definitely still have a LOT to learn. It’s inspirational to see so many professionals including yourself who were once in my shoes! Go gators! Thanks again.

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