10 skills PR pros have that other professionals don’t

Organizations have every right to manage their own public relations, but if they do, they aren’t availing themselves to these techniques PR pros learn over their careers.

The idea of do-it-yourself PR never seems to lose its luster.

Thanks to the rise in PR tech, there are a slew of new tools that companies can use now to help them do their own public relations. Startups can pay a monthly subscriptiosn for a press-release-writing services, find platforms to help write better pitches, and dig up budget-friendly media contact databases.

These are pretty good options for companies that may not yet be ready for a comprehensive PR program, but want to get their feet wet. I love seeing this level of innovation in the PR industry. Though, many would argue that these types of platforms and services, when in the wrong hands, make for the type of PR abuse that drives a wedge between PR pros and journalists.

It’s why organizations still turn to agencies and in-house PR teams when real communication strategy is needed to drive brand reputation and sales. In 2013, the PR industry grew 11 percent globally, and is expected to grow more than 20% in the next decade.

When it comes right down to it, companies still turn to true PR pros when they realize there are certain things that only the true PR pro can do with aplomb. Here are the top 10.

1. Categorize stories as pitches, press releases, or none of the above.
2. Identify the right media contact to pitch for a story, even when that writer’s name isn’t on a masthead or in a massive contact database.
3. Communicate with influencers in a way that isn’t off-putting, but rather nurtures long-term relationships.
4. Know what kinds of campaigns will drive high Web traffic but few leads, and which ones will drive many leads but little Web traffic.
5. Come up with ways to say “no comment” that doesn’t send up red flags.
6. Find the real story inside the organization, not just the sales pitch.
7. Teach executives how to engage with humans, not just sell to anyone in earshot.
8. Juggle hundreds of quick deadlines and not miss a beat.
9. Find 10 different ways to repackage a single piece of content
10. Create opportunities for positive outcomes to emerge from negative publicity.

What else can PR pros do that no one else in the organization can?

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Topics: PR


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