PR has drastically changed in the past decade. The ever-evolving industry causes PR pros—particularly leaders—to work extra hard to stay ahead of the curve.
How can mid- and senior-level PR executives move past the constant speculation of what lies ahead to take charge and implement new, actionable PR initiatives that will shape their companies’ futures?
To become an influential leader, there are five qualities PR pros must possess:
1. Vision: Visionary leaders are big-picture thinkers. They see beyond what is, and envision what could be. In PR, the key is to always look ahead, anticipate trends, see where the industry is going and visualize where your company can go. It’s critical to consistently search for opportunities and develop new, creative ideas.
2. Inquisitiveness: Those with inquisitive minds fearlessly question, explore and understand what is beyond their comfort zones. Being a leader does not mean your learning process stops. There is a larger call to absorb knowledge—especially in such an evolving market.
3. Adaptability: It’s as true in PR as it is in life: If you aren’t willing to accept discomfort, you will never know what you’re capable of. Successful PR leaders can adapt to their environments. Leaders who celebrate change are not afraid to let go of what was; they embrace what can be and open the door for greater opportunity.
4. Effective communication skills: PR is about organizations communicating with their target audiences. You can be a thought-provoking and adaptable visionary, but if you can’t translate your ideas to employees, peers, customers and potential customers, your ideas are useless.
5. Willingness to invest in relationships: Relationship building is key to any organization’s success, but it’s even more critical in PR. When leaders build relationships with their employees, clients and colleagues, they show they care. People want to work with those who are genuine.
The path to PR leadership is not always easy, but leaders understand the many qualities it takes to be influential and take charge of charting the unknown. Adeline Gheorghita works at Vantage PR, a boutique technology public relations agency. A version of this article originally appeared on Vantage PR’s blog.