Good public relations professionals are hard to find. It takes a certain talent: a natural ability to communicate and connect with people on a personal level and be effective in the communications business. In addition, hard skills, like the ability to write and use the latest media tools, are just as important.

Whether you’re looking for an experienced PR specialist or an intern to grow within your company, these five traits are necessary to succeed:

Personality and character.

Communications professionals need to be outgoing and personable. Whether it’s cold-calling reporters or meeting people at a networking event—it’s essential to have the ability to make connections with people. It’s also necessary to have a high level of integrity and an ability to make sound decisions in challenging situations.

Writing and oral communication skills.

In addition to a friendly demeanor, a good employee needs to communicate well in writing and verbally. This can mean talking on the phone, writing well-thought-out emails, and drafting news releases. Good employees should also understand how to edit word count, grammar, and style.

Creativity and synergy with others.

PR professionals should have creativity and curiosity. Of course, the best employees are enthusiastic about the communications business and look to learn as much as they can from the veterans at a firm. But in addition to learning, good employees should also offer new ideas to help clients meet their objectives.

Ready to work.

A critical communications matter can happen anytime—mornings, weekends, evenings. The best employees in the PR business know this and volunteer to help out, even when it might be outside of regular business hours because it’s an opportunity to learn and grow.

Digital/multimedia experience.

Many young and talented individuals have grown up using computers and thoroughly understand digital media. For many, it is second nature. A new PR hire should know how to create basic images and videos, manage and update a website, and understand the concepts of SEO and online reputation management.

To learn more about careers and professional resources in public relations, check out Tucker/Hall’s Careers page.

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