Publications & Products
Volume 7, Issue 14

The 4 Skills Every Communications Pro Needs

A public relations expert has this advice for communications professionals starting out in the field: Avoid the shiny new objects around you.

Writing for Public Relations Tactics, Greg Rokisky acknowledges the challenge balancing innovation with staying on track with existing strategic goals. Surfing around on the Internet or jumping from one social media app to another may be tempting but doesn't accomplish much at the end of the day. Rokisky recommends "staying grounded in the fundamentals of public relations" and reminds readers of these foundational communications skills.

Pick up the phone.
Communicating only through texts, emails or great new GIFs can lead to digital overload. "If you're not forced to pick up the phone from time to time, then you're forming a terrible habit," writes Rokisky. You also open up the possibility of miscommunication and perhaps even stunt relationships with your clients and colleagues. Nothing replaces the nuances, inflections and warmth of an actual conversation.

Be real.
You're new to the game. You'll make mistakes and some of your ideas will fall flat. "Be bold enough to be yourself and throw out new ideas. Just be modest enough to admit when someone else has a better one," advises Rokisky.

Help others.
Public relations and other communications jobs can be "severely competitive," writes Rokisky. Remember to be humble and help others. The profession will benefit and so will you. "You never know when your actions are going to come back and either help or hurt you," he says.

Focus on strategy.
Rokisky has this reminder for all digital natives: Social media is a tool; it is not the entire toolbox. "You can have the most innovative tactics, but if you lack the foundation of great [communications], then your work may not only be a flop but also waste" of money, he writes.

This article is from the Advancement Weekly, March 27, 2017 issue.

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