10 Qualities Employers Want When Hiring Public Relations Employees

There are 10 qualities public relations placement executives want.

Good Writing: Excellent writing skills are more important than ever.

Intelligence: Bright, clever, quick-witted are what public relations placement executives seek. As written in, “Six Abilities All Public Relations Practitioners Must Have”, public relations isn’t a haven for mediocre minds and lackluster personalities.

Cultural Literacy: Public Relations Practitioners are well-rounded and well-educated about the arts, humanities, and current events.

How to Recognize a Good Story: Placement and management of good stories that give organization visibility, build brand recognition, and enhance the organization’s reputation.

Media Savvy: Ability to work with editors in the domains of different deadlines, formats, and needs. Please read the article by Mashable, “The Future of Public Relations and Social Media”, to understand the relationship between Mass Media and Public Relations.
Contacts: Connections with people in the media, government, industry groups, and non-profit sectors. They can help you get crucial and timely information or/and make things happen.

Good Business Sense: Weave public relations into the overall business strategy. The PR professional must know how the business operates and a copious amount knowledge in the employer’s industry. This includes the need to link PR outcomes with the organization’s return on investment.

Broad Communications Experience: To succeed, a PR professional must have vast knowledge of all the PR tools from in-house newsletters to media and investor relations’ documents. Working knowledge of social media, video production processes, and online distribution.

Specialized Experience: After some general experience, a PR practitioner should focus on a specialty.

Fresh Perspective: Employers look for broad-based individuals with multiple communication and problem-solving skills.


Six Abilities All Public Relations Practitioners Must Have

There is no single type of personality for public relations (PR). Because the field is very diverse, it needs many differing personalities. Some PR jobs require consistently talking to clients and the public. Other jobs demand sitting at the desk, planning, researching, and writing.

In any PR job, an individual must have these six abilities:
The first ability is Writing Skills. For someone to convey information and ideas quickly, clearly and concisely in written form.

The second ability is Research. One should argue based on facts, not generalities. The person should be able to draw information from an array of sources and original research. For instance, information should be drawn by designing and implementing polls or audits. They should also read from internet databases and the newspaper.

The third ability is Planning Expertise. The individual must be able to develop or coordinate public relations tools and activities. He must plan that everything is on time, with no problems, and in the budget.

The fourth ability is Problem Solving Ability. The individual must solve complex problems through innovative ideas and fresh approaches. Individuals that show they consistently come up with creative solutions receive higher salaries and more frequent promotions.

The fifth ability is Business/Economics Competence. Public relations practitioners must have a solid grounding in economics, marketing, and especially management. This is because many business decisions include PR professionals on the decision-making table.

The sixth ability is Expertise in Social Media. The PR practitioner is expected to have expertise in mainstream media relations and to be social media savvy. They are expected to have knowledge in social networks, blogging, tweeting, podcasting, search engine optimization, web content management, and social bookmarking.

Available Sectors for PR Practitioners to Find a Job In

This article will list, with descriptions of each, where public relations professionals can work.

Corporations offer the most – and most diverse – jobs in Public Relations. In corporations, the PR employee is usually focused on one public. An example would be an employee focusing on either employee relations, community relations, government relations, investor relations, etc.

Nonprofit Organizations and Trade Organizations:

Public relations’ duties in robust nonprofits or trade organizations are like those in corporations. They have several practitioners each focusing on a single public. There are usually no investor relations roles since the nonprofits don’t have stocks. Instead, there are PR functions unique to nonprofits, such as donor relations, fundraising, and member relations.


There are 4 publics that PR practitioners have to focus on in the Government sector. They are voters, news media, employees, and special interest groups.
Entry-level PR duties include writing news releases, responding to constituent concerns, and writing position papers that help politicians articulate their beliefs. Upper-level duties include speaking to reporters, writing speeches for politicians, and briefing officials on public opinion.

Public Relations Agencies:

Public relations agencies could be hired by a corporation, business, and person. Corporations who have a public relations team may hire an agency for something their PR practitioners can’t handle. PR Agencies could also handle all of the public relations for a client.

Independent Public Relations Consultancies:

An independent PR Consultant is essentially a one-person agency. They usually specialize in a particular area in public relations, for example, community relations.

On the Definition of Public Relations


Even public relations (PR) professionals don’t agree on the definition of PR. As a matter of fact, every public relations professional will give you a slightly different definition, which depends on their history with PR. To prove my point, each country has a different variation of PR. Each person’s view will not only be based on which country they are in, but it will also be influenced by economic, political, social, and environmental matters.

There are some terms used to define PR that will satisfy nearly all PR practitioners. The terms are as follows: “Ethical,” “Socially Responsible,” and “Reliable communication.”

One of the oldest definitions of PR comes from 1978, during the First World Assembly of Public Relations Associations and the First World Forum of Public Relations, both held in Mexico City. The definition still has some very important points:

“Public relations practice is the art and science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organization leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization’s and the public interest”


Media Pitch

What is a media pitch? A media pitch is just what it sounds like. It is an attempt to sell something, usually a story, to a reporter. The formats for a media pitch are email, phone call, fax or letter, and depend on how well you know someone.

The pitch could be for a new product or service, a movie, an event. In other words, nearly everything. The media pitch is the most widely accepted way to make a media representative aware of a story in a clear and concise manner.

Every pitch should be tailored to the type of medium it is sent to. They should also include a specific, unusual angle. Most importantly, the pitch should demonstrate how it is of interest to its viewers, readers or listeners.

Before you send your pitch make sure you know the publication or station. There’s a big chance that you won’t get a response on your first try. If that’s the case, try calling them. Your chances of getting published increase after your first attempt.

There are several ways to approach a media representative with a pitch. Your first pitch should be done through email, fax or letter. It should stand out from the crowd. Address the pitch to a specific person. Not just “editor.” Open with an interesting first sentence that entices the reader to read on. Then explain why the media should be interested in the pitch.

The follow-up pitch should be a phone call explaining to the reporter how it is of interest to her audience. The third pitch should be by mail and include your organization’s media kit. Finally, you should follow up to see the reporter has all the necessary information.

A few of the things reporters like seeing in pitches are relevancy to their beat/area of interest, less promotional, state benefits to their audiences, have strong story ideas, cover the five Ws in leads, and be well written.

How Hootsuite can Increase your Efficiency on Social Media


This article will talk about the social media marketing tool Hootsuite and its uses for over 35 social media sites.

Benefits of Hootsuite are as follows:

Hootsuite works with any web browser

You can download the app for your tablet device and smartphone

You can monitor your competitors on social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or your Google + account on a single computer screen.

You can create custom tabs for industry thought leaders, target keywords, and industry news

Hootsuite’s Pro and Enterprise plans let you have multiple users to your social media profiles without sharing passwords.

1. You can assign messages to specific team members for follow-up and track responses.

2. Every team member will use the same dashboard layout, so everyone is monitoring the same social media feeds.

3. Team members can also add custom columns to their own dashboard to monitor specific feeds related to their department or job function.

• Custom Analytics are available

• Create custom reports from over 30 individual report modules

• Track brand sentiment and follower growth

• Incorporate Google Analytics

• ly URL Shortener is built-in so that you can track click-through on links to get individual link and summary stats to measure the success of your messaging.

• Auto-update your profiles from your blog or news feed with RSS integration right into your Hoot Suite baseboard

• You can change the color and look of your Hoot Suite dashboard

• You can use Firefox and Chrome browser extensions, so you can integrate Hoot-Suite into your browser and quickly send links of web pages you are visiting.

HootSuite Dashboard – Credit: woolgworks.sg


Once you add Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ page, Instagram or/ and WordPress to Hootsuite you can add several different types of streams:

Profile Stream lets you monitor specific types of activities that are part of your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ stream.

For Twitter, the profile stream allows you to have several streams, such as Home Feed, Mentions, Direct Messages, Scheduled Tweets, Favorite Tweets, Retweets, and Retweeted. Hootsuite also gives Twitter users the following:

• Search Stream allows you to monitor words you want to be monitored.

• Keyword Stream allows you to monitor 3 keywords or phrases opposed to search stream. Also, if you monitor only one keyword (such as your company name), Hootsuite will allow you to archive all the tweets to do with that keyword. Twitter does not archive them.

• Lists allow you to create and monitor your Twitter Lists.

Profile Stream lets you monitor specific sets of activities on Facebook, such as News Feed (Most Recent, Status Updates, Photos, Videos – all can be filtered by specific Friends or Fans), Wall Posts, Events, Scheduled Messages, Search (monitoring words you want to be monitored).

Profile Stream lets you monitor specific sets of activities on LinkedIn, such as My Updates, All Updates, All Discussions, Most Popular Discussions, Company Updates, Scheduled Updates, Job Search.

Until now we’ve been discussing the free version of Hootsuite. Hootsuite Analytics costs $9.99 a month. It is a very powerful reporting tool that provides over 30 standard reporting modules and the ability to create custom reports.


Quick Analytics is part of Hootsuite Analytics. It comes with four prebuilt reports and the ability to create custom reports in the Quick Analytics tab. The following are the four prebuilt reports:

• ly Summary Stats is a summary of the links you’ve added to your posts or tweets, whose report says how many clicks each of your links received, and how many clicks you received in a specified date range.

This report provides a lot of detail. It tells you what country the clicks are coming from, the referrer of the clicks, and your most popular links. This is a great way to see what type of content your followers are interested in.

The Summary Stats Report


• ly Individual URL Stats gives you details about links that were tweeted or posted. It tells you how many clicks each link received per day. To make this report more informative add modules, such as “Mentions By Influencers,” “Profile Summary,” and “Sentiment.”

Ow.ly Individual URL Stats Report


To end this article, I will list features of the free version and the $9.99 a month version of Hootsuite.

The free version gives you:

• Five free quick reports

• Five social profiles

• Two RSS feeds

• Ads are displayed on your dashboard

The Pro version gives you:

• Unlimited social profiles

• One free additional team member; additional team members are $15.99 per month

• One free enhanced analytics report

• Google Analytics integration

• Facebook Insights integration

• Opt out of ads

• Archive Tweets

• Influence scores

• URL parameters

• App directory

How to perfect your LinkedIn’s Information Box



The first part of your LinkedIn profile people see is the information box. The information box is at the top of the page and is light gray. This article will be about how the information box should seem.

Use a photo specifically for a job search, sales, etc. The photo should have you with a smile. You should avoid a cutesy photograph. The picture should be of you by yourself.
You should create a great title. The stuff LinkedIn users see if they read your posts or search for your profile is your profile picture and title. You should avoid the default title, which is your job. A customize title helps people desire to add you.

A well-thought-out title is more desirable. A way to write a great title is to list your expertise. Examples would be:



There are ways to create a great title if you specialize in 1 area of expertise, such as write a sentence or two pitch that describes how to help people. If your target is localized, write the geographic area in which you do work. You should peruse LinkedIn profiles similar to yours to get a better idea of what you should write. If there is a very good title that fits you really well, then go ahead and copy it.

There is a website part to your information box. You may list 3 websites. There is a choice of titles for the websites in the drop-down, such as “My company” and “My blog.” At the bottom of the drop-down, there is “Other.” You should choose “Other.” It allows the website title to be very desirable. The website title you choose should be very desirable in order for people to go there! You can choose “Download a Free Real Estate Report” or “Get a Lead Generating System.”

You should customize your public link that you use to send traffic to your profile. When you first become a LinkedIn user, the link will be similar to “linkedin.com/ins/joesmith34543.” You should customize your profile to your first and last name. If your name is used, you could add a middle initial or switch the order. You may also use a tagline to show off your skills. Examples would be:




Intertwining social media with business goals


Having a social media presence is worthless unless you do something with it. A business should set goals for their social media department (if they have one). This is an opportunity/cost issue. If you are not familiar with this term, Economists define it as the best alternative forgone because a particular course of action is pursued. In other words, is it worth it for you to use social media for your organization? The answer to that question is if the work done on social media created the most value at that given time.

Social Media’s Value to an Organization

Social media can be used for personal entertainment or for building a community around your company. Employees at work catching up with friends on Facebook or watching videos of kittens on YouTube are wasting productivity.

Social media adds to the organization when an employee monitors social media networks for positive and negative statements made by people about the organization’s product that he is responsible for. Social media adds to an organization if someone manages customer service requests in real time made in microblogging platforms, or engaging in online reputation management.

We see in these two examples of two employees. One of them is wasting time. The other is being productive. Same desk, same tools, and same channels, but we see completely different pictures. One of them has goals: business intelligence, customer service, and online reputation management.

Making goals for your social media department can only be done once you clearly understand your business tactics, goals, strategies, and targets.

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

In the business world, managers have a difficult time telling the difference between strategy and tactics.

A strategy is a plan of actions designed to achieve a goal. It is complex and made up of many moving parts.

Tactics are the means by which a strategy can be carried out.

Example: The current strategy to get net new customers (goal) is to use Facebook to increase both our reach and our prospect-to-customer conversions. Two of the tactics that will be used are A) discount coupons for new connections on Facebook and B) rebate for anyone who shares our Facebook posts.

The Difference Between Goals and Targets

A goal is an organization’s endpoint, also known as an objective.

A target is the specific value assigned to an objective within a time frame.

Goals set the direction and focus of an activity, while targets establish the specific parameters to achieve the goal.


Example: If the company’s goal is to increase customers by 50 net new transacting customers, then the target would be 100 net new customers by Q1. If the company’s goal is to buy cheaper materials for products, the target would be to buy materials for products for 10% less.

Inserting a Social Media Program into Business Objectives

Social media is not its own function. It’s a communication tool, like the telephone and email, that serves the purposes for critical business functions, including public relations, marketing, lead generation, customer service, and market research. There is no such thing as a “social media strategy.” What you do have is business objectives or strategies to achieve these goals. Start with those and incorporate social media into that.

For instance, you don’t need 25,000 followers on Twitter. You need to make more sales and Twitter can be used to achieve those objectives.

A social media program, to deliver results, must have a purpose rooted in business objectives.

How to Create a Roadmap by Turning Objectives into Targets

To set targets for goals, there are a few approaches you have to take. First, it is much clearer to label targets as “performance targets,” “training targets,” and “sales targets” instead of having no clear label. Next, when setting social media targets, it isn’t as simple as saying you want “more followers,” “more mentions,” “growing market share,” and “increasing sales.” You need to be more specific. For instance, “gaining 300 mentions a day” and “increasing followers by 6,000 a month.”

Why is it good to set up your social media targets as stated? Two reasons. One reason is that it makes your organization focus on ways to achieve goals. It switches their attitudes from maintenance mode to problem-solving mode. The second reason is that setting specific targets makes there be accountability. It is one thing to show vague progress. It is another to make someone accountable for successfully hitting or failing to hit a goal.

The Top 5 Business Functions that can be easily enhanced by a social media program

A social media program can help businesses. This is because most organizations share certain needs. These needs can be met in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Fulfilling these needs can be helped through social media. Social media can assist by helping sales, customer support, human resources, public relations, and business intelligence.



One way social media can help with sales is to acquire new customers – first through its reach and influence. With social media, you adopt new customers and then develop them. You develop them by having repeated conversations with them. Eventually, many of these people will become your customers. Another way to gain customers, through reach, is to create an advertisement and promote it on social media. Finally, you can make money through, without being pushy, promoting discounts on your products.

Customer Support

Social media allows your organization to increase the efficiency of their customer support practice, and customer satisfaction. It increases the efficiency of the customer support practice and customer satisfaction because customers don’t have to jump through hoops to simply get your attention. There are people monitoring what your customers are saying to you, and that means faster response rates.

There are two things you have to do to create a social media program for your customer support practice. The first one is to train a customer service representative to use social media. This is a lot easier than hiring a social media expert and training them in customer support. The second one you have to do to infuse social media into the customer support practice is buying an advanced social media monitoring tool. These tools are very helpful. One reason is that anytime your company is talked about online you get notified.

Human Resources

HR is better off with social media. The HR team can identify the applicant, and if they have a lot of trusted friends, colleagues, etc., in common with the applicant, then the HR team will be able to trust the applicant more for the position. They can also recruit from social media. This is because they can search resumes of people on LinkedIn, etc., and may find someone they think would do well in the open position. Also, searching people’s social media accounts can be better than just sifting through just resumes.

Public Relations

If your company has a bad image online, then a public relations professional has to do what is called online reputation management.  This term means the public relations professional can spread across the online media the truth to make your organization have a better image.

PR teams can also help customers have a deeper relationship with the organization, through social media channels. A PR team can also increase trust and mindshare for the company, as well as foster alignment of values between companies.

Business Intelligence

Social media allows the business to monitor what customers are saying about you and your competitors. Social media allows how those sentiments are changing. Public relations can be applied due to business intelligence.

Content ideas for your Twitter bio

Much of this article is taken from Ted Prodromou’s book “Twitter For Business.”

Most people do not use their bio on their personal or business Twitter to its full advantage. Twitter bios can be up to 160 characters, and are used to tell the world why they should follow you. Twitter users will want to follow you if they share a commonality with you and/or they could learn something from you. People should think of their Twitter Bio as an advertisement, and use the same approach when writing it.

The rest of this article will focus on Twitter bio content ideas. The purpose of this article is to get as many followers as possible, so they can turn into big fans of you and/or your business.

  • Share your interests in your bio. Allow the viewers to get to know what you’re passionate about, such as music, art, sports, travel, etc. This allows users to build more loyalty to you through letting them know the personal side of you.
  • Let people know your goals. When one shares their goals or life vision it sends a powerful message that will grab their attention. For example, if your husband comes before your work, you should let your readers know. Someone will grab a lot of faithful followers by showing where they stand on important issues. A bio will be polarizing their potential followers by writing about politics or religion. This will turn off a lot of potential followers.
  • Show your areas of expertise. If you are an expert in something, include that information in your bio. People follow people who they can learn from.
  • Share your passions if you are a coach, teacher, or consultant. A great example would be “I’m passionate about showing college students how to manage their budget. Follow me for tips.” Every college student wants to know how to manage their budget, so of course they’ll follow you.
  • A series of keywords will grab a potential follower’s attention. People search for keywords on Twitter just like they do on Twitter. Let’s say someone is looking for a math tutor. They will search twitter for math tutors to follow. If a person writes “math tutor” in their bio, their profile will come up. If you’re a local business looking for local clients, don’t forget to add your city or its initials in your keyword list. For example, “math tutor New York.”
  • What makes you different from your competitors? Every business needs to know the answer to this question. This is called a unique selling proposition. There are thousands of public relations professionals on Twitter. What makes you different or better than the others? You have to let people know this in your Twitter bio. This is a very effective way to get more people to follow you.
  • Be specific when you are describing your expertise or experience. For example, don’t just say you’re a psychologist. Let people know you’re a psychologist with 20 years of experience relieving people of their mental problems. If you are a public relations professional, let them know you are a “public relations professional with experience working in the non-profit, consumer, and financial sectors.” This is so much more effective than saying “I’m a public relations professional.”
  • Have some fun. Twitter bios are really boring if you list just a bunch of keywords or skills. Show some of your humor or fun facts about yourself. People want to know you are a human in addition to being an expert at what you do.

You only get 160 Characters to write your Twitter Bios; make sure to peruse Twitter bios of your competitors and people with a lot of followers in order to scout ideas for your bio. You can even get some good ideas from celebrities, because they are usually good at showing their personal side.

Carrie Wilkerson (@carriewilkerson) is a small-business consultant who has used social media to build a thriving work-at-home consulting business. Carrie uses the keyword approach to her Twitter bio.

Consultant/Strategist for self-employed professionals & small business owners, Wife, Mom, Author, Speaker & Joyful Human. Host of http://BarefootExecutive.TV

You can see exactly what Carrie does for a living, how she can help you, a bit about her personal life, and a link to her fabulous videos. You also know that she is a joyful human!

Rishi Lakhani (@rishil) uses the story approach in his Twitter bio.

I am just your average guy interested in SEO and knowing people. This Twitter a/c is explicitly me and only me. http://explicitly.me

Rishi uses a very simple but compelling statement as his bio, and makes it easy for you to visit his site to learn more about him.

If you are a business person, you can use the same approach when creating your bio. You can use a series of keywords that describe how you help your clients or you can create a short statement. The idea is to clearly communicate with the reader and make it easy for them to connect with you, like @carriewilkerson.

There is no wrong or right way to write a Twitter bio. Try each approach and see which works best for you. The right one for you is the one that gets the best results. When you start receiving comments on your bio or see an increase in followers, you’ll know that you have found the right style. I also recommend updating your Twitter bio in order to keep it fresh. Life is constantly evolving, so update your profile to correspond with what’s currently going on in your life or your business.