Step Up to the Plate - Are You a "Five-tool" PR All-star?
With baseball season now in full swing (pun intended), fans have already had the chance to witness some pretty amazing moments. Fenway Park’s 100th birthday celebration, Phil Humber’s perfect game and the blazing start for LA Dodgers superstar Matt Kemp are just a few that top the list.
With all due respect to Fenway Park and the seemingly impossible feat of pitching a perfect game, Kemp’s start to the season stands out the most. Through the first month of the season, Kemp is batting .442 with 11 home runs, 24 RBI’s, 22 runs scored and two steals. For those who are not fantasy baseball nerds like I am – those numbers are really really good.
At this point readers are probably wondering how I am going to relate this to PR, so here goes. Kemp is the ideal five-tool category player, meaning he hits for average, hits home runs, drives in runs, steals bases and plays gold glove defense. While I am impressed with Kemp’s abilities, I am more impressed with the five-tool PR people I work with every day.
In today’s chaotic media environment, PR people need to possess a number of skills that put them in the “all-star” category like Kemp. Here are the five that I believe constitute a PR all-star:
1) Being a GREAT communicator. Much like hitting for a high average in baseball, this is the most important part of any PR job. On any given day, PR people need to communicate with clients, media, conference organizers, analysts and coworkers. Not only do we need to communicate, we need to do it well. I stressed the word “great” in the opening sentence because getting it right three times out of 10 won’t get it done like it does in baseball.
2) Being a clear and concise writer. My college professors would be proud of this one, but it is truly essential in the PR world. Getting your message across in a clear and concise manner, whether in a press release, pitch, blog post or tweet, is important for all PR professionals if they want to hit the proverbial “home run” of media opportunities.
3) Being a great multi-tasker. This one may fall under the “duh” category, but much like scoring runs in baseball, it is needed in order to win. You can make your to-do list all you want, but the fact remains that PR people are spun around in so many directions that it can literally make you nauseous. The PR all-star team is full of people who have mastered the art of multi-tasking and adapting to change.
4) Being able to handle clients and media simultaneously. This can be very difficult. In my opinion, it is like hitting a triple in baseball. The ball needs to bounce around a little bit, but if you have the speed, you will end up safe. Journalists and clients are often very different types of people. Being able to manage multiple personalities is a desired trait for all PR pros.
5) Last, but not least, being able to adapt to the social media landscape. Managing traditional media is great, but folks in PR know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Staying up-to-date on the latest happenings with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and SEO is essential for survival in the PR world.
So, what do you think? Are you a five-tool PR pro?