I recently came across a PR Daily article that listed 9 non-PR skills that every PR professional should have.
1. Management and teamwork experience
2. Financial skills
3. Multitasking abilities
4. Extraneous knowledge
5. Math competency
7. Discretion and good judgment
8. Common sense, perception, and intuition
I am lucky enough to attend a university that allowed me to take a variety of classes outside my major so it was easy for me to gain many of these skills throughout my education. Numbers 1-5 on this list are easy enough to obtain. You can pick up a minor in business or just use some elective credits to take an accounting or finance class. As painful as it might be to learn for aspiring PR pros who are much more interested in writing than math, general financial knowledge will definitely come in handy down the road.
Numbers 6-9 are a little trickier. Some might even say that you have to be born with traits like common sense and creativity. I disagree. Take a painting class or a creative writing class. Even if you aren’t the best artist or you have trouble coming up with story lines, classes like these will force you to get outside of your comfort zone and help you develop some valuable skills. As far as tenacity, discretion, and good judgment go, those are things you’re going to pick up once you enter the industry. This is yet another reason why internships are so important. You get to be around tenacious PR pros and learn from them. Lastly, and probably most difficult to develop, is common sense and intuition. I say as long as you realize that you need them, you’ll develop them along the way.
Is this list missing any vital skills PR pros need to have? Tell us your thought!