In my classes this semester I have written crisis plans, press releases, social media posts, speeches and blogs, and tons of professional emails. With that being recognized, as a student and young professional, if I had to pick one skill to develop over any other it would be WRITING.
When you’re unable to speak to your audience, you’re forced to communicate via the written word. As such, this makes writing the most essential skill a PR professional possesses. Whether it be communicating to your internal audience through e-mails, memos and newsletters, or reaching your external audiences through a blog, social media or press release, you are still writing. Writing is the most basic yet most important skill to impress your potential employer.
I am not the only one to encourage strong writing skills. Heather Whaling, President of Geben Communication, a noted PR professional and published blogger on Mashable.com, covers the same point of information in her blog. Here, Heather provides pertinent tips and resources to help sharpen your writing skills. http://prtini.com/public-relations-writing/
Start NOW! Find local businesses, organizations and departments within your institution to write for. Build a portfolio of material that will credit you and maximize your abilities compared to your opponent that already has the experience you are lacking. This portfolio will show actual published material you have provided not just hypothetical work you produced in the classroom for a grade.
I have been involved in the University of West Florida student government association for the last three years being challenged with a multitude of competitive writing formats such as legislation, recommendations, agendas and promotional material. Writing for this organization alone has provided an abundant amount of skilled, competitive work I will show to my upcoming employers.
Here are a few suggestions for your portfolio. Start NOW!