5 key traits of a successful PR professional

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

This story first appeared on PR Daily in February 2012. 
To be successful in the world of modern public relations, there are certain essential characteristics that one must possess to fight adversity, capitalize on opportunities, maintain a positive image, encourage word of mouth, and build strategy.

While drafting this post, I jotted down 17 must-have characteristics. But I whittled the list down to these top five:

Thick skin. This is definitely not a profession for the timid or faint of heart. Modern PR pros need to develop the ability to withstand personal and brand criticism, and not be easily offended.

Resiliency. You are going to get knocked to the mat quite often, how quickly you can recover from and adjust to misfortune or change often acts as the barometer of your personal and brand image. Since you are most likely the face of your brand or provide counsel to those that are, developing or coaching resiliency is a key characteristic of a PR pro.

Attention to detail. Digital communication has placed brands on the slide and under the microscope requiring meticulous review and careful planning of all communication to media and the community. An infinitesimal error can be magnified 1,000-times and although few expect perfection, egregious errors, especially on first impressions, can shift the tides of sentiment from positive to negative.

Creativity. To say in today’s society that consumers are inundated with content and journalists receive a deluge of pitches daily is a radical understatement. Often, what tends to resonate best is creativity born of ideas outside the norm. Learn to be creative.

Relationship builder. In PR, relationships are everything. The core of our profession is the ability to build rapport and bridge communication chasms through quality conversations that build strong relationships. What characteristics would you add to the list?

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]