Fresh eyes

Five skills needed to succeed in PR

Five skills needed to succeed in PR
Simon Turner Freshfield Managing Director

Written by Simon Turner,
Chief Executive & Group Client Director at Freshfield

After spending a week with the lovely people at Freshfield, I have discovered that PR covers a much broader range of topics than I had first thought. Not only do you need to be able to write eloquently but also you need a creative flair in order to work well with your clients. Here, I have compiled a list of skills that I think are the most important within PR, however these are just some of the traits which would be beneficial; there are many more…


In my opinion, communication is the most important skill needed in PR and marketing. Whether making phone calls, discussing propositions with clients, writing press releases or talking with team members, communication is crucial. This means you have to set out your objectives and make yourself understood.

Organisation and time management

When working with clients, you often have to work to deadlines. Therefore you must be organised and work in order of priority. You also need to set up and attend meetings with clients to review whether or not things are working to the right timeframe. In addition, you have to allow yourself enough time to get the results you are aiming for.

Commercial awareness

To fully understand what your client is asking for, you need to carry out market research to see what is already out there and develop your knowledge in that field. You also have to know the audience and what appeals to them. One of the most important things I have learned in the past week has been the importance of social media to target specific groups. In the past few years, social media has become one of the biggest platforms for PR companies. With over 1.3 billion active Facebook users, it is quick and simple to get the message out.

After my week at Freshfield, I also know how to monitor social media using websites such as Tweetdeck and Sprout Social. They allow for PR companies to see the demographic of people visiting their client’s pages. Similarly, Google Analytics means that you can compare numbers of people visiting a website to a previous timeframe.

Creativity and curiosity

To give the client exactly what they want, never stop asking questions. And soak up good ideas like a sponge. You never know when you will be able to re-use them and make them your own. I know it’s a cliché but to enhance what your client is asking for: Think outside the box. The best ideas are often not what people expect so it is always worth making suggestions.


A major factor in PR is the ability to adapt because every client is different and doesn’t have the same demands as the next. You also need to be able to change your ideas if the client does not agree with you or changes what they want.

Another reason why versatility is important is because over the past decade PR has evolved with the introduction of social media and other new marketing methods so you need to be able to keep up to date with the changing times.

By Daisy Walker, Turton High School

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