Not all PR Pros are created equal.

Many people claim to be great at PR, but not everyone truly is. Genuinely talented PR pros have a few specific qualities that the average pro doesn’t. They know what stories to pitch, their press releases are top notch and they have media connections to spare.

Read on to learn about some of the characteristics that can make the difference between a PR rep and a PR pro.

1) Always ready. The best PR pros have their tools on them at all times: smartphone, business cards, notepad, perhaps even a digital camera. One never knows when a high profile contact will be made or an unscripted moment of PR gold might happen.

2) Investigative spirit. PR pros have to know the customer base in order to determine the best types of stories to tell. Even so, not every tale will do. Having a nose for news and what consumers want to hear will help drive client coverage.

3) Great storyteller. Fantastic stories draw people in and stick with them long after they’ve moved on to something else. It is great to have a tale to tell, but a great storyteller can make almost any narrative seem interesting.

4) Persuasive prowess. PR experts have to be able to do more than find interesting tales and tell them well, they have to be able to sell the narrative. The best PR pros can define a story, write it and present it in such a way that news agencies and other communications organizations pick it up and distribute it to a wider audience.

5) Connection cultivator. A good PR person will find the journalists and publications that are most likely to report on news within their specific clients’ industries. PR pros know who’s covering what and don’t waste their time trying to talk to the wrong people.

6) Punctuality matters. The media world is driven by deadlines, deadlines, deadlines! Being late can mean the difference between flying through the window of opportunity and crashing into the glass. Once PR pros agree to a deadline, they move heaven and earth to meet it.

7) Willing to learn. PR pros who don’t make it a point to learn how the public relations world is advancing can expect to find their phone ringing less and less often. Today’s best PR people not only grasp the importance of social media strategies and mobile web, they are always looking towards the horizon to see the newest ways of reaching their audiences.

8 ) Detail oriented. In this field, accuracy means everything. PR professionals have developed methods to ensure their stories portray a positive image, while also containing accurate information. They take notes and record information that they can go back to over and over again.

9) Adventurous attitude. PR pros are confident. They don’t just seek out the same handful of media outlets, they also think outside the box. They take calculated risks in order to launch the organizations they represent into greatness.

This isn’t a comprehensive list – so what’s number 10?The ones listed here are a great launching point as you get started, but there are many other great qualities that make a great PR pro, and you’ll have your own personal preferences. What qualities do you think are vital to the best PR representatives?

Does PR stand for People and Relationships nowadays? Brian Solis thinks so. Get his free e-book here!

About Chris Pilbeam

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