Edelman and Cision Form Communications Cloud Partnership Read More

5 PR Skills That Never Go Out of Style & Refresher Tips for Each

Students have gone back to school, but they aren’t the only ones with homework to do.

New technology continues to emerge and digital tools change constantly, affecting how we communicate and get our work done. Consequently, today’s industry is not what it was six months ago, and certainly not what it was six years ago.

Before diving into this year’s goals, professionals must sharpen their basic PR skills. Here are five aspects of PR worth reviewing in order to succeed in this digital age.

1. Writing Press Releases

No matter which press release distribution service your brand uses, the skills needed to write a press release remain the same. All press releases should include a timely news announcement. Headlines should reflect this by grabbing a reader’s attention in 70 characters or less. Start the release with your news, then build out your announcement with more details. Include quotes from a company spokesperson, a boilerplate or “about” section and include up-to-date contact information.

2. Creating Media and Influencer Lists


To get the most out of your press releases, you’ll want to share them with your target media outlets and influencer audience. Today, media databases, like the one offered by Cision, provide a smarter way to research who to add to your list. Use social media listening to see who your audience listens to, topics they talk about and communities they’re a part of – then use those answers to build out your list. Be sure to review and update your list often – media outlets change, as do influencers’ and reporters’ topics of interest.

Want to strengthen your skill set even more? Get our free “PR Starter Kit” today!

3. Pitching Reporters and Influencers

Use your media database to look at which social media channels your target influencers and reporters are on so you can build rapport and establish trust with them before sending a pitch. If writing an email pitch, use a clear, concise subject line, keep your copy to a maximum of five sentences and be sure to use links, not attachments. Track your pitches to measure your success and improve your pitching strategy for future stories.

4. Engaging with Your Community


If you want your brand’s messaging to travel far, be sure to build a community and invite fans to become brand advocates. People join communities because of the experience, so focus on making your fans feel like they belong to keep them engaged and interested in what your brand is doing. Furthermore, not everyone prefers the same social media channel. Repurpose your content to reach out in varying ways, ask others to share their stories or feedback and always be sure to thank those who support your brand.

5. Building a Digital Newsroom

First, find out what your audience needs, what reporters and influencers are looking for and what makes the most sense for your brand. Put your newsroom front and center on your website. Include videos and graphics for your visually-focused audience and list contact information for those interested in reaching out for more information. Finally, be sure to promote new content on your social media channels and include links in your pitches to direct reporters back to your newsroom.

Images: English106rumpleteaserSusanne Nilsson (Creative Commons)

About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.

Recent Posts

Cision Blogs

  • Communications Best Practices

    Get the latest updates on PR, communications and marketing best practices.

  • Cision Product News

    Keep up with everything Cision. Check here for the most current product news.

  • Executive Insights

    Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.

  • Media Blog

    A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.