What has your PR team done for you lately?
Have they gotten you mentioned in shows like Dr. Phil? The Oprah Winfrey Show? CNN? CNBC? Have you been written about in the Wall Street Journal? The New York Times? Or virtually every other major newspaper and business periodical in the United States?
If you’re a COO, a CEO, a CFO, or any other kind of entrepreneur, surely you’d love to build a team for your business that has you answering “Yes!” to all those above questions.
The question you’re probably asking now is, “How?”
The answer to that starts with hiring PR professionals that share these ten qualities.
1. They Love to Sell
Any member of your PR team has to love to sell. Candidates will need to possess the ability to “get past the gatekeeper” to pitch you to companies that will get your name out there.
“Rather than relying on passive tools like newswires and press releases, the best PR teams are proactive and treat the PR process as a sales process. That means targeting the right people in the media, crafting your pitch, and making cold calls to sell your story.” – COO Alliance
Your PR team should be able to raise and handle objections, track their own sales leads, and love to sell.
2. They Can Handle Rejection
Anyone in your PR team has to have the ability to handle rejection well. Can they handle rejection and realize that “four no’s are halfway to a yes?” If your answer to that is “Yes,” then you want them. If it’s “No,” then keep on looking.
3. They’re Energetic
PR professionals that are going to get your name out there are the ones that can be defined as energetic team players.
Sometimes you can find these qualities if you hire junior-level salespeople. These people are usually in their mid-twenties and very enthusiastic about their job.
4. They Listen Well
Members of your PR team need to be able to listen. This involves the ability to listen and understand what any given reporter wants to write about and come up with another angle on the fly.
It’s crucial that your PR person can make your stories fit. A great PR person can get your name anywhere.
5. They’re “Glass Half Full” People
You want PR people that are the type of people that always look at things with a glass half full. Find people who are optimistic so that their excitement and energy transfer to everyone they talk to, especially writers and journalists over the phone.
6. They Have a Great “Phone Voice”
This may sound a little odd at first, but it’s crucial that any PR person that you hire has a great “phone voice.” A great “phone voice” is essential because writers and journalists on the phone need to understand your PR salesperson well.
If your PR team wants to pitch your business to writers in different regions, then look for a team of PR people with accents to match your market. At the very least, they must have voices clear enough to appeal to people across a broad spectrum.
7. They Know How to Write
Your PR people need to know how to write. Even though your PR people won’t be writing actual press releases, they will be doing tons of written follow-ups. Some of the best stories can come from simply a well-written note to the journalist. Well-worded PR people stand out to the media.
8. They’re Tech-Savvy
In this day and age, everyone, including PR professionals, needs to be tech-savvy. Since most of their resources will be online, PR salespeople will need to be skilled in the use of a computer and the Internet — which they’ll be using for research very regularly.
9. They’re Social Media Savvy
Just like being tech-savvy, in the twenty-first century, it is essential that your PR people are social media savvy. They should love reading blogs and should know how to use RSS and gather information from Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
The information they collect through this is crucial to keeping them current on trends and supplying them with ideas they can include in pitches to writers and journalists.
10. They Need to be Smart
It’s simple but vital. The fact that being smart is last on this list doesn’t make it any less important than the others. In fact, it might be one of the most important qualities in PR professionals.
The people you hire to do PR work need to be information aggregators and intelligent enough to draw connections within the vast expanse of information they collect. Their research must be accurate, appropriate, and timely.
If you’re looking to hire new PR people, or if the ones you have aren’t getting your name out there as you want it, then look for people with these ten qualities. Those are PR professionals that will get your name out there no matter what!
What quality do you think is most important in a PR professional? Let us know in the comments below.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send us an email, and someone from my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.