Learn the art to communicate effectively as a PR professional

The overwhelming flow of misinformation in today’s digital era makes effective communication vital for both internal and external stakeholders in any organization. Without clear communication, the message can easily be lost and will ultimately leave the stakeholders feeling confused and disengaged.

So what is needed when it comes to communicating effectively? There are several key elements to consider when developing effective communication skills in public relations (PR).

The first and most important rule to communicating effectively in daily routine is to listen attentively and prioritize transparency. Listening carefully is a power that goes a long way in improving the communication skills of a PR professional. It helps to develop skills that enable you to ask follow-up questions and gain clarity, thus reducing the chance of miscommunication and any risks that come with it.

Working on your body language is another basic to communicating successfully. Make sure that you are standing or sitting straight during a conversation. It is also a positive gesture to make eye contact with everyone who’s listening to you and while conversing with an individual or a group make sure to use natural hand movements as well, this will help you feel more confident.

Be aware of your own emotions and learn to manage them. Consciously focus on keeping your emotions and facial expressions in check. However, if you are having trouble, take a few deep breaths before responding. It is also vital to listen without being judgmental, especially when you hear an unexpected response. Again, work on your emotions, listen to the feedback with an open mind and do not interrupt while the other person is speaking. Remember that controlling your negative emotions will enable you to maintain better relationships with your audiences.

When responding to anyone, be mindful of the acronym BRIEF — Background, Reason, Information, End, Follow-up — to help guide the conversation in a clear direction. BRIEF is an outline meant to keep you on track and will help you respond thoughtfully to any conversation, even the ones that do not start in your favour.

A good communicator always plans ahead. A well-thought communication plan is the most proactive measure a PR individual can take to prepare for unexpected developments or questions. Planning will also allow you to anticipate future risk factors.

When engaging with clients, you might not always see eye-to-eye with them on different matters, but it is always helpful to resolve differences rather than letting them fester. Negotiation is vital when you hit a communication gap! Stay friendly, upbeat and positive even when you hit a dead end. It is also good to remind yourself that things can go other than planned. That being said, always remain positive because a positive outlook will enable you to digest new ideas quickly.

Avoid keeping your thoughts to yourself, instead, put them out, and remember the selection of words is of utmost importance. Learn to always speak clearly and choose your words wisely. Your pitch and tone must be audible, precise, transparent and crisp to everyone you are communicating with.

A PR professional needs to believe that communicating effectively is an art that can be learned and mastered over time through practice over time. It is vital to express yourself without fear and the best way to do this is by constantly exchanging ideas. This will enable you to translate your messages in a way that will resonate with different audiences as well as ensure the clarity of the message without losing its original meaning.

About Author

Maleeha has over 4 years of experience producing content across a wide variety of platforms and genres. She graduated with a Masters in International Relations from COMSATS University Islamabad in 2021.She is also currently the editor of APR’s weekly in-house e-newsletter, Atlasta Weekly.She enjoys swimming, travelling and supporting mental health causes, and exploring new restaurants.

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