College students: get the technical skills you need now to work in PR later

Photo Credit: JISC InfoNet, University of Cumbria

Considering a career in public relations?  Here are the technical skills you need to work on now to get a great internship and job later.  If you don’t yet have these skills, make it a priority to acquire them during breaks and summer vacation.

A note: group skills classes tend to be fast-paced, superficial, and expensive, and you may not learn as well or as much as on your own.  Don’t waste your academic credits on these.  Try Lynda.com or self-study, instead.  Or ask a friend to help you learn.

Learn how to type.  With TWO hands, not two fingers.  Typing is so important, you should pay for and take a course, if needed (but not at college; that’s too expensive).  Learning how to type requires a great deal of practice at first, but once you learn, it’s like riding a bike.

Don’t underestimate this!  Typing is one of the most important skills you can have.  It will help you now, in school, and later on the job.  Public relations professionals spend a lot of time on the computer.  If you can’t type at least 80 wpm by the time you graduate, you may get left behind in the dust at work.

Acquire technical skills.  You can learn these on your own, on the job, with a friend, or with at home tutorials, like those offered by Lynda.com and Constant Contact.  Skills like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, PhotoShop, InDesign, blogging, video editing, and email marketing are in high demand and will give you an edge in marketplace.

Learn how to use a digital camera and video camera, and become expert at uploading edited online content.

Sharpen your social media skills.  Start blogging, now (I recommend WordPress.com)  Also be sure you have a fully fledged and professional appearing LinkedIn account, Facebook profile, Twitter profile, Flickr account, and YouTube channel using your name as the username, and update them regularly.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on August 25, 2011, in Public Relations Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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