2 Key PR Skills Needed to Advance in an Organization

Used to be, PR pros were called only after a marketing campaign was fully baked and asked to knock out a press release and work with the media to get the message out. No longer. These days, the currency for communicators lies in strategic decision-making, as indicated by PR News’ 2014 Salary Survey.

According to the survey, strategic decision-making (90.8%) and collaboration (86.5%) are the top two skills that PR pros should bring to the table in order to advance in a company or organization, with all-too crucial listening (56.5%) coming in third. Those skills reflect the skillsets cited in the 2013 study.

The study, which was distributed in December 2013, garnered a total of 1,051 respondents, representing a wide swath of industries and PR disciplines.

When it comes to some of the key “soft” communications skills/attributes needed to advance in an organization, the survey uncovered two dichotomies.

For example, while purchasing patterns increasingly reward those companies that give the most back to society, social responsibility was one of the least important attributes cited in order to advance in an organization (22.1%).

soft communications skills and attributes

What's more, despite a widely held perception that the PR industry has a somewhat tortured relationship with ethics, having an ethical outlook was cited as the least important attribute needed to advance in an organization (17.4%).

What do you think are the most important PR "soft" skills needed to advance in a company or organization?

Learn more about what communicators are earning by ordering a copy of PR News' 2014 Salary Survey and Benefits Report, Vol. 4.   

Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1

1 Comment


About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Measurement Conference 

Media Relations ConferenceJoin PR News at the National Press Club on Dec. 11 for the Media Relations Conference, where you'll learn how to tie your media relations initiatives to business goals, use the right metrics to prove the success of your efforts, incorporate social media in a brand crisis and more.

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Crisis Management Guidebook


Crisis management is an art, not a science. In this edition of PR News’ Book of Crisis Management Strategies & Tactics, you will discover many different views on this art, and you are certain to find takeaways that will transform the way your organization handles crises. 

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.