It’s that time of year again when tons of college students are going back to class. Many of which are entering their senior year. In an ideal world, PR pros, and even journalists, should know how to do a variety of things before they walk across the stage and get their diplomas. There’s no need to be an expert in everything. But, it definitely helps to have some familiarity with a variety of tasks and programs. As someone who’s been in the workforce for a few years now, here’s seven (underrated) skills that I think all upcoming PRos and journos should know how to do.
1. Basic HTML knowledge
When I say basic HTML knowledge, I mean basic. There’s no need for PR pros to know how to code websites, although it could be very helpful. There is a need to know to how to post a blog post using WordPress, Blogger or Posterous. Knowing simple HTML commands for headlines, body copy, bold, italic, bullet points is HTML 101.
Free Resource: w3schools.com
2. Video Editing
Again, video editing can be a daunting task to learn. I’m not saying everyone should be fluent in Final Cut Pro or Avid, like myself. But, there is no reason that every marketer and PRo should not have some familiarity with iMovie, Animoto or Jaycut. These are very simple video-editing programs which allow you to upload and edit videos, often times in a matter of minutes.
Creating simple spreadsheets and tasks in Excel can be a daunting task for Excel newbies. While it may be a tough program to learn, it’s not an excuse to not learn it. Trust me, you will use it a lot more than you think.
4. Proper Grammar
This may be the most underrated skill on the planet. Knowing how to write well is a staple skill in just about any career. Good grammar and spelling is at the very root of that. Channel the advice of your middle school English teacher whenever you construct a sentence, paragraph, white paper, presentation or blog post. Good grammer matters.
5. Basic Math
Let’s face it, many of us have a reputation for being subpar at math. Whether analyzing statistics, comparing percentages or helping prepare a budget, simple math skills come in handy more than you think.
Understanding how SEO affects your site’s search rankings is important. At the very least, you should know to craft an SEO friendly headline and keywords for site content. Any added knowledge is gravy. For additional SEO resources, check out the SEOMoz blog. A phenomenal resource.
7. Social Media Familiarity
It’s mind blowing how many marketers and PR pros do “social-media tasks” professionally when they have no or little experience using those tools. You don’t have to be super active on Facebook, Twitter, G+, etc, but you should at least be on the sites and know how to use them.
What other skills should marketers and PR pros have? Please leave them in the comment section below.