by Megan Maher
You’ve heard the phrase “Jack-of-all-trades”, but do you know exactly what it means and how it relates to public relations? Obviously it’s an awesome title to hold, but as you’ll see, obtaining it doesn’t come easy.
Jack-of-all-trades is precisely what it sounds like. Dictionary.com defines it as “a person who is adept at many different kinds of work.” The famous figure of speech dates back to the 17th century and has been used ever since.
Correlation to our industry
As PR students we are taught a lot of different skills, from writing press releases and building media kits in (name that class!) to holding press conferences in Strategic Planning and learning how to navigate our way around inDesign in Design and Layout. We are even “fortunate” enough to sit through a law class that provides us with knowledge of what you can and can’t do with digital media. This array of classes prepares us for what’s to come post graduation and sets us up for success as we transition from students to PR professionals.
In the “real world” no two days are the same––which you already know and is probably one of the characteristics that attracts you to this ever changing career. Working in the fast-paced environment means you have to stay on your toes and be able to wear many different hats to complete the tasks at hand. It’s important to be continuously learn as many skill sets as you can to standout in this highly competitive field.
Take advantage of the resources you have to familiarize yourself with programs that you’ve never used and polish the skills you already have. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten know-hows that as a PR professional you’ll want to know:
1. Writing (grammar, grammar, grammar)
2. Photography and photoshop
5. Web Design/HTML
7. Social Media
8. Event Planning
9. Public Speaking
10. Search Engine Optimization
Become proficient in many skill sets
Becoming proficient at these and remaining multifaceted will also help you better communicate with other teams and allow you to understand their jargon-filled dialect. You will never walk away from a conversation wondering what just happened again, no, no, no. Do you need to talk to the marketing team about promotional material? No problem, you know the ins and outs of design concepts. Did you just walk into a meeting to find out that you’re leading it? Don’t sweat it! Not only do you know what you’re talking about like the back of your hand, you’re also an all star public speaker. Did someone just come to you with content they need edited yesterday? It’s a good thing you’re a skilled editor. Mistakes don’t stand a chance against you.
Alas, you are the Jack-of-all-Trades. You, my friend, have mastered it all, well maybe not all, but with the skills you have you’re well on your way.
As you wear the many hats of your newly acquired skills you must never put on the hat of the “know-it-all”. Being a Jack-of-all-Trades comes with humble pride and the understanding that there is always more to learn. It takes extreme dedication and is not for the faint at heart. So take your knowledge and use it for good. Help others and watch your hard work pay off. Now go forth, conquer the day, and continue to be awesome.