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Technology is constantly shifting and the PR landscape is forever evolving. Despite the new tactics and changes in the communication landscape, there are some skills that will always remain essential for PR professionals.

To be successful in PR, you need a dynamic set of skills including but not limited to research, writing, people skills, and tech savvy. PR professionals who want long-term success and growth need to be flexible, and they need a desire for continuous learning. Here are six essential skills for a modern PR professional:


Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to understand their thoughts, feelings and experiences. As a PR professional, empathy is necessary to understand and get in touch with your target audience. . Empathy means not viewing the findings of the research through the lens of your own feelings and experience, but through the eyes of your target audience.


This is a given. PR professionals are constantly producing written content for the pubic. Whether it’s a press release, blog, email, or social media caption, it is important the the words that we deliver to the public or press are engaging, interesting, and well-written. Proper prose is a must in PR. To be a good writer, practice makes perfect. Reading a lot also helps improve your writing skills.

Social media

With the proliferation of different online platforms, the landscape of PR and communication professionals has changed rapidly. From the way people consume news to how journalists find story ideas, everything is different. Understanding the ins of outs of social media, best practices, and how audiences and media personnel engage with different platforms is crucial as a PR professional.

Social media monitoring

Social media monitoring is a valued service that PR firms can provide to businesses. Social media monitoring has many functions, from competitor analysis, to evaluating what people are saying about a brand, to getting information about customer support and sales. Social media monitoring can be a very useful skill to have as a PR professional to boost your career.


Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it also advanced the PR professional’s career. Curiosity is a must when it comes to being a standout PR professional. There are so many ways to learn if you are open to it, and learning new things open doors to many opportunities. An active investment in learning, whether formal or informal, is necessary to a successful PR professional. It always helps to know more about the industry you’re working in, the industry your clients are engaged in, and what’s happening in the wider world.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.