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#PR: Yeah, It’s 'Boring,' But It’s Your Most Important Skill…EVER
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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As flacks, we all know that today, we have to be able to communicate effectively and across all forms of media.

What would you say is the most important skill to a PR professional “ever”?
Being able to pitch successfully and consistently? Having a great portfolio of contacts in both traditional and online media? Being able to effortlessly blog, social market, and offer webinars?
But according to a recent post on LinkedIn Pulse (originally appearing on the iDoneThis blog site), your most important…and “yawn”…boring…skill could be simply being able to write, according to Walter C., co-founder of iDoneThis. Managers need to know how to write effectively, but so do public relations professionals.
In his piece, Walter noted what three highly successful executives recently said about writing. He quoted from Ben Horowitz, Jeff Bezos (of Amazon fame), and Andy Grove of Intel.

Ben Horowitz, of Andreessen Horowitz, said: “Written communication to engineering is superior [to verbal communication] because it is more consistent across an entire product team, it is more lasting, it raises accountability.”

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, holds writing so important that he emphasizes it to his senior executives. As Bezos says, “There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.”

Andy Grove of Intel believes reports “are more a medium of self-discipline than a way to communicate information.”
All these quotes offer valuable insights for managers, but I also believe they offer advice for us flacks. Our raison d’etre is to communicate…and to do that in a most effective manner possible. If we cannot write well, according to those quotes, we can not communicate well.
What do you think?
(For Walter C.’s entire article on LinkedIn Pulse, go here.)

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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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