Let’s face it, having a successful business is near to impossible if there’s not an exceptional team working behind the scenes to make it all happen. The employees are the backbone of the company and a reflection of who the company truly is. Building a high performing public affairs team can be a challenging task, but when a team is put together carefully each member has the ability to grow into a high performing public affairs machine.
Skillsets of a public affairs professional
Over the years, the skills needed to be a talented public affairs professional has expanded. The position is becoming more competitive and the qualities needed for the position more expansive. Traditionally, the primary skills needed included the ability to communicate well with the public and the media, a solid work ethic, proactiveness, excellent writing skills and an attention to detail. Although all of these skills are needed today, the list has only grown. Now, public affairs professionals must be tech savvy and on top of all the newest tools on the web. They must understand blogging and microblogging, all types of social networking tools and social media relations, and even the basics of coding, search engine optimization and RSS feeds. In other words, public affairs professionals must be able to reach into their tool bag and pull out the best tool for the job while blindfolded.
How to find and hire top public affairs professionals
Whether your firm is outsourcing or has an internal public affairs team, it's important to ask the right questions to get a better understanding of a team or individual’s experience.
How are you going to measure the successfulness of a campaign?
Each and every campaign will have its strengths and weaknesses, so public affairs professionals must be ready to reflect upon the success or unsuccessfulness of their campaign. An experienced professional will have the end results in mind even before the campaign is built.
Which media tools are best for our target audience?
There are so many tools out there to help support online communications and marketing. Public affairs professionals each have tools they prefer, and should be ready to explain why their tool belt is equipped with the best tools for your business.
Have you worked on campaigns in our industry?
This is an important question when working with both individuals and public affairs teams. Each and every industry is different and must be approached differently. For example, the entertainment industry might require a lot more flash and flare; whereas in B2B communications for a technology company might require more experience and understanding for the latest updates in technology.
How to retain the top professionals
Have you ever heard the saying, “the best employees are always the first to leave”? Talented professions are always looking to improve themselves and constantly want to be challenged. That's why many companies may have a problem holding on to the best of the best. In order to build and hold on to a strong public affairs team, the team itself must be kept in mind.
Creative people will not stay where their creativity cannot flourish. A creative workplace creates space for people to do their best and sets the atmosphere of a fun and encouraging environment.
Promote when promoting is deserved
Not only does it show appreciation for those hard working employees, but it also gives incentive for people to strive for something and figure out what role they would truly love to play in the team.
Listen for feedback and make improvements
This cannot be overstated. There is always room for improvement, and those who work with the company are constantly making mental lists of where improvements are needed. So just ask them, and take the initiative to improve the situation.
Let go of non-team players
The team must function as a whole. If one person is weighing down the team, others may get tired and start to lose motivation. Its best to make sure that the work place is a team and not simply individuals doing a job.
Having a high performing public affairs team requires strong communication channels between all members of your team. SophoTree lets you and your team create professional reports that can be instantly shared to keep every member of your team updated on what is happening in your industry.