9 Non-PR Skills Every PR Person Needs in ProfNet

February 8, 2012 - Philadelphia, PA

By Grace Lavigne

. . . Neil Gussman, strategic communications and media relations manager at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, served eight years in the Army as a tank commander before going to college. During his military service, Gussman worked on live-fire missile testing, gaining experience in electronics, chemistry and math. Afterwards, these skills got him gigs as a technical writer.

“People who could write about technology had permanent employment,” he says. “It turns out if you know calculus, and the tech jargon of a particular specialty, you can talk to experts in the field and write coherent prose.”

When he eventually crossed over to PR, his military experience helped him again by attracting tech clients. “I once got a client directly with calculus,” he says. “We were pitching a safety-equipment manufacturer for both PR and advertising. In one creative meeting, I pointed out that if someone falls four feet, they are going 10 mph when they hit—not bad if it’s feet first, but other parts get damaged at that speed.” The client was very impressed.

“People training for a PR career can take math, physics or chemistry as electives and be way ahead of their peers,” says Gussman. . . .

Link to ProfNet.

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