Opinion: From our Readers - Client-facing skills are key to PR success

As a journalist-turned-PR practitioner, I read 'The other side of the divide' (Features, 17 September) with interest.

But I was surprised that it didn't stress the importance of client-facing skills.

A successful PR practitioner has to be excellent at building relationships with both the client and the press - and have the right blend of authority, tact and diplomacy.

At SE10, all our senior staff are trained journalists. Whenever we recruit we get hundreds of applications from journalists wanting to make the move into PR. And while many of these are great at writing news and feature articles, they lack the temperament to really succeed in PR. Their social skills are not always finely honed and they don't have the personal confidence needed to both represent brands and deal with senior executives.

Particularly in the corporate world, many would be eaten alive, fail to impress or even cause offence.

Journalists need to take a long, hard look at their soft skills when considering a move into PR. Focusing on the practical issues of job security and pay that the case studies described could leave many previously successful journalists floundering.

Greta Solomon, account director, SE10

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