It's almost term time again and I am busy making final preparations for delivering core modules of the Fitzwilliam Institute's PRII Post Graduate Diploma in Public Relations. 

My training objective as always is that my students will not just be fully prepared for their exams and achieve their qualifications, but heavily armed with practical skills to work in the industry. I know that on our first day of term, students will want to know what those essential, practical skills are. Here are my top 5:

1. Writing Skills - From writing press releases and media briefing documents to scripts for key note speakers and content for social media sites, being able to get your client's message across to a target audience is crucial.

2. Organisational Skills - Working to media deadlines and your clients' schedules can be a juggling act.  Being able to do so calmly and efficiently can turn out to be a performance that wins you fans for life.

3. React & Repsond Know-How - You have to be available, flexible and confident to deal with situations that can occur outside of your control.  Being able to plan properly for crises and emerge from them with your reputation enhanced is a skill worth shouting about.

4. Media Relations Skills - Knowing how journalists work and giving them what they want will help to make you a respected go-to person for the media.  It's your ability to build and maintain relationships with the media that clients will value.  It goes without saying that skills in social media are a must but let's save that for another post.

5. Enthusiasm and Passion -  It's great to get to work with people that love what they do.  Having genuine passion for your client or organisation makes working together on projects enjoyable.  Doing your research, paying attention to detail and outperforming on expectations on each project makes working in PR a wonderful life-long career.

It's always exciting to meet a new group of students.  Looking forward to getting know you all and getting to work!