With a headline like that, you might expect me to talk about something like media relations skills, or video editing skills, or maybe even writing skills.
But, while all those skills are essential and key to today’s PR counselor, what I’m thinking about is actually more more basic.
But still just as essential.
No, I’m not talking about typing on your iPhone. I’m talking about typing on an actual keyboard.
Yes, typing is the most essential and overlooked skill in PR.
Think about it.
According to most experts, a “competent” typist can type in the 40 words per minute range.
Pros can type in the 70-80 words a minute range. I was curious how I ranked, so I took a quick test–turns out, I’m pretty fast (78 words per minute!).
Now, those who never learned to type are relegated to the “hunt and peck” method. While I’ve seen some people perfect this method and actually type pretty darn fast, the truth is it’s generally slower than those who use the “touch” method (a technique you probably learned in high school or college).
So, let’s do the math. The average “hunt and peck” typist probably types in the 20-30 words per minute range. Meanwhile, I’m typing in the 70-80 words a minute range.
Let’s say you had to type up a 2,000 word blog post. According to my math, that would take me 28 minutes to complete at 70 words per minute.
The hunt and peck typist? An hour and forty minutes.
I saved a whopping hour and ten minutes just because I knew how to type.
Talk about productivity advantages.
Now, think about how much you actually type in a given day.
Feature stories for the intranet.
I mean, isn’t our ENTIRE day spent typing? If we’re not in meetings, we’re working at our desks. Which means, we’re typing.
So, typing is a skill we practice every single day. And, depending on your job, it may be the skill you use most in your day.
So, most essential and overlooked skill in PR? Am I right?